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Rutlanders get outdoors for annual Winter Fest

With the temperatures below freezing and a recent snowstorm that brought about a foot of snow to the Rutland area, it was nice for the weather to cooperate. The temperature hovered between 30 and 40 degrees throughout the early morning and late afternoon- perfect for the 2009 Winterfest!

On Feb. 7, at the Giorgetti Athletic Complex off of Preville Avenue and Oak Street in Rutland City, Winterfest 2009 kicked off.

Organized by the Rutland Area Physical Activity Coalition and the Rutland Area Recreation and Parks Department this event hosted a variety of activities that were free and open to the public including sledding, a snow maze, story walk, snow carving, marshmallow toasting, obstacle course navigating, snowshoeing, snow-shelter construction, and ice skating at Giorgetti Arena. Local vendors offered free food and hot drinks.

The Hathaway Farm is known for its corn maze, but don't count them out during the winter months. The Hathaways created a tricky snow maze for the event-just as puzzling as the corn maze.

Cindi Wright, recreation director for the Rutland Area Recreation and Parks Department, explained that this was technically the Annual Winterfest even though in 2006 it was cancelled due to lack of snow.

"We won't cancel again. Instead we will have mountain biking, hiking and other activities because it was dearly missed by the community."

Numerous community members that I spoke with echoed the events importance and fun. They all said that it was a great day outdoors to spend with family and friends and appreciate Vermont.

Indeed, over 250 people attended the event last year and the organizers expect to break that amount by a lot this year because of the weather and the wonderful opportunities to get outdoors and try new activities.

Connie and Jarret of Brandon attended the event to try their luck at snowshoeing for the first time. Rutland Intermediate School and Rutland High School students were on hand with the use of their snowshoeing equipment.

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