Ice-sculpting, ham throwing and snow globe making are just some of the activities taking place today in east-central Iowa’s Amana Colonies. The 7th annual Winterfest opens at 8:30 a.m. with a breakfast at the Amana Communal Kitchen.
Winterfest co-chair Laura Sue Woods says many of the events will recognize the history of the Amana Colonies, which were founded by German immigrants as a communal society in 1855. For example, one demonstration will involve Amana quilters creating a heirloom using an original design from the communal era.
Some of the other activities include a scavenger hunt, a 5K run or walk, an eagle watch and a number of competitions. Teams of two can compete in a log sawing competition at 11 a.m. “There’s also the Great Amana ham-put, where people get to shot-put a ham,” Woods said. “That’s also a really good time and fun to watch.”
A new competition this year is the Christmas wreath toss – where people attempt to ring a wreath around a cone. “Our annual favorite, the best beard contest, happens at 1 p.m.,” Woods said. “The categories include fullest, most unique and best overall.” The day’s events conclude with live music and dancing at the Snow Ball.
The seven villages of the Amana Colonies have collectively been listed as a National Historic Landmark since 1965. For complete details on Winterfest, click here.