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WINTERFEST. Started in 1983, WinterFest, known then as WINTER WONDERLAND, lasted from January 29 through February 6. In 1986 the name was changed to promote Dubuque as a tourist attraction and link the activity with the well known DUBUQUEFEST/VERY SPECIAL ARTS and Riverfest. One month long, WinterFest was three times longer than the event in 1985 to offer more activities between the closing of DUBUQUE GREYHOUND PARK AND CASINO and the start of warm weather activities in the spring.
Activities in WinterFest, including cross country ski races held at the Lacoma Golf Course in East Dubuque and a EUCHRE tournament, were chosen after "focus group" sessions were held between board of directors members and local residents. Other events included hot air balloon and trolley car rides downtown, Lumber Jack Days and slalom races at SUNDOWN and snow sculpture at TOWN CLOCK PLAZA. The art and antique auction which proved popular in 1985 returned at the DUBUQUE INN-BEST WESTERN. In the previous auction, 700 people spent $40,000 on the 300-400 items offered. An Ice Fisheree sponsored by Arrowhead Marina was scheduled at Mud Lake and The Buddy Holly Dance sponsored by KAT-FM and the East Dubuque VFW Drum & Bugle Corps was planned for the Dubuque County Fairgrounds.
Demarest, Dusti. "Fest Tries New Name, Events," Telegraph HeraldItalic text, January 22, 1986, p 26