New events and new venues offer more winter fun around the lake
It’s that time of year again where winter thrives in South Lake, and this year promises to provide a better setting than last for winter activities.
Arctic Fever returns Friday through Sunday, Jan. 18-20 — this year with an added day. The three-day event kicks off with something completely new – a Snow Sculpting Competition at Badger Park in Shorewood.
Executive Director of Arctic Fever Sue Davis says there has been a desire to expand Arctic Fever for the past few years. The free snow-sculpting competition begins Friday and is judged by those who attend. There will also be free pizza (while it lasts) at the Southshore Community Center from Papa Murphy’s.
The idea was brought to the Park and Recreation Commission in fall and was well-received.
“It really brings it all together at the Southshore Community Center,” Davis said. “Everything is a little bit bigger and a little bit better.”
Vice Chair of the Park Commission Bob Edmonson says they first thought about dotting the sculptures around the South Lake area, but decided to confine the sculptures to one area. The blank palettes of snow blocks will be available to be sculpted Friday, Jan. 12, and must be completed by Friday, Jan. 18. The cubes are 4×8-feet or 8×4-feet, and the lights at Badger Park will be on until 10 p.m.
Prizes for winning sculptures are a $150 gift certificate to Hazellewood Grille for first place, $100 to the new Team Liquor where the Cellars liquor store was on Hwy. 7 for second and $50 to Biellas for third.
“This could be one heck of a start up for Arctic Fever,” Edmonson said.
Changed but not new, the Princess Tea will be in a new venue due to demand. Convening at the BayView Center in the Lake Minnetonka Room, will help accommodate the growing popularity, Davis says.
“Before at the Southshore Community Center it was crowded and we had to turn people away,” Davis said. “Nobody will be turned away this time because we can accommodate up to 300 people.”
There will also be a champagne toast for moms.
A new vendor for the dog sled rides, Suomi Kennels out of Deer River, Minn., will run two sleds tethered together so adults will be able to enjoy the rides as well as children.
“For the first time ever we have an opportunity for adults to have a dog sled ride,” Davis said.
The Skijor races are back with a new racecourse that goes towards Victoria at Hwy. 7 and loops back. Hennepin County has agreed to plow a 35-foot turn radius so the racers don’t have to stop.
“So it’s going to be a fast race,” Davis said.
Also, despite whatever weather conditions might arise, Davis says its won’t stop the show. If snow is sparse, entrants will be able to race on wagons or fat tires such as those used on bikes.
“Regardless what the weather and snow situation is there will be a race,” Davis said.
Excelsior will also play host to new events, and Three Rivers Park District is hosting a free snowshoeing event. There will also be kite-boarding demonstrations and a station for people to try the trainer kites,says Excelsior Park and Recreation Commissioner and kite boarder Paul Mullenbach. He says along with the opportunity to try the training kites, if people have their own equipment and want to participate on the lake, they are more than welcome.
“You need a lot of different disciplines to hook up to the big kites,” Mullenbach says
Heavily dependent on weather, Mullenbach says fingers crossed for good conditions.
“Hopefully the conditions will be pretty sweet, and it will be a fun time out there,” Mullenbach said.
There will also be wagon rides and bonfires. The fat tire bike race will take place in Excelsior beginning and ending at the Excelsior Brewing Co. The Cabin Fever event will take place in the tent behind the brewery to cap the night.
“We just want people to enjoy some of the winter fun that’s down there in the Commons,” Mullenbach said.
As Arctic Fever has grown, Davis says more caution is needed.
“We’ve tried to have some controlled growth, not just explode things,” Davis said.
Working hard on scheduling, Davis says they’ve tried to set it up where somebody doesn’t have to miss an event in any of the three cities.
For more information and full schedule of events, visit arcticfever.net.