WORTHINGTON — Although many local festivities have been casualties of the COVID-19 pandemic during the past yeat, the Winterfest 2021 Committee has found a way to coordinate Worthington's annual winter celebration by scheduling all activities for the outdoors.

The Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce and Convention & Visitors Bureau released the list of Winterfest activities Monday.

Between Jan. 11 and Jan. 16, the Chamber and the Winterfest Committee will host three community events: the traditional medallion hunt, a snowflake/mitten rock hunt and a snowman contest.

Tyler Knutson, general manager of Comfort Suites and the Worthington Event Center, is this year's chair of the Winterfest Committee. He explained how each of the events will work.

The medallion hunt will operate the same as in previous years. The Chamber will release one clue each day, and whoever follows the clues to the medallion hidden somewhere in a public area will win $100 in Chamber Checks.

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The snowflake/mitten rock hunt will loosely follow the structure of last year's rock hunt. Rocks painted with snowflakes will be hidden outside in public places, and rocks painted with mittens will be hidden inside Chamber businesses. Anyone who finds one of the rocks should take a selfie with it and post the selfie to the Worthington Winterfest Facebook page, with the hashtag #worthingtonwinterfest2021. This action enters the rock finder into a drawing for one of three gift baskets to Chamber businesses.

The snowman contest is meant to encourage creativity and whimsy.

"We want any Worthington or surrounding area resident to build a snowman or snow sculpture and post it to the Worthington Winterfest Facebook page the week of Jan. 11– 16 and use the #worthingtonwinterfest2021 when posting," Knutson said. "They will be judged by the Winterfest Committee members on Jan. 17. Residents will win some great prizes."

Preserving a community tradition in the midst of a global pandemic was not a simple process, Knutson explained. The committee began planning the festival in October, and discussions focused on how it could offer fun activities while still following social distancing.

"We wanted to keep the tradition going with the annual Winterfest Medallion Hunt but wanted to add some additional family fun events," he said.

More details will be posted to the Worthington Winterfest Facebook page as the event gets closer.