By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Jan 25, 2023 at 3:01 PM

Get ready to embrace the chill at Lake Geneva’s Winterfest, which takes place Feb. 1-5. The family friendly event will feature snow sculpting, lakefront bonfires, ice sculptures and much more.

The annual event, which is also host to the U.S. Snow Sculpting Championship, will feature 15 massive snow sculptures created by ultra-talented U.S. teams representing a variety of states across the nation. The sculpting begins along Geneva Lake’s frozen shores on Wednesday, Feb. 1 at 11 a.m. and wraps up at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 4. Sculptures will remain as long as Mother Nature allows.

During the sculpting competition, last year’s national champs, the Sculptora Borealis team from Wisconsin, will returns to defend their title against teams from Alaska, Illinois, Colorado, North Dakota, Vermont, New York, Iowa, Illinois, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Michigan, and Iowa.

The winning team, selected by the sculptors themselves, will be announced Saturday at a 3 p.m. at a public awards ceremony in the Riviera Ballroom. Visitors can also vote for the People’s Choice award. 

But that’s not all.

Downtown Lake Geneva
Ice sculptures downtown in 2022 (Photo: Visit Lake Geneva)

Lake Geneva’s downtown district will also be decorated with ice in the form of hand-crafted ice sculptures displayed in front of more than 30 businesses. Meanwhile, at Flat Iron Park, there will be a Children’s Snow Sculpture Garden featuring creations from four area elementary schools.

Need to warm up? Head to the Riviera Beach on Friday, Saturday and Sunday for Bonfires on the Beach and event featuring namesake bonfires, plus hot cocoa and s’mores kits. Favorite fest foods will also be served by local food trucks as well as vendors inside the Riviera building.

The Baker House will have an Ice Bar set up on their front lawn and Maxwell Mansion will host Freaky Tiki Winterfest activities on Sunday, Feb. 5 including snow painting, hot chocolate bombs, and a tiki igloo with fun, family activities.

Additional information on Lake Geneva Winterfest can be found online.

While you’re there

The Winter Carnival at Grand Geneva Resort will also be taking place on Saturday, Feb. 4.  The annual winter carnival celebration includes skiing, snowboarding, human bowling on the sledding hill, and candy scrambles, with the grand finale a torchlight parade and fireworks celebration in the evening. [More information here]

Don’t miss Lake Geneva Ice Castles, an artisan-created display featuring caves and tunnels, slides and crawl spaces, plus tower sculptures and formations, all made from ice. [Purchase your tickets online].

Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.