Sled dogs and s’mores attract visitors to Winterfest in Vernon Hills

With the exception of a lack of snow on the sledding hill due to a recent thaw, Winterfest went according to plan at the Century Park Pavilion in Vernon Hills on Saturday.

Ice skating, s’mores by the fire, sled dog demonstrations and rides in horse-drawn and wheeled sleighs were part of the festivities of the three-hour event which was expected to attract 200 people.

“It’s a great outdoor activity that people can do,” said Jack Scherer, Recreation Supervisor for the Vernon Hills Park District. “There’s not that much snow today, but we have an open rink for people to ice skate, and we have lots of s’mores.”

The s’mores were Gibson Jannusch’s favorite part of the festival. With the help of his mother, Leslie, the 4-year-old from Vernon Hills toasted his marshmallow by the fire before sandwiching it between graham crackers and chocolate.

They were accompanied by Gibson’s sister, Avery, 2, and his father, Carl.

“It’s really fun, there’s lots for the kids to do, and the dogs are nice and cute,” Leslie Jannusch said.

Bette C. Alvarado