A little snow and chill in the air is always preferred, and it looks like the Waukesha JanBoree will have both.

But whatever the conditions might bring for the weekend, the annual local winter festival rolls on — this year, with a little rock.

Now in its 31st year, the three-day winter festival, with the theme of Jammin' JanBoree, returns to the city and other locations across the county this weekend. It kicks off Friday, Jan. 15, at Lowell Park, 2201 Michigan Ave., in Waukesha with the opening ceremony from 3 to 9 p.m., and continues Saturday (with 23 events/activities, six of which are new in 2016) and Sunday.

Music-themed events

Organizers are excited about introducing events tied to this year's theme.

The music theme opens with the group, Appleton Rock School, playing at Waukesha North High School, 2222 Michigan Ave., on Friday. The teen musicians will perform many rock classics. Seating is limited and free tickets are available at the Waukesha Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department office and the Schuetze Recreation Center.

The music events also include "Les Paul's Sound Lab" from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, Jan. 16, at the Schuetze Recreation Center, 1120 Baxter St. It allows people to view and test out interactive guitars and sound techniques found inside the Les Paul exhibit at the Waukesha County Museum.

Two other events on Saturday centered on the theme are at the Waukesha Public Library. Drummer Tom Gill of Rhythm for Unity brings his hands-on 30-minute show to the JanBoree. There will be three shows starting at 10 a.m.

Later in the day, the library will open its doors for the "Party Like a A Rockstar" event, which will allow kids to sing along with karaoke as well as take part in crafts and get their face painted.

Cold-weather events

With or without snow, the other planned events include seasonally logical choices.

Included in the opening ceremony Friday will be an ice sculpting demo from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the park as well a fireworks show at 8 p.m.

On Saturday, Moor Downs Golf Course will open its course for footgolf. Footgolf, which combines golf and soccer, was new to Moor Downs this summer. To ensure a tee-time spot call (262) 896-8074 or email Walk-ins are welcome the day of the event.

Sunday's events feature many outdoor activities, including horse-drawn wagon rides from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Minooka Park, where attendees can also view an official Alaskan Malamute Club of Wisconsin Dog Pull from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Snow is not needed for the event.

The Friends of Retzer Nature Center is also hosting indoor and outdoor winter activities at the Retzer Nature Center from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

Weather permitting, the toboggan runs at Lowell Park will also run Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Usual festival mix

Like past years, Today's TMJ4 Chief Meteorologist John Malan will conduct live broadcasts all afternoon Friday.

The regular events on Saturday include the pancake breakfast at the Schuetze Recreation Center, the 5K run/walk that kicks off at the Rotary building, the popular ice sculpting contest in downtown Waukesha, the penguin egg hunt for kids in Cutler Park outside the Waukesha Public Library and trivia night at Fixture Brewing in downtown for adults.

The closing ceremony Sunday is scheduled from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the Schuetze Recreation Center. It includes a Country Jam in which kids and families are encouraged to wear their country best and learn to line dance.

For a full list of activities and a map and directions to the various sites, see the JanBoree's website at Also check out the website for any event cancellations throughout the weekend.

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