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Winterfest excitement heating up

Get ready to celebrate winter with the second annual Buffalo Winterfest & Powder Keg Festival set for Feb. 11, 12 and 13.

It was a challenge to find an activity to top the ice maze exhibit last year that set a Guinness World Record as the largest structure of its kind, but organizers said festivalgoers won't be disappointed.

One new event is turkey bowling, which involves rolling frozen turkeys into 10 two-liter bottles. The event unfolds on Seneca Street, between Pearl and Main streets.

Organizers outlined this year's activities Thursday and highlighted a couple of new events to look forward to.

"This will be Buffalo's biggest Winterfest yet," said promoter Drew Cerza.

This year, the Winterfest is hooking up with two other events running on the same weekend, the LaBatt Blue Pond Hockey Tournament and the Buffalo Auto Show in the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center. Free trolley rides will be available from the Powder Keg Festival to the Pond Hockey Tournament. And the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority will increase service to transport people from the auto show to the winter festival.

"Park once and go to three great events," Cerza said.

Also new are a historical hike and scavenger hunt in Buffalo, as well as two fundraisers.

Climb for Air is a 40-story stair climb in the HSBC Tower to benefit the American Lung Association.

"It's great to see so many new events added," said Mayor Byron W. Brown.

Some favorites from the first festival will still be offered.

Skyway snow tubing is back. So are the igloo- and snowman-building contests.

Plus, there will be plenty of food, as usual, from a chili cook-off to a pancake breakfast as well as food vendors.

Activities for children include carnival games, face-painting, ice skating, a petting zoo and sleigh rides.

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