By RAY BALOGH
Light snow sprinkles accentuated the festive mood at Oakwood Resort for the annual Wawasee Winter Carnival Saturday, Jan. 25.
The carnival was sponsored by the Kosciusko County Convention, Recreation and Visitor Commission and Lakeland Youth Center, with volunteer assistance from members of the Wawasee High School Student Council and Syracuse Boy Scout Troop 728.
A robust crowd of several hundred revelers partook in a variety of family-friendly activities at the resort and event center and on the old ball field.
Activities included a 5K run; polar plunge; sleigh rides; ice carving, glass blowing and sled dog demonstrations; about two dozen vendors; free s’mores, popcorn and hot cocoa; bowling, corn hole and football toss games; face painting; balloon animals; and a visit from princesses Elsa and Anna
Saturday’s events were preceded by Friday evening’s annual soup supper sponsored by the Wawasee Kiwanis Club. Fifteen soups and chowders were entered into the competition and the 200 or so patrons voted on their favorites. Winners were:
• Restaurant category: Matt Fry, Man Cave Brewing, chicken corn chowder
• Individual: Cole Warner, Zuppa Toscana
• Nonprofit: Amanda Torres, Syracuse Parks Department, broccoli cheese soup
• Business: Debra Parker, Garden Catering Co., vegetable beef soup
• Overall winner: Becky Rassi, Resolute Logistics, creamy chicken and wild rice soup
The supper also included a silent auction with 18 items, among which was a collection of Indian artifacts. “Businesses and individuals in our community went above and beyond in donating to our cause,” said Michelle Edington, president of the Wawasee Kiwanis Club.
Proceeds of the supper and auction will go to the Kiwanis Club for youth charities, scholarships and donations to Riley Children’s Hospital and Teen Parents Succeeding.
The third annual Winter Warm-Up 5K run stepped off from the Oakwood hotel at 8 a.m. Saturday. The event drew 51 participants.
Prizes were awarded for winners in several categories:
• Experienced adult 50 years and older, male: Brian Shepard
• Experienced adult 50 years and older, female: Michele Carey
• Adult 16-49 years old, male: Elias Rojas
• Adult female 16-49 years old, female: Jody Brown
• Youth 15 and under, male: Chase Lewis
• Youth 15 and under, female: Lydia Bennett
The polar plunge drew 25 contestants. A prize was awarded for the best costume and was won by a trio of intrepid souls impersonating “Saturday Night Live’s” Chris Farley as motivational speaker Matt Foley and Farley and Patrick Swayze as
The polar plunge entry fees will be donated to the Turkey Creek Fire Department.
SoulShot, featuring John Kirkwood, ended the day with a three-hour concert in The Pier Restaurant.