With the snow expected to stick around, it will create the perfect backdrop for the Clearwater Winter Parade this Saturday on Water Street in Eau Claire. At 5 pm on Saturday, the inaugural parade will begin at the fine arts center and head down Water Street ending at the Hobb’s Ice Center. The parade will be televised LIVE on WEAU starting at 5pm with our very own Chris Herzog and Sarah Stokes as the hosts. After at Hobb’s, there will be tons of fun winter activities for all ages. The money raised by this kick off to winter will go to support area youth.
Eau Claire hasn't had a parade in a long, long time and that's something Dawn Compte with the parks and rec department wanted to change.
"It’s the nostalgia of it. It's something Eau Claire doesn't have to offer."
And yesterday's snow is only expected to build the excitement for this Saturday.
"The community support has been outstanding. People are really excited about this event being in Eau Claire. We've heard it's about time Eau Claire has something cool like this to offer."
Following the parade families can head down to Hobb’s Ice Center for activities from 6 to 9 pm. Indoors there will be skating, games, and crafts. Outside there will be fire pits, free hot cocoa, snow sculpting and more.
"This is the time of the year you want to celebrate family and community. We have a lot of activities that are family oriented. We're trying to target every age group from the little ones all the way up."
The money raised through parade entries, games like chuck a puck, and general donations will all go to youth recreation scholarships in the Eau Claire community.
"We usually have about $5,000 of youth scholarships annually and we're really trying to tie the community in and try to raise some funds to offset those costs."
Compte says the need has gone up for area families. The youth scholarships are for recreational activities like swimming lessons and basketball.
"I think it has a huge impact. Socialization, being active, we're really trying to promote, get out there, be active, learn a new skill. Swimming lessons for example…that's a life skill. So it's really important that they're able to participate in these activities."
So it's not only for a great cause, but it's really going to be a lot of fun. I put up all the activities they have planned on our webpage and let me tell ya...there's a lot! Organizers say this is not only a celebration of winter, but also a showcase of what the Eau Claire area has to offer this time of the year.
Below are some more details and list of just some of the events….
CLEARWATER WINTER PARADE
5:00pm: Water Street Parade
6:00-9:00Ppm: Indoor/Outdoor Activities at Hobbs Ice Center
-games/activities in Hughes Rink
-general skating in O’brien Rink
-figure skating and curling exhibitions
-Kid’s corner with crafts, ornaments, coloring, cookie decorating
-FREE hot cocoa
-Booths and concessions