Kids say goodbye to winter at Family Freeze

Feb 27, 2024 | Around Ottawa County, Featured | 0 comments

From left, Brayden Firman, 7; Savannah Marez, 9; Dock’s Beach House General Manager Rebecca Marez; Autumn Marez, 12; Morgan Biers, 12; and Kennedy Firman, 7, all of Port Clinton, warm up with free hot chocolate at Family Freeze. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)

BY SHERI TRUSTY

Although Saturday’s Burning Snowman event at Dock’s Beach House was for the 21-and-over-crowd, kids didn’t miss out on the fun. They had their very own say-goodbye-to-winter event on Friday, the Family Freeze. The event featured free hot chocolate and s’mores and the chance to watch two small snowmen go up in flames.

“This is my first time here. I came to see the snowmen,” said Ramona Thompson of Fremont.

A family enjoys free s’mores – and the beauty of Lake Erie in the winter – during Family Freeze. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)

At Family Freeze, kids could watch an ice carving demonstration, do a fun activity with Team VIAC, have their faces painted, dance to music provided by a live DJ, and enjoy the unique beauty of Lake Erie in winter – all for free. On Saturday night, adults returned to Dock’s for Burning Snowman, a daylong party that raised funds for local organizations.

“Everything we do is for charity,” said Dock’s General Manager Rebecca Marez during Family Freeze. “It’s a lot of work, but the enjoyment of all the families and kids makes it worth it. It’s a lot of fun.”

Ohio Burn Unit – a live entertainment, special effects and stunt company – entertained the crowd with a fire dance before lighting the small snowmen on fire.

Ice sculpting was one of many activities at Family Freeze on Feb. 23. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)

“The fire dancers are my favorite. They set hula hoops on fire and dance. It’s really cool,” said 12-year-old Autumn Marez of Port Clinton.

Among the Ohio Burn Unit performers was Catawba native, Tyler Curren.

“I actually got my start on Catawba. I starting spinning devil sticks when I was living on Gem Beach as a young man,” he said. “Now, when we come to Burning Snowman, I get to reunite with my childhood friends.”

Catawba native Tyler Curren was among the Ohio Burn Unit fire entertainers at Family Freeze. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)

Although burning snowmen and fire dancers are exciting, the kids liked the small surprises at Family Freeze just as much. Seven-year-old Kennedi Firman of Port Clinton said she “loves the hot chocolate,” and nine-year-old Bonnie Barrow of Sandusky enjoyed eating cake pops.

Eleven-year-old Ayden Buckholz of Sandusky said he came to see the snowmen burn, but eight-year-old Dakai Taylor of Sandusky was just looking to have a good time.

“I came to have fun,” Taylor said. “That’s the best thing, having fun.”

From left, Aubrey Heinsen, 5; Kinsey Heinsen, 6; Brody Heinsen, 10; and Carson Stubblefield, 2, all of Port Clinton, pose near the snowmen before they went up in flames at Family Freeze. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)

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