From sports to outdoor winter activities: Find fun for the whole family at JanBoree

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WAUKESHA -- Brian Kramp spent the morning with the Waukesha County Parks for their annual JanBoree. From sports to outdoor winter activities and an ice sculpting contest -- there is a lot going on for the whole family. And most of the events are FREE. Janboree runs Friday through Sunday.

JanBoree History (website)

JanBoree Created to Chase the Winter Blahs 30 Years Ago

The Waukesha JanBoree was the brainchild of three women active in the Waukesha Community who wanted families to have an opportunity to get outside and enjoy winter. It was 1984, when several industries in Waukesha closed, the winter seemed long, and the community needed a lift.

Planning for the first festival began with a study of current Wisconsin offerings. Another park system in southeastern Wisconsin had just ended hosting a winter festival while the The City of Cedarburg had just begun the year before with their emphasis inside stores in the downtown. The City of Fond du Lac offered snowmobile racing, an ice-fishing tourney, and frozen turkey bowling hosted on Lake Winnebago.

Wanting to be unique, Waukesha JanBoree highlighted summer sports held in winter!  Featured in the first event held was a snowball tournament on ice; a nine-hole golf outing carved out of snow-filled links dotted with expired Christmas trees outlining the fairways: an outdoor volleyball tournament in snow; and a 5K race running through the downtown. Activities for youth featured an Optimist Club ice skating race, an obstacle course in snow, a giant snow slide and Snow Goose egg hunt.  To escape the cold, indoor events were planned with music and dancing, arts and crafts, and a pancake breakfast. All of this was done through the financial support of the City’s Common Council and local businesses.