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Polar Fest begins: Activities throughout week

What’s black and white and read all over? A paper-mache’ snowman made from newspapers, of course! From left, newspaper employees Liz Warling, Kari Pederson, Connie Klopka, Nick Omberg and Stacey Gravelle stand next to the Detroit Lakes Newspapers’ snowman that will be entered in the Polar Fest snowman-building contest. DL NEWSPAPERS/Brian Basham

Polar Fest 2014 kicks into high gear this week, with a plethora of winter-themed events planned from now through Sunday, Feb. 16.

A snowman building contest is just one of the new events planned for this year’s Polar Fest.

Unlike many such competitions, the snowmen may be comprised of materials other than snow; the only limitation is that they must be hand-made.

There are no limits on the accessories that may be used, and the competition is open to all residents of Becker County.

While it is not required, participants are encouraged to incorporate the Polar Fest logo into their designs.

Prizes will be awarded to both businesses and individuals.

Chamber Bucks will be awarded to the winners in the individual category, while coffee and rolls will be provided to the winners in the business category.

To enter, submit a photograph of your snowman via e-mail to; submitting an entry gives permission to use the photo in the promotion of Polar Fest. A complete set of rules is available at the website,, and on Polar Pete’s Facebook page (“like” him to view the page).

Today’s (Sunday) fun takes place at BJ’s Barbecue Shack, where a series of Winter Olympic-themed games will get underway at 1 p.m.

On Monday, Washington Square Mall will be hosting the second annual “Chocolate Chill” from 4 to 6 p.m.

On Tuesday, Feb. 11, the cafeteria at M State in Detroit Lakes will host a “Polarific Spaghetti Dinner” organized by the DL Noon Rotary Club, with serving from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.

On Wednesday, Feb. 12, the fun shifts back to the Washington Square Mall, which will once again offer its Polar Putt prize giveaway, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

On Friday, the annual Ice Tee Golf Tournament gets underway at 1 p.m. on the ice of Little Detroit Lake across from Zorbaz, which will host a pre-tournament lunch for the participants at noon.

That evening, the Historic Holmes Theatre will host a special “He Said, She Said” Valentine’s Day comedy special, starting at 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 15, is Polar Fest’s biggest day, with a wide variety of events planned, from the Knights of Columbus breakfast at the Pavilion starting at 7 a.m., to the Polaritaville Dance at Zorbaz starting at 9 p.m.

About halfway in between the two will be the celebration’s signature event, the 18th annual Polar Fest Plunge, starting at 1 p.m.

There will also be a vintage snowmobile rally and swap meet on the city beach, hosted by the ULTRA Snowmobile Club, starting at 8 a.m.; the Freeze Your Buns 5K Run/Walk at 9 a.m.; a youth fishing derby hosted by the Minnesota Darkhouse Association at 11 a.m.; and the Plunge Party at the Pavilion, also starting at 11 a.m.

That evening’s “closing ceremonies” will include a tailgate party on the lake in front of Zorbaz at 6 p.m., followed by a Frozen Fireworks Display on the city beach, starting at 7 p.m.

Sunday, Feb. 16, is the final day of Polar Fest, featuring “Skating with Polar Pete” at the People’s Park outdoor rink, starting at 1 p.m.

Holy Rosary Church will host a Concordia College Choir Concert at 3 p.m., to be followed by a romantic “That’s Amore” Italian wine dinner event at the Lodge on Lake Detroit, starting at 5:30 p.m.

The dinner will be followed by a free music concert in the Lodge’s lounge at 7 p.m., featuring music by the David Ferreira Trio.

A complete schedule of Polar Fest events is available at the website,

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Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454