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We're gearing up for a Winter Safari on Wisconsin's frozen savanna for Cedarburg's February 16 & 17, 2013. Elephants never forget, so make sure to mark it on your calendar.

There may be Lions and Tigers and a Wildebeest or two created from 300lb blocks of ice for the BMO Harris Bank Ice Carving Contest entries along Washington Avenue. Hop aboard the Safari Tram (our tractor-drawn hay wagon) for the best view. Competitive foodies will enjoy the Moto (Swahili for "Hot") Chili Contest, Saturday at the Community Center featuring both Individual and Restaurant participants. Judging begins at 11 a.m. for Individual Entries. Festival attendees can sample and vote for their favorite Restaurant Entries from 11-4. Food and beverages will be served all day. Sit back, relax and enjoy because you know what lions call antelopes, right? Fast food! The Wisconsin Museum of Quilts and Fiber Arts will host a make and take along with coffee/cocoa and sweets bar.

Bring your binoculars for Winter Festival's Wild Expedition Parade at 1 p.m. Saturday, with pith-helmeted explorers, bush-jacketed safari guides and assorted wildlife, as well as fire trucks and Safari themed bed racing teams. The parade heads down Washington Avenue to the frozen "watering hole" known as Cedar Creek for the start of the Port Washington State Bank Dr. Livingstone's Costumed Bed Racing Competition at 1:30 p.m. (no mosquito netting required). This hilarious cutthroat competition will be followed by Monkey See-Monkey Do Barrel Races on Ice at 2 p.m. Then you can unleash your inner animal while enjoying open Family Skating on the Mill Pond with free hot chocolate and donut holes at the Boy Scout House and on the new Festive Ice Rink at the corner of Mill St. and Washington Avenue in downtown Cedarburg.

Take a walk on the wild side and sign your team up for Saturday's Co-ed Sno-Ball Tournament at 9 a.m. Fittingly, the Cedarburg Lion's (hear them roar) will tee-off in the snow with yellow tennis balls during the Cedar-IceBurg Open Golf Tournament in Cedar Creek Park, Saturday at 9 a.m. Top dogs will compete in the Alaskan Malamute Dog Weight Pull Competition, Sunday sponsored by Fromm Family. Laughing hyenas need not apply.

Get ready for an exciting new event. Call it Winter Combat, maybe Snow Dodgeball or just an old fashioned snowball fight--no, call it Yukigassen - Japanese for Snow Battle. Sign up for our 1st Annual Snow Battle, being held in Cedar Creek Park on Sautrday, February 16 at Noon for Adults and Sunday, February 17 at Noon for ages 14-18, sponsored by Cedarburg Parks and Recreation.

For grown-up fun on Saturday evening from 6-8 p.m. stop by the Cool Brew and Tunes, to enjoy the areas best beers and wine, plenty of appetizers from local restaurants and live music featuring Gary Clausing's and Tony Frontier's Piano Brew. The event will be held at the new Milwaukee Curling Club's state of the sport curling facility located on the Ozaukee County Fair Grounds at W67N890 Washington Avenue, just north of Firemen's Park, Cedarburg. Tickets are $18/per person and will be on sale at the Community Center during the day until 4 p.m. as well as at the door starting at 6 p.m.

When you need to feed your inner beast, trek over to Sunday's All You Can Eat Pancake Breakfast at the Community Center from 8-11 a.m.. At 10:30 a.m. the "under 7 set" will venture outdoors to hunt for "hidden treats in the habitat" during the Let's Go Wild Ostrich Egg Hunt. Travel tip of the day: Wondering what to take on a lion safari? Someone who runs slower than you!

For the song birds among us and NEW to Winter Festival, the Jungle Jam Musical Talent Contest is the place you want to be on Sunday from 12:30-4 p.m. This Winter Festival inaugural contest is intended to recognize talent in the Cedarburg and surrounding communities. Vocalists and instrumentalists will be showcased during the competition at the Cedarburg Community Center. Cash prizes to the top three winners.

The Shops of Cedar Creek Settlement will have live music, Saturday and Sunday and free Goodie Bag Treats. Cedar Creek Winery offers wine sampling and Anvil Pub & Grille will have an outdoor "Snow Bar" and Chili Bar.

Historic Cedarburg's charming shops offer visitors splendid shopping opportunities, special crafts and family activities, so put on a crocodile grin and join us on our wild festival adventure. "Kenya" just imagine how much fun you'll have?

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