Mild winter weather draws thousands to downtown Wausau for 2018 Winter Fest

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By:  Kevin Carr at WSAW

Mild temperatures, lots of sunshine and plenty of activities brought thousands out for Wausau's 7th annual Winter Fest.

Once per year in late January, families like the Boehnens help turn the 400 Block into a popular destination teeming with thousands of people.

"We have kids and it's a fun thing to get out when it has been really cold and really icy and stuff," Nathan Boehnen said.

Whether it's taking a slide down a sculpture carved out of snow, skating around the rink or taking a carriage ride, it's a way for kids and families to have fun - even if they aren't much of winter enthusiasts.

"It's nice to have something that's a little more middle ground for a family like us," Wendy Boehnen said.

"We definitely wanted to find something where we could bring people out of their houses in the winter when it's kind of a slow time," Wausau Events Executive Directpr Sara Hujar added.

There's also weight pulling, where dogs are capable of tugging thousands of pounds in the snow.

Steve Gatzow of Watertown says the sport is fun, and gives his huskies some extra exercise. But it's getting to meet families and their little ones that makes coming to Winter Fest more special.

I"'m a people person, and like to get out there and associate with people, especially children around," Gatzow explained.

Those that get cold can head inside where lively music and hot mac n' cheese help case some of the chill away. With good food, good music, and plenty of family activities, all in all, it's just a taste of why Winterfest continues to be a hit in the Wausau area.

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