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Winter Wonderland 2010
February 27, 2010
By Brian Koenig
It was sunny, it was cool, it was beautiful…and thank goodness, this year it was inside.
On Saturday February 27th, the second annual Winter Wonderland—for the benefit of the Pujols Family Foundation—had Westport Plaza littered with animated children and engaged parents.
Upon entering Winter Wonderland, visitors were greeted with winter decorations and amazing ice sculpture demonstrations from Ice Visions. The exquisite sculptures were scattered throughout the event—a smiling bear, a merry snowman, and a cheerful penguin—which added an elegant feel to the enchanting winter atmosphere.
As he approached the life-sized, transparent penguin, five-year-old Caleb bellowed, “Wow, that penguin is cool!” Indeed, the penguin was “cool”, as it sweat from the inside heat.
Fascinated young boys and girls surrounded a magician, while others marveled at a juggler who wandered the crowd. Interactive games and activities, along with loads of prizes, spotlighted the joyous winter event.
Participants had fun creating marshmallow snowmen, snowflake antenna headbands and winter themed picture frames that they were able to take home. Crafts face painting, music, and balloon making were just a few highlights of the fun filled afternoon.
After asking young Sophie what her favorite activity was, she retorted, “My favorite was when they drew my picture”; a professional artist designed impressive caricatures for the kids to model and take home. Alongside Sophie, her sister Ava declared, “I’m putting mine in my room!”
Devin, grinning from ear to ear, exclaimed, “My favorite was the face painting.” With orange paint and whiskers covering his face, he growled, “I’m a tiger!” The face painting was a big hit, as children strolled along, their faces covered with flowers, butterflies, and snowflakes.
As Frilly and Miller sang “I’m Proud to be an American,” Fredbird shook his hips and twirled his arms, trailed by a line of dancing volunteers and singing children. Fredbird was not the only fun friend making his rounds at Winter Wonderland. Frosty the Snowman was also around all day greeting all the families and having a good time. The band played music throughout the day, and popcorn and cotton candy were available for hungry children and parents. Special trips were also made down to St. Louis Bread Company for hot chocolate and Starbucks for coffee. Both Bread Company and Starbucks donated the delicious treats.
“It was really a great experience, seeing the kids smiling and laughing and having a good time,” said one of the volunteers. “I can’t tell you how fulfilling it is to be part of such a great cause. These kids need us and what the Pujols Foundation does for them is astounding.”
This year’s Winter Wonderland was a blast, and offered even more opportunities for families to play games, display creativity in their crafts and enjoy all of the entertainment that was around every corner. A big thank you to the attendees and all of the volunteers that helped make Winter Wonderland possible!