The pinnacle event of Polar Fest, the Polar Fest Plunge promises to be ‘Making a Big Splash’ in its 24th year.

The plunge is what started it all, as the multi-day Polar Fest of today grew and evolved out of what started as a singular event in the mid-1990s.

A fundraiser for the local Boys & Girls Club, the plunge supports after-school and summer programming for more than 500 kids in the Detroit Lakes area. A $50 minimum pledge is required to take part, and plungers often take extra steps on their own to raise additional money for the chance to win prizes.

The plunge also includes prizes for the winners of group and individual costume contests, which means spectators are treated to some unusual and funny getups as costumed plungers dive into the icy waters of Little Detroit.

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If You Go

WHERE: Little Detroit Lake, near Lakeside Tavern, 200 West Lake Drive

WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 15, 1-3 p.m.

WANT TO TAKE THE PLUNGE? Register online at


(Tribune File Photo)
(Tribune File Photo)

Polar Fest celebrates winter in a big way, and its fireworks display rivals that of the 4th of July.

The fireworks can be seen from anywhere on the City Beach stretching from the Pavilion to the fishing pier. West Lake Drive and Washington Avenue get congested with traffic, so many spectators prefer to take advantage of public parking lots. A map of nearby lots is available at

If You Go

WHERE: City Beach (Best Viewing Option)

WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 15, 7 p.m.


(Tribune File Photo)
(Tribune File Photo)

Celebrating its 10th year this season, the Poles ‘N Holes Ice Fishing Derby is a big event of Polar Fest that has drawn anywhere from 1,200 to 650 anglers in past years, depending on just how cold it’s gotten, and folks come from all over the upper Midwest to drop their lines.

Organizers of this year’s anniversary derby say it’s going to be the biggest yet, with prizes more valuable than ever, and fun pre- and post-parties. Every legal fish caught has the opportunity to win a prize.

Sponsored by the DL Breakfast Rotary, the derby is a fundraiser for the club’s causes around the community. Tickets may be purchased from any Breakfast Rotarian, at participating local fishing shops, and online at

If You Go

WHERE: North side of Little Detroit Lake, 612 West Lake Drive

WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 8; Gates open at 9 a.m., Derby starts at noon

WANT TO PARTAKE? Find more information at

For more stories about 2020 Polar Fest, CLICK HERE.