Weather Forecast


Polar Fest: A flurry of things to do inside and out

Just as the weather looks to be getting a little less frigid this weekend, Detroit Lakes' annual Polar Fest celebration will get underway Saturday.

Opening weekend festivities officially begin with the Historic Holmes Theatre's Winter Marketplace, which starts at 10 a.m. in the Holmes Ballroom and continues until 8 p.m.

Guests can shop booths featuring area crafters and home-based businesses, including everything from Ukrainian eggs and knit dishcloths to custom, handmade glassware and wooden blocks; handmade jewelry and embroidered items; and home-based business selections including Tupperware, Creative Memories, Norwex, Tastefully Simple and many more.

Originally scheduled to be a "Christmas Marketplace" in December, the event has been rescheduled twice, but Holmes Theatre manager Amy Stoller Stearns promises that this time, the event will be held "snow or shine."

Also on Saturday, there will be a 14-Hour Scrap-A-Thon at the Lincoln Education Center in Detroit Lakes, starting at 9 a.m. and concluding at 11 p.m.; a snowshoe hike on the North Country National Scenic Trail at Itasca State Park, starting at 1 p.m.; the Midnight Riders Old Timers Snowmobile Run, starting at 10 a.m. in Lake Park; the opening of the ROLA One-Lunger 100 Vintage Snowmobile Races at the ClubHouse Hotel (which continues Sunday); and the opening of a Kids' Art Show at the Washington Square Mall (which continues through Feb. 22).

A Bantam A Hockey Tournament also gets underway Saturday at the Kent Freeman Sports Arena in Detroit Lakes, concluding Sunday. Some of the best bantam teams in the state will be there.

Saturday evening, a chamber ensemble from the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony Orchestra will present a "Musical Hors D'Oeuvres" concert at the Historic Holmes Theatre (see related story), starting at 7:30 p.m. There will be a pre-party in the ballroom featuring appetizers from Country Kitchen, starting at 6 p.m.

The festivities continue on Sunday with the conclusion of the One Lunger 100 races on Detroit Lake and the Bantam A Hockey Tournament at Kent Freeman Arena; the kickoff of Detroit Lakes' indoor soccer program, featuring a shootout and Snowball Scrimmage, starting at 2 p.m.; and candlelight cross country skiing at Dunton Locks County Park from 7-9 p.m.

The Historic Holmes Theatre will also be busy again on Sunday, with an Audrey Hepburn Movie Marathon starting at 1 p.m. in the ballroom. Movies shown will include "Breakfast at Tiffany's," "Roman Holiday" and "Funny Face" (in that order). Admission is free; concessions are available. You can come for the whole afternoon, or for just one or two movies. For more information call 218-844-SHOW (7469) or visit

That evening, the Holmes Theatre itself will host the annual Polar Fest Pageant (see page 1B for a complete list of candidates), with a new Miss Polar Fest and Miss Teen Polar Fest scheduled to be crowned. The pageant festivities begin at 6:30 p.m.

Next week, Polar Fest activities will continue Tuesday with turkey bowling in the north parking lot of St. Mary's Innovis Health from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.; and Wednesday at the Washington Square Mall, with the annual "Splash for Cash" scheduled to take place at 10 a.m., noon and 4 p.m. (You must register by Feb. 5 at the mall office to be included.)

Then, on Thursday, the action switches back to the Historic Holmes Theatre, which will host a special "Glacial Girls' Night Out" starting at 5 p.m. in the ballroom. In addition to a special cabaret performance by Fargo musician Matt Velline -- a well-known acoustic guitarist and vocalist in the Fargo-Moorhead area -- there will also be appetizers, a cash bar and displays by local retailers and home-based businesses for guests to browse and/or shop to their heart's content. The festivities will conclude at 8 p.m.

Another full slate of activities is planned for the final weekend of Polar Fest, Feb. 13-15; look for more information in Sunday's Detroit Lakes Tribune, or visit the Chamber of Commerce web site, for a complete schedule.

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