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posted: 1/29/2014 6:56 PM

Hawthorn Woods' inaugural winter carnival rescheduled due to weather

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The forecast of more frigid temperatures and wind chills has caused Hawthorn Woods officials to delay their inaugural winter carnival.

"It's really unusual to have to cancel a winter carnival because of winter," said Pam Newton, the village's chief operating officer.

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Given recent conditions, one might think a relatively balmy forecast temperature in the teens during the day Friday would be bearable. However, by the festival's scheduled 6:30 p.m. start at Community Park, temperatures are expected to fall into single digits with winds of 20 mph or more, Newton said.

The decision to reschedule to Feb. 22 was made Tuesday.

By Wednesday evening, the National Weather Service forecast for Friday in Hawthorn Woods called for a 20 percent chance of snow with a high temperature near 19 and a wind chill value as low as minus 2. Winds were predicted to ease later on with a low of 14.

The event was to have featured vendors, entertainment, games, contests, old-fashioned wagon rides and a laser light show finale at 8:30 p.m., among other activities in an expanded attempt by the village to promote health and outdoor activities.

"It really is a play date in the park in winter," Newton said.

But because of the temperature, some vendors said they would not be able to participate, she said. Horses worked in cold, for example, could risk getting pneumonia, and the ice carver has to use bare hands at times.

Also, frozen ground made it difficult to properly secure inflatables, Newton added.

"We have food vendors and activities and animals coming out. and we have to think of all of that," she said. "We're not going to endanger anyone."

The full slate of vendors and activities will be on hand for the rescheduled Winter Carnival from 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22. Newton said the extended, earlier time will still allow for all the festivities to proceed during a warmer part of the day.

"We didn't want it to be a tough decision for families to make," said Brian Sullivan, the village's director of parks and recreation. "We wanted to make sure that when they're out, they're concentrating on having fun."

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