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DELAVAN — Delavan will come alive with free winter fun during the first-ever Sky Circus on Ice on Friday, Feb. 14 through Monday, Feb. 17. Presented by Gift of Wings and Winterfun Inc. and sponsored by the Delavan-Delavan Lake Area Chamber of Commerce and Lake Lawn Resort, the extended weekend event will feature professional kite performances over Delavan Lake, plus ice carving and snow sculpting throughout the grounds of Lake Lawn and downtown Delavan. A variety of indoor and outdoor recreational activities will be planned around the kite performers showcase.

While the majority of activity is set on Delavan Lake near Lake Lawn Resort, there are also a number of offerings throughout Delavan as part of Sky Circus on Ice.

“We’re so excited to bring together the greater Delavan area community for this unique event,” said Jackie Busch, executive director of the Delavan-Delavan Lake Area Chamber of Commerce. “Not only is it a wonderful opportunity to showcase all that the area has to offer, but also to generate enthusiasm for winter weather and celebrate the season.”

Professional kite performances

The main attraction among the weekend’s robust lineup is a series of kite displays and performances presented by Gift of Wings on Saturday and Sunday. The showcase will attract top kite performers from across North America, including Quebec, Michigan, Illinois and more. Special guests include Yves LaForest, North America’s leading giant shaped kite flying expert visiting all the way from Montreal, as well as international kite performance teams like the Chicago Fire Kite Team and Detroit’s Windjammers Kite Team.

Beginning at 10 a.m. on both Saturday and Sunday, attendees can harness winter gusts in designated areas at Lake Lawn with their own kites, or one purchased from the Gift of Wings kite store on site. At noon both days, a grand launch ceremony will kick off the action as nearly 600 kites take to the sky.

Spectators will marvel as professional kite teams fly their kites in unison during shows choreographed to music, similar to the Blue Angels air show, only with kites. Nearby, massive kites will be anchored into the ice to create sky-high scenes visible for miles around. There will also be kite candy drops for children, plus a surprise item drop for adult attendees. Spectators can take in the sights until about 5 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.

Interactive demonstrations and exhibits

In addition to sky-high performances, Sky Circus on Ice offers attendees a number of hands-on activities for a closer look at flying techniques. A section of the lake will be cleared of snow and reserved for spectators interested in receiving kite flying lessons from the 'Kite Whisperer,' Brett Williams. Aspiring kite fliers will have a chance to meet experts and score tips during informal clinics held throughout the day, with Gift of Wings kites available for those who do not have their own.

For a break from the cold, both children and adults can try their hand at different kite crafting stations inside. Experts will also have some of their own handcrafted kites on display for an up-close look.

There will also be indoor kite flying lessons, including special performances by Connor Doran, top-12 finalist on the fifth season of NBC’s 'America’s Got Talent.' Doran, who was diagnosed with epilepsy at age four and later discovered the therapeutic benefits of kite flying, will demonstrate the ability to fly kites indoors without any help from wind, relying only on body movements.

Professional ice carving and snow sculpting

While kites set the scene up high, ice carvings and snow sculptures organized by Winterfun Inc. will add some frozen flair at ground level. On Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, top ice carvers and snow sculptors from Wisconsin and Illinois will offer live demonstrations throughout the day on Lake Lawn’s grounds. Several demonstrations will also take place in historic downtown Delavan, covering each end with stations from Tower Park to the area near the Delavan Post Office. There will be two warming stations at either end of the downtown stretch with free hot cocoa and refreshments, kite exhibits and musical entertainment.

In keeping with the weekend event’s name, the artists will shape 300-pound ice blocks and 8-foot-tall snow blocks into unique circus-themed masterpieces. Both out-of-town visitors and area locals are invited to check out the festive scenes, which will remain on display at all locations for as long as weather permits. A Best in Show award will be given to the best form in each class on Monday, once all works have been completed.

Additional winter happenings

On top of kites and frozen sculptures, event attendees can take part in their favorite winter pastimes. Lake Lawn will offer cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snowman building and other outdoor activities to take advantage of all the season has to offer. Additional parking for those attending the Saturday and Sunday kite performances will be available at the adjacent Lake Lawn Airport, with complimentary shuttle service to and from the kite show grounds. There will also be a variety of belly-warming concessions available each day to keep spectators fueled, including hot cocoa, hot dogs, brats and more.

As host of the event, Lake Lawn is extending special stay packages to take advantage of the entire weekend of festivities. The Sky Circus on Ice Package for a family of four starts at $419 for two nights and $519 for three nights, plus resort fee and taxes. Packages include kites, a complimentary lunch or dinner at the Isle of Capri Café, and various weekend activities. Other Delavan hotels and resorts are also offering special room packages and rates for the Sky Circus on Ice weekend.

To learn more about Sky Circus on Ice and available hotels and resorts in the Delavan area, visit delavanwi.org or call 262.728.5095.

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