Chillin’ at Winter Fest

Published 3:46 pm Thursday, January 26, 2012

Scenic downtown New Buffalo, upper right, hosts Winter fest, including free sleigh rides. A chocolate martini, upper left, is the signature drink for Bev's Second Season Ball at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 4 at Heston Hills Banquet Center in La Porte, Ind.

Put on your coats, hats and gloves Michiana. It’s time for New Buffalo Winter Fest.

The New Buffalo Business Association is inviting Michiana residents to get out of the house and attend its third annual New Buffalo Winter Fest Feb. 4-5.

The Winter Fest will feature free sleigh rides, ice-carving demonstrations, ice skating and more through the city’s downtown area.

“It is a great way for people to get out, walk around and view all the wonderful things going on,” said Rose Strother, executive director of the New Buffalo Business Association. “There is a lot for everyone to do.”

Winter Fest was created three years ago to coincide with the city’s long-running Second Season Ball.

Organizers wanted to offer a weekend’s worth of activities for those traveling to attend the ball.

Bev’s Second Season Ball begins at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 4 at the Heston Hills Banquet Center, 1933 East 800 North, La Porte, Ind.

The adult only, black-tie optional ball starts with a free open bar and appetizers made by local restaurants from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. A chocolate martini is the signature drink.

A full service dinner will follow the cocktail hour. The Detroit Mo-Town band, Impact 7, will play from 9 p.m. to midnight.

“They play really great music that should get everyone up and dancing,” Strother said.

A silent auction will be held throughout the evening featuring more than 250 items, including two vacation getaways, bicycles, art by local artists and many gift certificates to local businesses.

“There is something there for everyone to bid on,” Strother said.

Tickets for the ball are $75 apiece and can be purchased by calling the New Buffalo Business Association at (888) 660-6222. All proceeds go to fund the events the association puts on throughout the year.

People can attend Winter Fest without going to the ball.

Free sleigh rides will run from noon to 5 p.m. Feb. 4 at the corner of North Whittaker and Merchant streets in New Buffalo. Ice sculpting will take place from noon to 4 p.m. Feb. 4.

Ice skating will be offered from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Feb. 4-5 at Judy’s Motel, 18891 E. Highway 12.

A chocolate chip pancake breakfast will be offered on the morning of Feb. 5 at Michigan Thyme.

Students from New Buffalo Middle School and New Buffalo High School will be carving ice on Saturday as well.

For more information, visit