The Free Spirit Sled Dog team held a series of demonstrations during the 2021 Yeti Fest.

By Marianne Mueller


Cold temperatures didn’t stop local families and friends from coming out to Rockton’s sixth annual Yeti Fest on Feb. 5 and 6.

Yeti Fest is billed as “A festival where the abominable snow people of Rockton and their friends come out to enjoy come out to enjoy a mixture of winter-related activities and is a celebration of all things winter, and of course it all revolves around Yeti’s.” All are invited to walk and play like a Yeti. Those who came to Yeti Fest did some of these things and even more.

This family friendly event grows in popularity each year along with an increase in activities to participate in. Yeti Fest has come to life every year through the efforts of organizer Tricia Diduch.

Two days of fun action continued on Friday and Saturday. The first of a series of dog sled demonstrations started on Friday night. An extra option was to take part in a meet and greet with the sled dogs and their owners.

Free Spirit Demo team is a non-profit-Charity organization who demonstrates the ‘wonderful world of mushing’ and offers information about Free Spirit Siberian Rescue, their adoptable dogs. They raise funds to help orphaned huskies find new homes. Dog sled demo sponsors for each day included Rockton Township and S & H Nursery.

Visitors at Settlers Park had a chance to keep warm by a fire pit while waiting for the stunning dog sled team to be hooked up and prepared to perform. The team of strong dogs ran a track at impressive high speeds.

Before they could run the path it was cleared for them to make it a safer track by Oaks Ridge Riders Snowmobile Club. Oaks Ridge Riders Clubs mission is to promote snowmobile safety. The group grooms trails in Roscoe and Rockford to Wisconsin. The tractor that was used to complete the dog run path was a new one making a wonderful way for the sled dogs to run. 

Smiles were abundant as a live Yeti stopped into various locations and greeted visitors of all ages.

Ice skaters had the chance to snap on a pair of skates and to take to the ice either at the rink at the Village Green Park or at the newly opened and resurfaced Rockton Ice Rink. After months of dedicated volunteer work the Rockton ice rink was renovated and opened just in time for Yeti Fest.

More fun came in the form of a scavenger hunt that was completed in downtown Rockton.  Yetis were placed in businesses windows. Participants followed clever clues to find a Yeti in a store window. Some encouraged winter activities such as playing in the snow. Other clues led to businesses.

After spotting a Yeti participants wrote down a specific name on a card. All were encouraged to post to social media using #rocktonyetifest2021. Anyone who captured a photo with the Yeti on Saturday between specific times had an automatic win in the scavenger hunt. Completed cards were turned in for prizes. 

Brass Octopus worked in conjunction with this year’s Yeti Fest by hosting their first “Mini Maker Contest.” Twenty breathtakingly beautiful winter themed artistic projects were hung in the store’s window. On Saturday the public had a chance to vote on a favorite piece in each age category. Based on total votes a top winner was chosen and will receive a free private lesson from Brass Octopus plus a $25 shopping spree. Winners were contacted by Brass Octopus. 

Jill Rae Finally Art expanded imaginations through ‘take n’ makes’ yeti projects.

“Yeti Fest was a blast,” said Pecatonica resident Jamie Christiansen. “We are always looking for fun outdoor activities to do, no matter the season. Watching the sled dogs today was an exciting outdoor activity. The kids loved being able to pet the dogs and we enjoyed watching them work! My parents joined the five of us, and it was a family fun day outdoors in Rockton!”

“The four-month-old puppy really took to Brooke and while she was holding it the puppy grabbed Nora Grace’s hat right off of her head,” Christiansen said.

Next year plans are to bring back snow sculpting and the hot cocoa crawl in addition to many other fun Yeti Fest options.

Buy Viagra Overnight Delivery USA.