INDIAN RIVER COUNTY – Children young and old gathered in the thousands at Pointe West for snowball fights, ice skating and snow sledding at the 6th annual WinterFest on Saturday
Shrieking all the way down the 30-foot snow slide, 7-year-old Tamsin Kernick said the slide was a lot of fun.
“That was awesome!” she cried, running back to her mom, Marika Kernick. “The kids were missing snow,” Marika said, explaining that they are originally from Finland. “We’d had enough of the cold.”
For a little while, the family got to enjoy the “snow drenched mountains of Vero Beach,” said Max Kernick, Tamsin’s dad. Now he hopes that the snow is enough to satisfy the kids so the family doesn’t have to drive to North Carolina.
Hailey and Eden Heinrich also braved the slide. Eden, 2, slid down silently with a big grin plastered to her face. An assistant helped her scoot out of the inner tube and into the arms of her dad, Aaron.
“It was fun,” said 5-year-old Hailey of the slide, nodding her head shyly about it being cold but not scary.
This was the first year for the Heinrich family attending the WinterFest. After the slides, they planned to line up for the Snow Mountain, where the girls could run around in the snow and toss snowballs at each other.
Despite two days of fairly steady rain leading up to Saturday’s event, the skies cleared and the ground dried up just in time for organizers to prepare the park.
Upon arrival to Pointe West, families had a hard decision to make – where to start? There is the Penguin Pond for ice skating, Snow Mountain, two snow slides, several bounce houses, and live entertainment.
Kids with adventurous spirits and ankles of steel tested out Penguin Pond.
“It’s just like a skateboard, you’ve got to be balanced with it,” said one boy, just before his feet went out from underneath and he landed with a thud and a laugh.
WinterFest featured a Penguin Pond – an ice skating ring complete with skates – a fun zone with bounce houses, a petting zoo, pony rides, and music provided by Indian River Charter High School Jazz Band and ended with a fireworks show.