New memories and doses of fun at ninth annual Yeti Fest


Ethan, Ellie and Elijah Zingre visited with the yeti during the 2024 Rockton Yeti Fest.

Rockton Yeti Fest is billed as “a festival where the abominable snow people of Rockton and their friends 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 yetis.” 

Logan and Hudson Parkinson bought yetis to take home, along with memories of a super fun time.

This super fun event allowed everyone to "walk, play, or skate like a yeti" with a good dose of winter fun from Feb. 7 through Feb. 10, 2024 in downtown Rockton, IL. Spirited visitors purchased and wore Yeti Fest themed shirts and hats. All four days, a live yeti greeted young and young at heart at various places around town.

Even without snow, sled dog teams picked up speed on the bike path and grassy sections of Settlers Park with a sled with wheels, led by a handler from Doggie Development Academy's High Flying Huskies Sled Dog team. After watching the teams in action, guests had a chance to meet and greet the dogs.

Doggie Development Academy's High Flying Huskies Sled Dog team gave a demonstration at Settler's Park on the bike path and grass using a sled with wheels, powered by the team and their handler.

At the Onesie Pub Crawl on Friday night, adults donned their best or cutest footed pajamas. Stops on the crawl included Rookie's, Pokie's, Ye Olde Pub, Al's Main St. Tap, the American Legion, Fibs, and Rockton Inn. At each location, pub crawl participants were able to have a card stamped, to be turned in for a chance to win a prize.

Saturday morning started off with a dance party with the yeti at the Settler's Park gazebo.

Excitement mounted in a scavenger hunt featuring a combination hunt and bingo. Scavenger hunt sheets could be picked up at the Village Hall, from various shops and locations, or even downloaded from Rockton-Roscoe News [PDF]. On the back was a list of 27 participating locations to visit.

The Geddeis family took part in a super fun scavenger hunt.

After spotting a yeti, participants marked the number of the store in the corresponding space on the card. Anyone who had two traditional bingos - either five across, down or a diagonal direction - won a prize, upon finding at least 12 yetis.

Scavenger hunters had options of doing the hunt all at once or could complete it over the four days of the festival.

Always a proven favorite, the Hot Cocoa Crawl returned on Saturday, Feb. 10. Over the three hours, visitors had a chance to try different flavors of hot cocoa from DeeDee's Main Street Coffee and Decor, Rookie's Pub, Rockton Inn Pub and Grub, The Dairyhaus, The Mix, and Sugar Britches, each in a commemorative mug, complete with a cool stirring spoon.

After visiting each participating business, crawlers stopped into the Village Hall to vote on a favorite flavor. DeeDee's Main Street Coffee and Decor was this year's winner.

Tiffany and Maddy Thom were joined by Marianna Shabatura at the Yeti Fest Hot Cocoa Crawl.

Local businesses offered yeti specials on eating, drinking, shopping, or inside activities.

The Sizz N Fizz food truck added an extra food option near Settlers Park.

Author and illustrator April Graves held two readings of her book “Meet the Hot Dogs” on Saturday at Inkwell Books & Threads. Visitors had a chance to meet and to have a photo taken with the book's main character, Pip, in addition to getting a copy of this new and already loved children's book, signed by Graves.

Businesses displayed artwork done by local students.

A nice crowd came dressed in their best 90's fashion while Livin' La Vida on Saturday night at the second annual Snow Ball. Light up party glasses and glow sticks, and balloons decorated the Rockton American Legion.

Jill Rae Finally Art gave away four tickets to this year's Snow Ball. To win, guests visited the art studio to answer a trivia question based on the 90's theme.

Josh Normington, Kerrie Wallace and Jamie Swanson wore tracksuits to fit part of 90's fashion.

Clever costuming included the wearing of track suits, a group dressed up as the Spice Girls, and friends with matching D.A.R.E shirts, just to name a few.

The Village of Rockton's Tricia Diduch asked trivia questions related to the 90's and DJ Ron Reiner transported everyone back to the era more than 25 years ago.

Remember these?  Backstreet Boys, baggy pants, flannel shirts, "irrational exuberance," "don't ask, don't tell," roller blades, and Beanie Babies.

Balloons bounced back and forth throughout the evening, prompting extra laughter.

The “Best Dancer” award was given to Logan Spohn who was "Getting 'Jiggy With It” as Helka Golter received the “All That and a Bag of Chips” award. friends donning matching D.A.R.E shirts. were honored as the Snow Ball “Chillaxer.” 

Helka Golter won the "All That and a Bag of Chips" Award.

The Snow Ball king was a man dressed as DJ AC Slater. Kelly Kulak was crowned the queen.

Though warmer temperatures caused the cancellation of the snow sculpting this year, many new memories were made at the 2024 Yeti Fest.

Valerie James and her daughter Krystal Burke enjoyed a night of fun and dancing at the Second Annual Yeti Fest Snow Ball.
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