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Published: Monday, 2/8/2010

WinterFest shows there's more to season than snow

BLADE STAFF

Winter is usually about sledding, hockey, and ice skating.

But after getting plenty of that Saturday, Jordan Topoleski, 10, took a break yesterday from fun in the snow to see some glassy culture at the Toledo Museum of Art, which is among the participants in WinterFest 2010.

Jordan took the journey from Sylvania with his family to watch Italian glass artist Gianni Toso fashion a whimsical figurine from rods and tubes in the museum's Glass Pavilion.

The Stranahan Elementary fourth grader was fascinated with the intricate work of Mr. Toso, whose family has been crafting glass in Italy for 700 years.


Italian artist Gianni Toso crafts a miniature mask at the Glass Pavilion. Mr. Toso was part of the draw, it seemed, for people to stop sledding and admire his whimsical figurines. Italian artist Gianni Toso crafts a miniature mask at the Glass Pavilion. Mr. Toso was part of the draw, it seemed, for people to stop sledding and admire his whimsical figurines.
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"I really like this. It is really fun to explore art," said Jordan, who had spent the day before playing street hockey and sledding on a fresh blanket of snow.

The idea behind WinterFest 2010, which continues this weekend, is to get the word out about the number of family activities that are available, even in the winter, said Cathy Miller, director of tourism for Destination Toledo Inc., which has joined forces with a number of Toledo attractions.

"WinterFest incorporates what's already available to families, but includes added incentives like special admission rates and discounts," Ms. Miller said in a statement announcing the event.

Because yesterday was the last day of the Dale Chihuly exhibit, Barb Beverly of Grand Rapids made the trek to Toledo to see the modern glasswork.


Sam Garner, 9, and his sister Sadie Garner, 7, of Holland, play a glass-covered piano at the Glass Pavilion. WinterFest continues next weekend with special offers and discounts offered. Sam Garner, 9, and his sister Sadie Garner, 7, of Holland, play a glass-covered piano at the Glass Pavilion. WinterFest continues next weekend with special offers and discounts offered.
THE BLADE/AMY E. VOIGT Enlarge | Buy This Photo

To Ms. Beverly, the winter-themed attraction wasn't an issue. She was there for the Chihuly modernism treatment of glass.

"I just like looking at the glass," she said.

West Toledo residents Gary and Rose Ann Piersol also were among the procrastinators who waited until the last minute to stroll through the exhibit.

"This gives you a real appreciation of how skilled these people are," Mrs. Piersol said.

Museum-goers also could help themselves to a free cup of coffee or hot chocolate.

WinterFest 2010 will continue next weekend with special attractions and coupons at the art museum, Imagination Station, and Tam-O-Shanter. For the complete schedule of activities and special-attraction offers, go to www.doToledo.org.

At the Toledo Zoo, there will be free admission for Lucas County residents and others can get half-price admission to celebrate winter with Frozentoesen.

Ice-carving demonstrations will run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. There will be cabin-fever feeds in which visitors can watch as animals are being fed on both days.

The Animation exhibit will continue through the month at Imagination Station, where one adult admission allows a child to get in free.

Tam-O-Shanter Sports & Exhibition Center in Sylvania is offering buy one admission and get one free for public ice-skating sessions.

Also participating in WinterFest is the Toledo Opera, which is offering a 20 percent discount off regular-priced tickets to April in Paris.



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