‘Snoasis 4’ proves popular

Duane Hicks

Families bid a fun-filled farewell to winter Saturday during “Snoasis 4: Cool to the Core.”
Hosted by the Friends of the Museum, at least 200 children and adults flocked to the Fort Frances Public Library on a sunny, mild day to participate in games and eat tasty food.
“It was another awesome ‘Snoasis,’” enthused lead volunteer Samantha Manty, who has helped plan the annual event since its inception in 2013.
“We—the ‘Friends’—are so happy with the turnout!” she added.
“There was a steady flow of people throughout the afternoon.
“It was so great seeing families out, being active, on such a nice day,” noted Manty.
“There is nothing better then seeing families play together, hearing kids laugh, and watch everyone having fun together,” she remarked.
“Sometimes it is the simplest of games that seem to bring the most joy.”
Manty said she loves that the Friends of the Museum has been able to organize this event for four years—and even happier that the community continues to enjoy it so much.
“We are so thankful for all of the volunteers that came out to lend a hand,” she added.
There was no shortage of activities for youngsters to do Saturday.
In the library parking lot, volunteers led games such as mini-putt, “Frosty Toss,” bowling, and an obstacle course.
Kids also could dig through the snow for buried treats, blow soap bubbles, and play Tic-Tac-Toe, as well as concoct (and eat) maple syrup taffy made with snow.
Volunteers served up free hotdogs barbecued on-site.
Just to the east of the library, the Rainy Lake Nordic Ski Club was busy for hours as children lined up to try on cross-country skis and snowshoes and do a lap in the snow.
People also roasted marshmallows and warmed their hands by a campfire.
Inside the library, Meghan Spooner led group after group of youngsters in “Story Yoga,” where she told a story with actions and the kids followed along—getting a good workout while being entertained.
Volunteers also were kept very busy painting children’s faces for two-straight hours while the Friends of the Library served up cookies and hot chocolate.
The library capped the day off with a family movie.
If the smiles on children’s faces wasn’t enough of an indicator of success, parents also praised “Snoasis.”
“It’s so great that our community has things like ‘Snoasis’ for families to get outside and embrace some of the things our area offers, especially when winter makes up half the year,” said Jamie Petrin, who attended with her son, AJ, daughter, Natalie, and husband, Kyle.
“The skiing around the outside of the library was such a neat activity, too,” she added.
“I was very impressed with the wonderful volunteers and noticed they were having as much fun as the kids—possibly more,” noted Nikki Armstrong-Wiedenhoeft, who attended with her young daughter, Cassandra, and son, Christian.
“I applaud them for giving up their time to enable my kids and I, and many other families, to have a fun and memorable afternoon together,” she said.
“I loved how much spirit the volunteers had,” echoed Christian Wiedenhoeft, who said his favourite activity was the “Snowman toss,” which he tried to win at in every possible way.
He also loved the chance to try snowshoeing for the first time, thanks to the Rainy Lake Nordic Ski Club, and now can’t wait to go up to the Rocky Inlet trails and try cross-country skiing.
“We thought it was a great idea to have kids try skiing and snowshoeing who don’t get the chance to get up to the trails,” reasoned Armstrong-Wiedenhoeft, who added her five-year-old daughter also tried snowshoeing for the first time.
“She was all smiles, saying, “Mom! Look, I don’t sink down!’
“She also said snowshoeing was like ‘walking on clouds’ in Heaven,” Armstrong-Wiedenhoeft added.
Christian also enjoyed the barbecued hotdogs while Cassandra loved the mini-golf and the obstacle course, along with face-painting, “story yoga,” and, of course, the “yummy” hot chocolate.
“When we left the library, both of my kids hugged me and smiled and said, ‘Thanks, Mom! That was the best day ever!’” Armstrong-Wiedenhoeft recalled.
She thanked the volunteers, library staff, and ski club “who left us all with a smile enjoying the snow and sunshine together.”
“We sure hope this event runs again next year!”