COOKSBURG — The annual Snowman in the Forest event drew a large crowd into the forest for a day enjoying the winter weather while it still lasts.
There was just enough snow for children to enjoy sledding down the hills around the event. Once the snow was gone, the ground was still frozen enough for the children to keep sliding and the ice skating pond had a few children out skating as well.
According to Susie Irwin, president of the Cook Forest Vacation Bureau, there were about 400 people at this year’s event. About 360 hot dogs and 400 bowls of chili were served throughout the day.
“The kids enjoyed the sled riding until they got the snow off the hills. Everybody had fun,” Irwin said.
The Chili Cook off was a popular event once again with Jules Matthews winning the hot chili category and Angela Hulse winning in the mild category.
Crackerjack Farms travelled from Jamestown, New York to give sleigh rides up and down River Road amid the winter scenery of the forest and Clarion River.
Thirty-eight dogs were entered in the Happy Dog Contest and Olive, a Jack Russel mix from Clarion was named the happiest dog in the forest. Her owners, Kyle Bauer and Rachel Kline of Clarion said it was their first time at the event.
“We wanted to come, and it’s been so off and on with the snow, I was just hoping there was snow for Snowman in the Forest. We got lucky, and there couldn’t have been a better day for it. The sun is out, it’s cold so there’s still snow, and she’s the winner,” Kline said.
Judie Wohnsiedler was the most prepared for the event, dressed as a snowman and handing out bottles of “melted snowman” to keep people hydrated. Wohnsiedler was told by one little girl that she knew it wasn’t really melted snowman, but that she had made labels for the bottles.
Representing ServPro, Wohnsiedler wore an all white hazmat suit as a snowman costume.