The sixth annual Wawasee Kiwanis Soup Supper kicked off Syracuse Winterfest 2015, and featured “one of the best turnouts we’ve ever had,” according to the event’s chairperson Elaine Pearson.
“I’d like to rename this event the ‘Taste of Syracuse,’ because we have so many talented cooks (contributing their soups)” she added, referencing the 22 delicious varieties offered at the event. The soups were divided into three entry types: businesses, individuals and restaurants. Diners paid $6 each for unlimited samples of the different entries, or at least until their crockpots of choice ran dry. Drinks and desserts also were available for an additional donation.
Plaques were handed out to the winners in each of the three categories, plus one for the overall top vote getter. This year’s winners included the Sleepy Owl in the business category with “Sausage Sauerkraut Soup”; Lakes Area Players in the business category with a “Loaded Baked Potato Soup”; and Tom Hoover in the individual category with his “Turkey Soup.” The overall winner was the Channel Marker restaurant with its “Clam Chowder” offering.
Proceeds from the event go toward the Wawasee Kiwanis Club’s various local service programs, including the local food pantry, projects in the local schools, Riley Hospital and helping local families in particular need.
Syracuse Lake was the scene for the town’s annual snowmobile races Saturday morning, hosted by the Kiwanis.
The event was split into two races — radar runs and drag races. From 10 a.m. on, snowmobiles of all shapes and sizes could test their own speeds on a long strip of ice. Many of the riders went multiple times in a race against themselves, pushing their machines a little more each time. A little after 11 a.m., riders began lining up to race each other in a drag strip fashion. Riders look forward to this event each year, but it’s the small town camaraderie that keeps spectators and riders coming back. Stock 600 and 700 Trail Stud, Kenny Huston; Stock 800 Trail Stud, Mark Doll; Stock 340 and 440 Chisel Stud, Dale Schwenk; Stock 500 Chisel Stud, JT Finlinson; Stock 600 Chisel Stud, Derek Hostetler; Stock 700 Chisel Stud, John Rourke; Stock 800 Chisel Stud, Jeremy Vermillion; Stock 1000 Chisel Stud and Stock Open Chisel Stud, Tim Morganthaler; Modified 600, 700 and 800 Trail Stud, Kenny Huston; Modified 500 and 600 Chisel Stud, Dave Schwenk; Modified 700 Chisel Stud, Derek Hostetler; Modified 800 Chisel Stud, Cody Felger; Modified 1000 Chisel Stud, Derek Hostetler; Modified Open Chisel Stud, Dale Cunningham; Kitty Kat N.S., Ashlynn Corn; Kitty Kat 120 Studded, Robbie Finlinson; Morning radar Runs, Dale Cunningham (119 mph); Afternoon Radar Runs, Paul Burkhart (115 mph).
Lacey Woodiel, Syracuse, was at the event with her husband John Woodiel and their children, along with several friends from Plymouth. This was their second year at the event. She and her husband brought a small fire pit along with them to keep warm on the frozen lake. “Everyone was great,” said Lacey, “We met a lot of people that were impressed with the fire and needed a minute to warm up.”
Freezin’ For A Reason Polar Plunge
The Syracuse Winterfest took a chilly turn at 3 p.m. Saturday afternoon as 19 brave men and women took to the icy waters of Lake Wawasee for the Freezin’ For A Reason Polar Plunge. The event’s entry fees and spectator donations went toward the Wawasee Boomerang Backpack program, whose mission is provide food on the weekends for low income students in kindergarten through fifth-grade in the Wawasee school district.
According to John Sloan of Lake City Scuba, the water temperature was hovering just above 32 degrees in the shallow water. The plungers were divided into three groups who each took their turns in the water in various stages of dress, some in full dry suits with others wearing clothing better suited for the middle of July.
Earlier in the morning, eight hearty runners participated in a 5K fun run at the Harold Schrock Athletic Complex. Also at that location was open ice skating during the afternoon. Later in the evening, live entertainment from Swick and Jones as well as a middle school party were planned at the resort.