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Rain can’t dampen spirit of festival

Antioch-02/09/13 Sat./Thirsty Turtle (lt. rt.) AmandBrooks 6 sister SamanthBrooks 8 Antioch sac race during annual ChaO' Lakes Fishing Derby Saturday

Antioch-02/09/13, Sat./Thirsty Turtle (lt. to rt.) Amanda Brooks, 6, and sister Samantha Brooks, 8, of Antioch sac race during annual Chain O' Lakes Fishing Derby Saturday in Antioch. | Joe Shuman~For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: March 12, 2013 6:27AM

A little rain might have dampened the clothes, but it didn’t dampen the spirits of participants in the Northern Illinois Conservation Club’s annual Ice Fishing Derby and Winter Festival on Sunday.

The event is held annually on the Chain O’ Lakes — snow or no snow. And in this case, it went on with snow on the ground, ice on the water, and rain in the air.

The 53rd annual two-day festival featured an ice-fishing derby, plus raffles, food, fun and games for young and old. The event was based out of the Thirsty Turtle restaurant/pub on Channel Lake on the west side of Antioch.

The big news at this year’s event was, indeed, big. The top catch of the ice-fishing derby reportedly was a 40-inch catfish.

It was estimated that a couple hundred ice anglers participated in this year’s event. Even though it was warm enough to rain, the recent cold spell made ice-fishing possible.

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