TOWN OF LEBANON
Sledding, snowshoeing, cross country skiing and a variety of entertaining activities were part of the eleventh annual WinterFest celebration at Harnischfeger County Park in the Town of Lebanon Saturday.
A light snow and slightly more mild temperatures provided the atmosphere to get people in the mood for good old fashioned fun.
Children enjoyed riding bare back on a pony and families enjoyed the horse-drawn sleigh rides through the wooded trails of the rural park.
Visitors had an opportunity to learn more about the Alaskan Malamute dogs, the largest and most powerful of the northern sled dogs. These dogs were bred to haul heavy loads over long distances through the harsh arctic winters.
The dogs grow to between 70 and 90 pounds and stand 23-25 inches at the shoulder.
A demonstration of their power to pull sleds through the snow revealed the great strength and energy of these dogs.
One of the dogs, Monty, wore off some energy with his team mates pulling sleds around the fields of Harnischfeger Park before travelling later on Saturday en route to New York where he will compete in a show at Madison Square Gardens. He is currently the number two show dog of his breed in the country.
The demonstrations included just a few dogs on the various types of sleds brought to the park by members of the Alaskan Malamute Club of America. In competition in Alaska there would typically be 16 dogs on an Iditarod team. Given the length of the team, the musher relies heavily on the lead dogs to safely navigate the trail. An all AKC Alaskan Malamute team from Sussex, WI ran the race in 1994, the only time a Malamute team ever ran.