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updated: 2/20/2014 8:55 AM

Hawthorn Woods Winter Carnival ready for redux

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  • Hawthorn Woods public works employee Rich Richter, left, and Assistant Director Matthew Bartlett put up a banner at Community Park on Wednesday for the rescheduled Winter Wonderland carnival. The Saturday event will feature carriage rides, inflatable attractions, ice carving demonstrations and a light laser show.

       Hawthorn Woods public works employee Rich Richter, left, and Assistant Director Matthew Bartlett put up a banner at Community Park on Wednesday for the rescheduled Winter Wonderland carnival. The Saturday event will feature carriage rides, inflatable attractions, ice carving demonstrations and a light laser show.
    Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

  • Hawthorn Woods public works employees Rick Stevens, left, and Rich Richter operate a front-end loader to clear trails at Community Park. The Winter Wonderland carnival is on Saturday.

       Hawthorn Woods public works employees Rick Stevens, left, and Rich Richter operate a front-end loader to clear trails at Community Park. The Winter Wonderland carnival is on Saturday.
    Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

  • Hawthorn Woods public works employee Rich Richter, left and Assistant Director Matthew Bartlett put up a banner and inflatable characters at Community Park for Saturday's Winter Wonderland Carnival. The original event was rescheduled due to harsh weather. It will feature carriage rides, inflatable attractions, ice carving demonstrations and a light laser show.

       Hawthorn Woods public works employee Rich Richter, left and Assistant Director Matthew Bartlett put up a banner and inflatable characters at Community Park for Saturday's Winter Wonderland Carnival. The original event was rescheduled due to harsh weather. It will feature carriage rides, inflatable attractions, ice carving demonstrations and a light laser show.
    Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

 
 

There may be some weather mayhem before the weekend, but Hawthorn Woods officials have a sunny attitude about their inaugural winter carnival on Saturday.

"It looks like it will be right on cue like we ordered it," quipped Brian Sullivan, the village's director of parks and recreation. The temperature is expected to be in the high 20s.

The inaugural Winter Wonderland carnival originally was slated to run three weeks ago, but bitter wind chills got in the way and it was rescheduled to 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday at Community Park, Old McHenry and Quentin roads.

Village crews have cleared the way for the horses, as carriage rides are a featured activity of the event, and anchors have been set for the directional signs and inflatables. Activities, such as an obstacle course and other games, are featured in eight areas, and a laser light show finale is planned for what officials envision as an annual attraction.

Shooting a puck for a prize is one of the games, and there will be a speed gun on hand to check the velocity of participants who want to launch snowballs. The sled hill is expected to have enough snow to maneuver, and several wooden snowmen have been placed along the carriage route through the park as part of a contest.

"Hopefully, when people go home, they'll say, 'Man, we got tired,'" Sullivan said.

Pam Newton, the village's chief operating officer, said the goal is to get people out of the house. The major reason for rescheduling was for the safety of the participants and animals, she said.

"It's a mixture of everything," Newton said of the offerings. "If we have the high winds on Saturday, we'd have to reconsider because so much of what we have is inflatable. But Saturday looks perfect."

The 63-acre Community Park was built in the early 2000s with the help of a state grant. Besides sports fields, it is the site of the farmers market and village concert series.

"We've had people call and say, 'I don't live in Hawthorn Woods, can I still come?' We say, 'Absolutely,'" Sullivan said.

Carnival: 'Saturday looks perfect'

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