Families ‘Ring in the New Year’ at Nara
HOUGHTON — Brock Howell’s kids started screaming and crying at home Saturday morning and kept at it in the car. But once they got the Nara Nature Park, it miraculously stopped.
“It changed the whole day,” said Howell, who had just sledded down a hill with his son Mason, 5.
Howell and other parents brought their families to the Keweenaw Family Resource Center’s ninth annual Ring in the New Year event.
Outside, there were Strider bikes with skis on them. Families could also check out snowshoe trails, follow signs for a scavenger hunt and storytime, or plunge down the sled hill.
Inside, kids could make crafts, get their face painted, listen to live music and enjoy refreshments.
“We encourage our families to be outdoor and active,” said Iola Brubaker, director of the KFRC. “This is just a great opportunity to come together as a community to promote physical fitness, that we can be outdoors year-round. Even when it’s snowy and cold, there’s plenty of things to do.”
Each year, the event exposes new people to winter events, Brubaker said.
“This year we had a family from the South come that had never tried snowshoeing before,” she said.
Between 100 and 180 people were expected to show up by the time the three-hour event finished, Brubaker said.
Outside, Kenny Larsen-Wilde was pulling his daughter Freya, 19 months, in a sled as they tracked down items from the scavenger hunt. This was already Freya’s second Ring in the New Year event.
“We love coming out in the snow with our friends and taking part in a community event,” Kenny said.
Shawn Kyllonen of Houghton was sitting with his family in the chalet shortly after his daughter Braylin, 6, got a design painted on her face.
“There’s something for everybody,” he said. “There’s a wide variety of kids of all ages, and everybody’s happy.”