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.
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It's official: Detroit Lakes' first ice harvest since the early 1970s is in the books. A crew of nine men from Wee Kut Ice in Spicer, Minn., arrived late Thursday morning to begin the process of harvesting approximately 1,500 blocks of ice, to be used in the construction of a 30-foot-tall ice palace on the city beach. The Polar Fest Ice Palace is set to make its debut at a Grand Lighting Ceremony on Thursday Feb. 8 at 7 p.m. (which is also the first day of Polar Fest 2018).
It’s official: Detroit Lakes’ first ice harvest since the early 1970s is in the books. A crew of nine men from Wee Kut Ice in Spicer, Minn., arrived late Thursday morning to begin the process of harvesting approximately 1,500 blocks of ice, to be used in the construction of a 30-foot-tall ice palace on the city beach. The Polar Fest Ice Palace is set to make its debut at a Grand Lighting Ceremony on Thursday Feb. 8 at 7 p.m. (which is also the first day of Polar Fest 2018).
Since this Monday, Jan. 8, the staff of the Becker County Museum has been spending most of its time at the Detroit Lakes Pavilion, preparing the "History of Ice Harvesting" exhibits and interactive displays that will be open to the public during DL's first official ice harvest since 1970, which gets underway this Thursday, Jan. 11 at 11 a.m. "This is the kind of exhibit we hope to offer more of in the future," says Becky Mitchell, the museum's executive director. "It looks at not only the history of ice harvesting in Becker County, but the science behind it."
By now, most of northwest Minnesota knows that Detroit Lakes will soon be getting its very own ice palace — courtesy of the first ice harvest to be conducted here since the early 1970s, which will take place this Thursday and Friday, Jan. 11-12, on Little Detroit Lake near the Pavilion. But have you heard of the jolly spirit who will be inhabiting the halls of said palace? A close friend of Polar Fest's official "spokes-bear," Polar Pete, King Isbit comes with a legend all his own. Without further ado, here is the tale of how King Isbit came to be:
Health insurance premiums, tax increases, terrorism, racial violence, sexual harassment, threats of nuclear war... the America of today can be a scary place to live. If you're looking for a place to escape the stress of everyday living and enjoy an evening of warm-hearted humor and nostalgia, then you might want to check out the live comedy theater production, "The Wonder Bread Years," which comes to the stage of Detroit Lakes' Historic Holmes Theatre on Thursday, Jan. 18 at 7:30 p.m.
For the past decade, the Laurentian Lakes Chapter of the North Country Trail Association has been hosting its annual Winter Trails Day festivities at Callaway's Maplelag Resort every January — and 2018 is no exception.
This past October, the Essentia Health-St. Mary's Foundation embarked on a fundraising campaign to bring a helipad onto the EHSM hospital grounds in Detroit Lakes. Called "$100,000 in 100 Days," the campaign was the first phase in an overall project to raise the necessary $500,000 to begin construction of the helipad this spring. In order to springboard the campaign, the SJE Rhombus Foundation pledged a $50,000 match donation — and when the 100-day deadline was reached this past week, organizers reported that the match had been met, and exceeded.
The Peoples Park Outdoor Skating Rink opened for the season this past weekend, according to Detroit Lakes Public Works Director Brad Green. "It officially opened this past Friday, Dec. 29," Green said. "We weren't able to open earlier because we weren't able to make ice." Green said that the city crews aren't able to flood the rink until the ground is completely frozen, which didn't happen until late this past week — when subzero temperatures hit the area.
Conditions are go for Detroit Lakes' first ice harvest in nearly 50 years, say event organizers: As of Tuesday morning, the ice on Little Detroit Lake near the DL Pavilion had reached a depth of 17½ inches — exceeding the thickness needed for harvesting by nearly half a foot. "It needs to be a minimum of 12 inches," says Ice Harvest Committee member Scott Walz, who along with fellow committee member Hans Gilsdorf, completed the official depth measurement on Tuesday.
Chicago native Karen Lenius has filled many different posts in her 30 years with Mahube-Otwa Community Action. But for the past 11 of those years, she has served as Becker County's "go-to" person when it comes to answering questions about Medicare, RSVP, or any number of senior care programs in the region. "In some ways, the jobs that I have held here at Mahube have paralleled my own life," says Lenius. "When I started in August of 1989, as a home visitor with Head Start, my youngest daughter Donna had just started school."