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Winterfest 2013 Features Chili Cook-Off, Polar Bear Plunge and More

The New Baltimore Lions Club is hosting its 20th annual Winterfest, bringing back many fun events during the three-day celebration in New Balitmore.

A three-day winter celebration packed with fun activities and events will take place in New Baltimore this January.

Thousands of people are expected to attend the New Baltimore Lions Clubs’ 20th annual Winterfest, scheduled for Jan. 25-27 in the city’s downtown area.

Winterfest 2013 kicks off Friday, Jan. 25 with a youth dodge ball tournament at 6 p.m. in the New Baltimore Recreation Center.

“Friday night, we’re doing an event called ‘Hots, Brats and Blues,’” Lions Club President and Winterfest Chairman Fred Kopson said.

Hot dogs, bratwurst and beverages will be served that night. The Jamie Coe Band takes the stage at 7 p.m. Jan. 25. The band plays blues, Motown and classic rock, he said.

The lucky envelopes raffle is set for 9:45 p.m. Jan. 25. The grand prize could be as much as $50,000. Tickets cost $5 each or 3 for $10 and are available at the Recreation Center.

A free kid’s party will take place in the Recreation Center from noon-2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26.

“They will serve hot dogs and pop, and there will be games to play,” Kopson said. “They have a costume contest and we usually have a clown to entertain the kids.”

The chili cook-off takes place at 6 p.m. Jan. 26. Awards will be given for best chili entered by a business, bar or restaurant, individual and group or organization. Last year, there were 20 entries in the chili cook-off, Kopson noted. To sign up for the chili cook-off call Danae at 586-291-7819.

For those brave enough to bear the frigid waters of Anchor Bay, the Polar Bear Plunge is set for 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 27. To sign up for the event, call Judy at 586-212-3036.

“We have a couple more things on Sunday this year for kids,” Kopson added.

Kids can participate in a hockey shoot at noon and a magic show at 3 p.m. Jan. 27 in the Recreation Center.

Proceeds earned during the three-day event benefit many charities, including Leader Dogs for the Blind and the Penrickton Center in Taylor, Mich., which helps children with disabilities.

“Also, we donate a lot of the money back to the community,” Kopson said. “We donate to local food banks and we buy eye glasses for people that are in need.”

For more information about Winterfest 2013 or to see a full schedule of events, go to newbaltimorelions.com.

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