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Winter Wonderland
Ice sculptures, live music at Chelan Winterfest
It's been going on now for nearly 30 years  1and, again this January, the Lake Chelan area comes alive with activities designed to celebrate winter in the Pacific Northwest and the year-round beauty of this popular resort area.

It started back in the 80ís and was put on by the Lake Chelan Recreation Association. Over the years, it has grown in size but has been able to retain its small town charm.

Winterfest is an event designed for the entire family. It occurs over two weekends in January -- this year Jan. 15 through Jan. 24 -- and has a busy schedule filled with incredible ice sculptures, live music, wine tasting, ale tasting, activities for kids of all ages, a polar bear splash, massive beach bonfire and a spectacular fireworks show.

Most of the action is downtown and within easy walking distance, so just leave your car at the hotel or park in one of the ample lots that are set aside for Winterfest visitors.

A Winterfest Button is your all-access pass. With your button, breeze on through to all the Kidís Activities, the Ice Bar, the Horse Carriage Rides and make sure to check out the incredible offers at shops and wineries all around the lake.

Among the activities planned:

Ice Carving -- Part of the magic of Winterfest is watching the artistic work of several incredible ice sculptors. Watch as they turn 45,000 pounds of ice in to beautiful pieces of art.

Live Music -- Experience incredible live music both weekends of Lake Chelan Winterfest. The music is open to all ages and it doesnít cost a thing.

Wish Lanterns -- Make a wish! Join Lake Chelan Winterfest during the Manson weekend to light your own wish lantern by the lake. The setting is purely magical.

Kids Activities -- Your Winterfest Button gets you access to all of the popular kidís activities at Winterfest Ė Snowflake Lane, Horse Carriage and the Ice Slide.

Beach Bonfire and Fireworks -- Starting on Johnson and Columbia Avenue, watch or be a part of the evening Winterfest Grand Procession. The short walk (.3 miles) ends at Don Morse Park for the Polar Bear Splash, beach bonfire and spectacular fireworks show.

Wine Walk -- The Winterfest Wine Walk is the perfect event for wine connoisseurs or those just starting to discover the world of wine. Stroll through the charming historical downtown Chelan while sampling award-winning wines, discover the beautiful boutique shops or stop by and check out the live music.

Alefest -- If you love beer or cider, the Winterfest Alefest is the event for you. Sample from over 20 craft breweries and cider producers while you enjoy a weekend full of live music, great food and the spectacular wish lantern display.

Bubble Bar -- Now in its second year, the Bubble Bar Sparkling Wine Brunch is a showcase of bubbles produced in the Lake Chelan Valley. A great way to cap off the first weekend of Winterfest, come enjoy unlimited bubbles, a catered brunch and learn a little about the sparkling wine produced here in Lake Chelan.

Food Events -- Come experience the best that Lake Chelan has to offer. During SoupFest, sample the best soups from restaurants around the Lake Chelan Valley. And continue your culinary experience with The Taste, where local restaurants will be giving you their best bite.

To learn more, go to lakechelan.com/winterfest.
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