After a lengthy absence, Winterfest returned to Merrill last year and will happen again this weekend with an expanded slate of activities.
Events kick off Friday with a 1 p.m. movie at T.B. Scott Library, a candlelight snowshoe walk/ski at Council Grounds from 5-7 p.m. and a special open skate at the MARC from 6:30-8:30 p.m.
The Wisconsin Trailblazers Sled Dog Club will be hosting the Merrill Winterfest Sled Dog Race on Saturday and Sunday. The 15th annual ISDRA sanctioned races begin and end at Pine River School for Young Learners, on Hwy. 64 just east of Merrill. Competitors from Canada and the northern USA will compete in Skijoring, 10, 6, and 4 Dog Classes as well as Junior Class. Medals, trophies and prize money will be awarded. The races run from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday.
A snow sculpture contest will be held on the snow piles at Normal Park Saturday. The Merrill Optimist Club and Octagon Club are sponsoring a cardboard sled competition at Lions Park Saturday, with registration beginning at 11 a.m. and racing at 12:30 p.m.
The day will also feature a co-ed volleyball tournament at Kate Goodrich School, a youth hockey tournament at the MARC, Merrill Ice Drags at Council Grounds and a cookbook exchange at T.B. Scott Library. The day will wrap up with the AYCE Spaghetti & Chili Supper at Kathy & Cal’s Club 64.  
The sled dog races and youth hockey tournament will continue on Sunday.
For more information, see www.merrillchamber.org.