Just add snow

What it takes to make Winterfest (which begins today!)
Marie Havenga
Jan 24, 2013

Unlike many of us who are either elated or deflated by the recent flurry of white, Winterfest organizer Kevin Galbavi says he doesn't notice.

“I don't even watch the weather,” he said. “I have to do what I have to do regardless.”

Galbavi is basically oblivious to the blizzard.

“If they told me it's going to be 50 degrees, I still plan like it's going to be negative 20 on Saturday because of the Luau,” he said. “For the things that need snow, we always assume we're not going to have any. For things that need warmth, we assume it will be cold.

"We hope for the best, but plan for the worst," he added.

In other words, the Winterfest show goes on, with or without snow.

“It makes it easier, but it doesn't necessarily change plans,” Galbavi said. “We've hauled in snow for the Intergalactic Sled Race every year. We'll haul it in again this year because we like it nice and deep on the path.”

Planning, meetings and phone calls have been going on for months, but on-the-ground preparation begins today and continues throughout the weekend, according to Galbavi.

Mother Nature's decision to roll out the white carpet for this year's festival will make things a bit more festive — and angelic.

“The Snow Angel Contest will be 'no worries' now,” Galbavi said. “From a festival perspective, the snow is great because it gets people's minds in Winterfest mode. It's nice to have people thinking about winter and thinking about Winterfest.”

In recent years, some other communities have been thinking Winterfest, too, and naming their festivals as such. Galbavi said his committee is considering writing letters of notification to those other towns, notifying them that the name is taken.

“We are Winterfest Inc. and have been since the 1970s,” Galbavi noted.

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune. For more Winterfest information and event schedule, click here.

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