Northern Exposure 2000

Leader Reporter

It was fun in the sun and the snow at the Northern Exposure/Menominee Ice Challenge 2000 Saturday.

"This is fun," said Kathy Stachura of Suamico. "It's something to do in the winter and it's a nice day to get out."

Many people flocked to the Shawano County Fairgrounds for all sorts of activities including the Midwest International Racing Association snowmobile races, snowman sculpting, and dog sled rides.

The cool temperatures provided the winter atmosphere, but the sun provided some warmth and helped convince people it was possible to enjoy the outdoors in the middle of winter.

"It's such a nice day," said Renee Schafer of Shawano. "We wouldn't want to miss this."

At two and five years old, her children, Travis and Paige, may be a little young to enjoy everything at Northern Exposure, but they had as much fun as the older kids playing in the snow.

Despite their ages, Renee said the festival was a chance for her husband Todd to show the youngsters the exciting world of snowmobile racing.

"The main attraction (for my sons) was to come and see the sled dogs," said Linda VanDeLoo of Shawano. "They love dogs." Her sons, Josh, 10, and Justin, 6, were among the many youngsters that got the opportunity to take a sled dog ride.

Although this was the first time they attended Northern Exposure, she said they plan on coming back next year, provided the weather is as nice.

"It's beautiful," she said. "More people should be out here."

Dawn Pitt came from Green Bay with lots of family members to see her nephew compete in the Kitty Kat snowmobile races. She never imagined she would have ended up building a snowman with her three-year-old son Tristan and the rest of her family.

"We're having fun though," she said. "It's a good day to be with family outside."

George Vidalakis of Shawano said Saturday's activities gave him the opportunity to spend time with his nine-year-old daughter Stephanie.

"It was something to do with her and she likes dogs, building snowmen, and drinking hot chocolate," he said. "I'm glad they got a little bit of everything for the kids to do."

The festival continues today with more snowmobile racing. A quartet from the Shawano Sweet Adelines will perform "Jammin" at 2 p.m. in the warming tent. Mike Zingler will hold a mini-auction at 2:30 p.m. to sell items, including the antique wood Santa carved by Mayor Russ Schmidt and a summer pass to the Shawano Speedway.

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By Amy Weaver
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