Take one bright idea, one hot new event, add them into the already tasty mix of festivities surrounding King Isbit’s throne of ice, and what have you got? A complete recipe for winter fun at the Detroit Lakes City Beach and Park.

Those two new ingredients added this year are a 60-foot oak tree meticulously wrapped in thousands of white and blue LED lights, and the Fandazzi Fire Circus, a performing group that puts on a show with fire whips, fire fans and fire juggling.

The tree, located at City Park, will glow from the base of its trunk to its outer branches as soon as the switch is flicked at a Grand Lighting ceremony at 7 p.m. on Feb. 6.

“We’re calling it King Isbit’s Royal Tree,” said Scott Walz, a member of the MN Sn’Ice planning committee.

Danny Seewalker of Fargo works on a power lift in mid-January to put lights on a tree in City Park that will be lit up for Polar Fest this year. He works for Christmas Decor, a Fargo company that installed the tree lights. (Nathan Bowe / Tribune)
Danny Seewalker of Fargo works on a power lift in mid-January to put lights on a tree in City Park that will be lit up for Polar Fest this year. He works for Christmas Decor, a Fargo company that installed the tree lights. (Nathan Bowe / Tribune)

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The tree is abundantly lit, much like the well-known blue-lit tree at Gate City Savings across from West Acres Mall in Fargo, Walz said. A Fargo company, Christmas Decor, does that tree-wrapping project, and is also handling the tree-wrapping in Detroit Lakes.

Located near the tubing mound just north of the Pavilion, the glowing tree is positioned to draw visitors to that side of the Pavilion, which sometimes gets overshadowed by the lighted throne display on the west side.

The tree will “tie it all together and make the whole area part of the experience,” said Becky Mitchell, another committee member.

It will stay lit through Polar Fest, if not longer, said Carrie Johnston, who also sits on the committee.

Two days after the Grand Lighting ceremony, on Saturday, Feb. 8, the Fandazzi Fire Circus will present half-hour performances at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. near the Pavilion.

“They juggle, they’re moving around, they need a 25-foot by 25-foot safety circumference — they have a lot going on,” said committee member Tiffiny Walz. “They are the real deal, and we couldn’t be more excited about them coming to Detroit Lakes.”

What's all the hoopla about? Find out when the Fandazzi Fire Circus visits Detroit Lakes on Feb. 8 for Polar Fest. (Photo Courtesy of Craig Madsen Photography)
What's all the hoopla about? Find out when the Fandazzi Fire Circus visits Detroit Lakes on Feb. 8 for Polar Fest. (Photo Courtesy of Craig Madsen Photography)

The Fire Circus and King Isbit’s Royal Tree are new this year for a reason.

“We need to add new things and keep it interesting for new people,” Tiffiny Walz said.

“And create the thought, ‘Let’s see what they (organizers) did this year,’” added Scott Walz.

People come from all over to see the King Isbit ice displays, and organizers want to keep the event fresh and keep people coming to Detroit Lakes from out of town. The glowing tree and fire show will also make for colorful social media posts by visitors.

Fandazzi Fire Circus holds multiple Guinness world records and was named best stage act at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival.



If You Go: King Isbit's Royal Tree Lighting

WHERE: City Park

WHEN: Thursday, Feb. 6 at 7 p.m., During the Grand Lighting ceremony

If You Go: Fandazzi Fire Circus

WHERE: City Park, near the Pavilion

WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 8 at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. ; Two separate, half-hour performances



For more stories about 2020 Polar Fest, CLICK HERE.