Matthew Dearing, 3, of Fraser; Connor Hebert, 5, of Berkley; and Lane Thomas, 5, of Berkley, get some game time in at the 2017 Winterfest.

Matthew Dearing, 3, of Fraser; Connor Hebert, 5, of Berkley; and Lane Thomas, 5, of Berkley, get some game time in at the 2017 Winterfest.

File photo by Erin Sanchez


Winterfest returning to Berkley

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published January 17, 2018

 Clinton Rich, of Clear Cut Ice Sculptures, sculpts a heart at last year’s Berkley Winterfest.

Clinton Rich, of Clear Cut Ice Sculptures, sculpts a heart at last year’s Berkley Winterfest.

File photo by Erin Sanchez

BERKLEY — The city of Berkley has been getting hit with snowfall as much as the other cities in Oakland County, but in early February, that will come as a benefit to the annual Winterfest.

The city’s annual winter event will take place from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 3, at the Berkley Community Center, 2400 Robina Ave.

Berkley Parks and Recreation Director Theresa McArleton said the event started as a way to promote recreation in the wintertime. 

“In the winter, people tend to be in their homes a lot more, and so the event started as a way to promote different forms of recreation and get people out in the community in the winter,” she said.

The event will feature popular activities from years past, including a cake walk, live ice sculpting, cookie decorating and a soup-off. In the soup-off, local businesses will bring their favorite soups for people to try, and then people will vote for their favorites. At the end, the business with the most votes will get a trophy.

“It’s just grown tremendously every year,” McArleton said. “One of the things we like to do is keep a lot of the favorite events, but then to add one new, special thing each year to keep people excited and wanting to come back.”

McArleton last week said that the department still was determining other activities to bring back, such as archery, and was contemplating the addition of a new outdoor event, which she couldn’t reveal at the time.

“It’s indoor (and) outdoor, so it’s important for people to dress appropriately for the weather, because there is a lot of elements outside,” she said.

Mayor Dan Terbrack said that for him, one of the things that’s really special about the event is being able to take his three young children to it, as it’s something they remember and look forward to every year.

“When they get older, they look back on growing up in Berkley and living in Berkley, those are the events that make Berkley so special,” he said. “Whether it’s the snow or all the events or all the activities and all the different things Parks and Recreation puts on, it’s just one of those signature events that makes us so happy to live in Berkley, and one of the things that … I think is going to have a big impact on how my kids will view Berkley when they get older.”

Terbrack said his kids love watching the ice sculptures get made — although they “cover their ears because they don’t like the chainsaw” — decorating cookies and anything that has to do with playing in the snow.

“Whether it’s building snowmen, snow angels — they love throwing snowballs at me,” he said. “They need to work on their arms a little bit, but they love to enjoy it.”