Ogden's 2011 Winterfest adds thousands

Jan 29 2011 - 8:20pm

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(NICK SHORT/Standard-Examiner) 
A participant snowboards down Grant Avenue near 25th Street during the skijoring event at Ogden’s Winterfest on Saturday.
(NICK SHORT/Standard-Examiner)
Charity Davis is pulled down Grant Avenue near 25th Street during the skijoring event at Ogden’s Winterfest on Saturday.
(KRISTIN HEINICHEN/Standard-Examiner) 
Snowmobile racing was one of the main attractions during at Ogden’s Winterfest on Saturday.
(NICK SHORT/Standard-Examiner) 
A participant snowboards down Grant Avenue near 25th Street during the skijoring event at Ogden’s Winterfest on Saturday.
(NICK SHORT/Standard-Examiner)
Charity Davis is pulled down Grant Avenue near 25th Street during the skijoring event at Ogden’s Winterfest on Saturday.
(KRISTIN HEINICHEN/Standard-Examiner) 
Snowmobile racing was one of the main attractions during at Ogden’s Winterfest on Saturday.

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OGDEN -- The streets were paved with snow, but for some spectators and participants at Ogden's 2011 Winterfest, it might as well have been gold.

The city's second Winterfest celebration was deemed a success on Saturday, with large crowds gathering throughout the second day of the event.

"It has far exceeded our expectations," said Winterfest coordinator Kevin Ireland. "The weather has been perfect and people are really enjoying themselves."

Ireland said he and other festival officials estimated that close to 12,000 spectators took in the event throughout the two days.

Last year's inaugural Winterfest drew about 7,500 spectators despite rainy weather.

With a kids and adult competitions, snowmobile racing drew large crowds on Saturday, but two other competitions along Grant Avenue also drew quite a few spectators.

First up was the skijoring competition, which featured skiers pulled by horse through a slalom course.

Ogden resident Tracy Smith helped organize the skijoring event and said 24 horses, all owned by local residents, were used to pull along the 60 skiers that participated in the event.

"Most of the guys on horses are just local cowboys volunteering, but we've also had some help from the Weber County Sheriff's Mounted Posse." Smith said.

Ogden resident Chase Halverson and his horse Tawny helped pull the skiers.

"It's been a lot of fun," Halverson said. "This my first time doing this and it's been kind of a wild experience."

Halverson said he was surprised by how much speed his horse generated for the skiers.

"It's the fastest way to ski on four legs," Smith said.

Pleasant View resident Rick Davis also participated

"I pull my kids around the backyard all the time," he said. "So I've had some practice."

When skijoring was finished, the human dog sledders took over on Grant.

The event looks just like it sounds, a race among dog sleds carrying humans and pulled by humans.

Clearfield resident Chelsea Fox and Layton resident Ariane Packer participated and both seemed to thoroughly enjoy themselves.

"I haven't had this much fun in years," Fox said after winning her first heat. "I'm glad we decided to do it."

Winterfest 2011 included vendors peppered throughout 25th Street from Adams to Grant avenues as well as an area on Grant between 25th and 26th streets.

The festival also featured a polar bear swim event at Lorin Farr Pool and a flag football competition at the 4th Street sports complex, cross country skiing, a toboggan parade, 5K and ski-bike races, and live music.

More than 460 large dump-truck-loads of snow stored at several parking lots in the city were placed onto Washington Boulevard, 25th Street, and Grant.

Ireland said the snow has come from everywhere in the city, including Ogden-Hinckley Airport, Dee Events Center and several churches and schools.

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