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The Journal Gazette

  • Photos by Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette Nicholas Gonzalez, 11, watches ice sculptor Shannon Gerasimchik work on an ice creation outside the downtown Allen County Public Library on Saturday during Winterval.

  • Vander Phillips, 6, slides down the Toboggan Tunnel at the Community Center.

  • Brett Luke | The Journal Gazette Re-enactor Tim Guy carves a bowl Saturday at the Old Fort as part of the seventh annual Winterval event.

  • Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette Arya Lash, 6, works on a pine cone bird feeder during Winterval at the Botanical Conservatory on Saturday January 27, 2018. GALLERY

  • Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette Ice Creations' Stephan Koch places a ice block with Tolon's logo on it on an ice creation that he was working on with Stephanie Hugel (not pictured) in front of Tolon during Winterval on Saturday January 27, 2018. GALLERY

  • Guests enjoy the many activities at the Community Center during Winterval on Saturday January 27, 2018. GALLERY

  • Brett Luke | The Journal Gazette Residents from around the country come to help fill roles such as bakers during the reinactment of the life during various time periods.

  • Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette A crowd watches ice sculptor Shannon Gerasimchik work on an ice creation outside of the downtown Allen County Public Library on Saturday January 27, 2018. GALLERY

Sunday, January 28, 2018 1:00 am

Winterval popularity heats up

DAVE GONG | The Journal Gazette

Hundreds of families gathered at 11 locations Saturday for the seventh annual Winterval organized by the Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department. 

Spread throughout downtown, visitors were able to take in the model car show or search for 10 ice sculptures placed throughout the event area. The Allen County Public Library offered craft events for kids and teens in the afternoon, while adults were treated to a Winter Cozy at Headwaters Park or stargazing at the Lindenwood Nature Preserve Saturday night. 

Crews began setting up at 8 a.m., said Patti Davis, manager of the Parks Department's downtown Community Center and chair of the Winterval committee.

“Every year we tend to grow. We have four new activities this year that we've added and our number of ice carvings has doubled this year,” Davis said. “We just keep adding and changing it. I look for it to continue to grow. As downtown grows more and more, Winterval will continue to grow.” 

Although Saturday was warm, cold weather usually doesn't deter guests, Davis said. 

“We've had warm days like today or last year, but then we've also had where there was a snow emergency and they were encouraging people not to go out,” Davis said. “It is kind of weather-dependent but I think there's so much going on today, and I know there are people making the rounds, so it's steady.” 

dgong@jg.net