EAST GULL LAKE -- After a day of snow tubing, broomball, volleyball, snowshoeing and snowmobile rides, it's hard to say who was more exhausted Thursday night, the children or the adults.
More than 200 Special Olympians and school staff from Brainerd, Little Falls, Crosby, Wadena, New York Mills, Staples, Walker-Hackensack-Akeley and Northland-Remer participated in the 18th annual Region 5 winter carnival Thursday at Confidence Learning Center.
It wasn't a competition, but a day of fun. For Zakk Gale, 10, a student at Garfield Elementary School, his favorite activity was getting snowmobile rides around Sylvan Lake from the Merrifield Marathon Snowmobile Club.
The Brainerd High School Face Painting Club painted their rosy faces with interesting characters and other volunteers helped run each event.
"They thought it was great fun. They gained self-confidence and they certainly gained in an aerobic workout," said Kathy Donnelly, adapted physical education teacher and Special Olympic coordinator for the Brainerd School District. "It was a physically challenging day. We had lots of tired staff, too."
The snow tubing run was a popular activity, an event that wouldn't have been possible if the Brainerd lakes area hadn't received so much snow this week.
Mild temperatures also allowed the groups of students and staff to eat lunch outdoors. They were all treated to hot chocolate cooked over a campfire on Sylvan Lake.
About 30 children from the Brainerd School District participated in the winter carnival.
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