Doesn’t this look like fun?

    ICE-Egrets                                                   ICE-Veg Head

This winter, visitors can witness the magical transformation of ordinary snow into stunning sculptures for a memorable, jaw-dropping experience at the 19th annual Winterfest and U.S. National Snow Sculpting Competition, held January 29-February 8. The only nationally sanctioned snow sculpting event, this unique challenge celebrates Mother Nature and creates a photogenic lakefront scene decorated with 9-foot-tall sculptures made solely of snow, water and ice.

The elite sculptors begin at Riviera Park on Wednesday, January 29 and continue through 11 a.m. on Saturday, February 8, when judging begins. A panel of judges select first, second and third place winners based on creativity, technique and message; a People’s Choice Award is determined by visitors to the event; and a Spirit Award is chosen by the previous winner. Awards will be announced at 3 p.m. on Saturday, February 2 at the Riviera Ballroom.

Winterfest also offers music, helicopter rides, magic, multiple activities for kids, shopping and refreshments. And the annual Winter Carnival on February 2 at the Mountain Top at Grand Geneva Resort features fun for adults and children, along with snowboard competitions, slalom races and the famous torch light parade and fireworks display.

ICE-SkatingPlus, this year, Winterfest extends into the week of February 3-8, with laser tag, a beach party, human dog sled races, a reindeer run, a bonfire and s’mores.

The ultra-adventurous can kick off the New Year with a splash at the annual Polar Plunge from 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. on New Year’s day, Wednesday, January 1. People who prefer climate control can watch others brave the lake water from the enclosed, heated Grand Belle, which departs from Gage Marine in Williams Bay at 11:30 a.m.

The winter wonderland of the Lake Geneva area also provides 18 skiing/snowboarding runs for all ability levels – and up to one-quarter mile in length – at the Mountain Top at Grand Geneva Resort, along with a terrain park where snowboarders can showcase aerial tricks. Cross-country skiers and snowmobilers can take advantage of many scenic trails and nature areas, and ice skating and sleigh rides are available throughout the countryside. Anglers can see what’s biting with ice fishing on the lake, and for those who favor solid ground, the scenic Geneva Lake shore path provides picturesque views of nature and luxurious estates.

After being a part of all the action outdoors, visitors can relax at multiple inviting and cozy accommodation options, with many special lodging packages offered throughout the winter. For more information on where to stay, shop and dine in Lake Geneva, visit www.lakegenevawi.com.