Salt Lake's "Snow Queen" was crowned Saturday afternoon.
Tasha, a 5-year-old blizzard-white American Eskimo dog, slipped past about 30 other dogs in the "Beauty and the Beast" contest sponsored by the Humane Society of Utah as part of Winterfest, held in the Salt Palace Convention Center.The dog's owner, Jay Miller, looked on proudly as Tasha was selected as the competition's whitest dog by the audience.
In addition to the dog competition, Winterfest featured other events and competitions as well as food and commercial exhibits.
Food, from gourmet dog biscuits to chili, was available depending on one's tastes and species. The chili was hot. And the chili was spicy. Some of it was both. But you'd have to ask Tasha about the dog biscuits.
The Humane Society's puppies grabbed the attention of children, who squealed with delight as they wrestled with the small dogs and let them lick their hands and faces. The children enjoyed the dogs so much that some parents had to drag their children away without the animals, which were up for adoption.
Also, local businesses and individuals demonstrated their merchandise. Most said business was a little slow.
A skateboard demonstration by Holiday Sports, a local club that visits elementary schools giving basic street demonstrations and safety tips, attracted a sizable crowd when its members whizzed up and over a picnic table and other obstacles.
The afternoon Monopoly competition drew about 10 competitors vying for a chance at the National Monopoly tournament in 1990. The tournament continues Sunday when the grand winner will be determined.
Martie Bland, co-chairwoman of the Winter Tourism Committee, which organized the event, said Winterfest was designed to attract people of all ages. The snowy weather kept many people away, she said, along with the fact that this is the festival's first year.
The committee, which was put together by the Salt Lake Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau, plans to hold the event again next year. Bland said Winterfest will be expanded in the future to "make it truly a winterfest" like other major winter carnivals around the nation.