HALE – Despite the cancellation of the ice fishing contest, due to lake conditions, the 2020 Hale Yes Winterfest will proceed as planned.

Slated for this Saturday, Jan. 18, the Hale Area Association (HAA) will be presenting its 12th rendition of the annual festival, complete with vendors, a chili cook-off, hands-on contests and other winter entertainment.

Most of the activities will take place in the Plainfield Township Resource Center, located downtown on M-65, beginning with an arts and crafts show at 9 a.m.

Attendees will be able to visit the vendors, and purchase any items that catch their eye, until 4 p.m.

Also taking place periodically throughout the day at the headquarters will be family-friendly puppet shows, with performances at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Two festival favorites are set to commence at 11 a.m., as well, with both the bed races and the annual Chili Cook-Off.

A not-to-be-missed event, the bed races always bring the laughs, and they will be held again in the parking lot of the Hale Senior Citizens and Retirees Center, located at 320 N. Washington St. (M-65), adjacent to the resource center.

Contestants representing different businesses and groups in the area will complete a series of challenges during the race, as they push their teammates around on hand-built bed frames.

Another popular Winterfest tradition is the Chili Cook-Off, which will go on from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

According to HAA Secretary Mary Geyer, the cost to sample the various homemade creations is $5 per person, with maps of the participating establishments available at the resource center.

Those battling for the title of best batch will have the chili available at either their place of business, or the festival headquarters.

The Build-A-Snowman Competition was a new activity for Winterfest in 2019 and, due to the success of the inaugural event, the contest will return for 2020.

As reported, participants will have until 1:30 p.m. on Saturday to complete their snowmen, but they can also get a jump start on the projects and bring their already finished items to the festival.

Coordinators say that the snowmen can be built utilizing anything but snow, with competitors encouraged to use their imaginations and whatever “found objects” they choose.

The finished product must be a minimum of three feet tall and feature at least three main objects – head, thorax and abdomen – plus the addition of eyes, nose, attire, head wear and appendages.

Participants can earn up to 10 points in each required category, or 80 points total, with bonus points being awarded for extra creativity.

There will be room available outside of the resource center for the snowman entries, and local business owners will have their creations exhibited outside of their establishments.

The grand prize winner will be announced at 3 p.m. on Winterfest, just before the puppet show.

To wrap up the festival fun, the co-ed Hale Alumni Basketball games will be making their return. The events will feature alumni and district staff, past and present, with doors opening at 5 p.m.

Hosted in the gymnasium of Hale High School, at 311 N. M-65, proceeds raised during the evening will support the Hale Eagle Sports Boosters.

Admission is $5 per person, with children 5 and younger able to attend at no charge. The maximum cost for a group of immediate family members is $20.

The first game will involve Hale High School graduates from 2008 or earlier, and will begin at 6 p.m. This will be followed with a game amongst those who graduated between 2009-2019.

For more information about Hale Yes Winterfest, visit www.haleyes.org/winterfest.html, leave a voicemail for HAA members at 728-4253, send an e-mail to AColdDayInHale@gmail.com or check out the group’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/HaleAreaAssn. HAA President, Pastor Scott Herbolsheimer, can also be contacted for further details at 984-7719.