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Snowflake search new Winter Days twist

Winter Days 2008 has a brand new twist this year with the Silver Snowflake Search.

West Fargo Park District Recreation Specialist Kim Wangler said event organizers brainstormed to come up with a unique element that would hopefully involve the entire family, with the end result the hunt for the elusive snowflake. "Searching for the snowflake will be a way to bring the family together in locating the prizes and learn more about the community as they are doing so. And for those that want to hunt as individuals, they will also be able to do that."

She said the key to success will be interpreting the clues. The only advice that Wangler was willing to offer is that the clues will be riddle-like in nature, and discovering the meaning will be more or less like reading between the lines.

Look for clues and rule locations in this week's Pioneer. They will also appear in next week's paper; be posted at the main entrances to the West Fargo Park District, West Fargo Pioneer, Sooper Stop, and the West Fargo Area Chamber of Commerce; and appear on the following Web sites:,, and

The snowflake search will run from Jan. 16 through Jan. 27, with participants hunting for the three silver snowflakes, cleverly hidden above ground at public locations. Winners will be posted as the hidden snowflakes are uncovered. Prizes include $200 in Hornbacher's gift certificates; $100 in Sooper Stop gift certificates; and $50 in Chamber Bucks and a one-year subscription to the West Fargo Pioneer.

The Winter Days celebration itself will run from Jan. 18 through 26, kicking off Friday night with the ever-popular Chili Cook-off at the West Fargo VFW, where participants, age 21 and older, can enter their favorite recipe to earn a prize - $100 for first, $75 for second, and $50 for third.

Approximately 25 'chili chefs' were a part of the event last year and Wangler's hoping for similar numbers or more this year.

Individuals can enter up to the last minute with check-in time from 5 to 6 p.m., and judging to begin at 6 p.m.

All that is required is a crock pot full of your favorite chili and a ladle to serve it. Members of the West Fargo Fire Department will do the judging, with entries based on aroma, taste, appearance, color, and consistency and texture.

Following the judging, complimentary chili samples will be served to those attending.

The Frozen T-shirt Contest and Sumo Wrestling will follow at 7 p.m., with four people having the chance to use their creativity to melt a frozen T-shirt and win $50.

Two costumes will be available for the sumo wrestling. People are encouraged to partner up and simply have fun, Wangler said.

Music by "Past Due" will conclude the opening night activities from 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.

Wangler added that, all in all, the Park District's goal with this year's Winter Days observance is "to provide a variety of activities that will allow all age groups to participate. We have something for everyone to enjoy including a teen dance, family events, activities for adults, and a get-together for seniors."

Saturday, Jan. 19, events will be highlighted by the 16th annual Snow Golf Tournament from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in North Elmwood Park. Participants are asked to reserve their tee times at the West Fargo Park District Office. Registration fee is $6 for adults and $3 for ages 17 and under. A Pinochle Tournament at the West Fargo VFW will also be a part of Saturday action, with registration at 9:30 a.m. and play beginning at 10:30 a.m.

Sunday, Jan. 20, activities will consist of Frosty Fun in Elmwood Park from 1 to 4 p.m., complete with free sleigh rides by the Red River Harness Club; dog sled rides; a snow dig for prizes, winter archery coordinated by Camp Fire USA; a sledding parade and party; kid's winter crafts; and snowshoe demos and races sponsored by Scheels All Sports.

With recent colder temperatures, Wangler encourages everyone to dress warmly in order to enjoy the entire afternoon of outdoor fun and games planned.

Other Winter Days festivities include: Skating Games at Herb Tintes Park, 7th Ave. and 1st St. E., Tuesday, Jan. 22, from 5 to 7 p.m.; the free Senior Luncheon Thursday, Jan. 24, at noon at the Veterans Memorial Arena; and of course, the Winter Days Grand Finale, sponsored by the West Fargo Park District and Lutheran Family Ford, Saturday, Jan. 26, at the Cheney Middle School. The concluding activity will feature a big screen movie "Snow Day" at 3 p.m.; inflatable bounce and slide, carnival games, sumo wrestling, face painting, close-up magic and balloon sculptures from 4 to 7:30 p.m.; pizza and pop at 5 p.m., while supplies last; Magician Jeffrey Salveson at 5:30 p.m.; and Penny and Pals at 6:30 p.m.

Copies of the Winter Days Word Find are also available at the Park District office and appear in today's Pioneer. Deadline for entry to win a prize is Jan. 25, at 4 p.m.

Winter Days is promoted annually by the West Fargo Park District, in conjunction with a number of local businesses, this year including Luther Family Ford, Hornbacher's, West Fargo Area Chamber of Commerce, Sooper Stop, Camp Fire USA, Scheels, Frontier, West Fargo VFW Post 7564 and the West Fargo Pioneer.

For more information contact the West Fargo Park District at 433-5360 or visit