Ok, ain’t gonna happen…at least not this far south in the Sunshine State, but that’s not going to stop us from playing in great big piles of snow, having snowball fights and tobogganing down a slippery slope while still enjoying a balmy 80 degree day. That’s exactly what was on tap today as we enjoyed Naples 24th annual Snowfest, Collier County Parks & Recreation Department’s signature event, celebrating winter and the Holiday Season.
Established back in 1985 with the idea of giving the community the thrill of getting to play in snow in 80-degree weather, the event started out with only 5 tons of snow and a few hundred revelers. Today the festival has grown to become Collier County’s largest community event featuring a plethora of holiday activities, but the leading attraction is the 100+ tons of snow and 900+ blocks of ice which are trucked in to magically transform tropical Florida into a winter wonderland for well over 15,000 guests.
Señor J and I decided to give Snowfest a cycling slant as we rode down ahead of our families to Naples’ Golden Gate Community Park, the events location. Our original plan was to ride there back, a good 76 mile tuneup ride for our upcoming century ride, but that was quickly put on the back burner as the endless activities, which included snow mountains, tobogan runs, ice skating, Santa’s South Pole, elven workshops, live music, carnival rides, a midway, Mrs. Claus’s kitchen, a petting zoo, pony rides…well you get the idea, wore us out. It’s a good thing our wives planned ahead arriving in separate vehicles knowing well that we would not be riding back…I guess Mommy really does know best.
All in all a great kickoff to the holiday season. Kudos to Collier County for putting on a such a great family focused event.
Route: New Route
Activity: Golden Gate Community Park
Started: Dec 3, 2011 7:35:56 AM
Ride Time: 2:01:24
Stopped Time: 13:21
Distance: 38.79 miles
Average Speed: 19.17 mph
Fastest Speed: 24.23 mph
Ascent: 73 feet
Descent: 72 feet