Families celebrate WinterFest, despite icy weather in Coralville

By  | 

CORALVILLE, Iowa (KCRG) - While Coralville's 13th annual WinterFest featured a small attendance than previous years, the families who were there Sunday said they still had a good time.

Kids and an inflatable dinosaur play during Coralville's annual WinterFest at Iowa River Landing on Jan. 12, 2020. (MARY GREEN/KCRG)

WinterFest, held at Iowa River Landing, received a below-average attendance, according to organizers, who say the event usually draws in between 500 and 800 people but was hindered this year by cold and icy weather that came through eastern Iowa a few days prior.

However, the celebration still brought out a crowd of families that were glad to add fun into their weekend.

"We just wanted to get out and do something in the community and get the kids out of the house, spend a little bit of energy, that kind of thing,” said North Liberty’s Ben Patience, whose 3-year-old son, Gabe, enjoyed climbing in the Coralville Fire Department’s truck.

The event, centered in the Coralville Marriott Conference Center, featured games, crafts, face painting, and even a giant, inflatable T-Rex.

Coralville’s recreation superintendent, Scott Prochaska, said the event originally started 13 years ago as a way of attracting people to Iowa River Landing, which had recently been developed.

He said that’s still the goal, as well as providing an opportunity for families to get out of the house on a typically cold day.

"The Iowa River Landing area continues to develop with new businesses,” Prochaska said. “We've got the [Xtream Arena] going on. So it just gets people down here that may not normally get down here for anything else."

While admission to WinterFest was free, visitors were also encouraged to drop off a donation to the Coralville Food Pantry.