BY RICK SCHULTE
Having worked for many years in recreation, Kim O’Farrell has learned how to handle weather-related issues.
That said, the director of the Grosse Ile Recreation Department would much prefer if everyone pulls together and collectively wishes for snow on Feb. 28 — which is when the first Grosse Ile Winterfest will take place.
“I’ve worked in recreation for 24 years,” she said. “I’ve been part of events where you ask, ‘Is it going to rain?’ But I’m a person that rolls with the punches.”
From 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 28, Water’s Edge will be the site of a collection of free activities and games geared for wintertime (or adjusted for winter enjoyment). The main portion of this event will be a chili cook-off, where the winner can come away with a trophy and bragging rights for creating the island’s best chili.
However, there will be a plethora of activities from which to choose, ranging from a snowman-building contest and hockey to relay races and tug of war, plus a bonfire. The options are pretty limitless — provided the weather cooperates, of course.
“Obviously, we need snow,” O’Farrell said. “No matter what, we’re going to run with it. If it turns out we can’t do ice hockey, then we can always do roller hockey. You have to think like that.”
The idea of Winterfest is to offer some variety for the residents of Grosse Ile.
“We are known for Islandfest (the week-long June festival) and Island Glow (which ushers in the holiday season),” she said. “But we also want to put together something for the residents in the dead of winter.”
The Winterfest is still seeking corporate sponsorship to help defray the cost of putting together this event. It will also gladly accept volunteer help and donations of all sorts.
“Recreation budgets are very limited,” O’Farrell said. “So every little bit will help.”
O’Farrell has been in charge of the Recreation Department since May 15, having moved to the island with her daughter. So far, she has enjoyed Grosse Ile.
“My daughter is in the schools here and the community has been very supportive,” O’Farrell said. “It’s a great place to live.”
Those wishing to volunteer or inquire about sponsorship opportunities can email Kim O’Farrell at email@example.com.