Feeling a bit of those mid-winter blahs? Then maybe it's time to get outside and embrace the joys of all things cold and snowy.
There's no shortage of things to do in and around Detroit Lakes this coming week, as the community's annual Polar Fest celebration kicks into high gear.
Here are a few of the highlights ...
Minnesota Sn'Ice Snow and Ice Showcase
Hosted by the Detroit Lakes Ice Harvest Committee, the Minnesota Sn'Ice Snow and Ice Showcase at the Detroit Lakes City Park and City Beach features King Isbit's Royal Courtyard & Palatial Playground, complete with a 60-foot-wide ice throne and an ice bridge leading up to it; a sledding hill; snow sculptures and, new this year, a giant, brightly lit Royal Tree. You can also reserve a time at the Sn'Icecast Media Desk to broadcast live on YouTube or other social media by contacting Carrie Johnston at the Detroit Lakes Chamber of Commerce, 218-847-9202.
The showcase is open for viewing (and sledding!) starting at noon each day through Sunday, Feb. 16, and continuing until approximately 8 p.m. A limited number of sleds are available for public use.
Special events include a visit from the Fandazzi Fire Circus on Saturday, Feb. 8, with public shows at 7 and 9 p.m.; the Area Schools Snow Sculpting Competition on Monday, Feb. 10, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., featuring teams from 13 area schools; and the Frozen Fireworks Display on Saturday, Feb. 15, at 7 p.m. For more information, visit iceharvestdl.org.
Detroit Mountain Recreation Area is hosting quite a few events for Polar Fest this year, starting with a Learn to Snowshoe or Skishoe lesson and Guided Wildlife Trek event on Saturday, Feb. 8. This is an opportunity to try snowshoeing or skishoeing (a hybrid of cross country skis and snowshoes) at Detroit Mountain starting at 9 a.m., and then head out on the North Country Trail at 1 p.m. for a guided wildlife trek within the Hubbell Pond Wildlife Management Area. This event is co-hosted by the Laurentian Lakes Chapter of the North Country Trail Association. Call 701-388-1883 for more information.
Then on Sunday, Feb. 9, the Mountain will be hosting the Snoway But Up (running) and Snoway But Round (fat-tire biking) Polar Fest Races from 9 to 11 a.m. Anything goes (except wheels and motors) on the SnoWay But Up running race, which takes runners up, down and around Detroit Mountain. If you prefer rolling verses running, bring your fat bike to the SnoWay But Round race, using a combination of Detroit Mountain's bike and Nordic trails.
On Monday, Feb. 10, come spend a night on the slopes at the Mountain's Monday Night Madness event, with discounted lift tickets and rental fees from 4 to 9 p.m.
The Mountain will be closed on Tuesday, but be sure to come back Wednesday, Feb. 12, for the annual Polarpalooza Tubing Races. Partner with your coworkers, family or friends and round up a four-person team for a tubing race down the Mountain's 1,100 feet tubing hill, or just come out and cheer for your favorite team. Prizes will be given for the top three finishes and best costumes. Practice runs start at 5 p.m., with the races getting underway at 6:15. Proceeds from this event will benefit Detroit Mountain's Ski Angel program.
Last but not least, the Mountain will be hosting a Candlelight Cross Country Ski event on Sunday, Feb. 16, starting at 6 p.m. The inner loop of the east side cross country ski trails at Detroit Mountain will be lit with votive candles. This is a loop with some terrain, so be aware there are some hills to climb and ski down. This event is co-hosted by the Detroit Lakes Nordic Ski Club; for more information visit dlxcski.com.
Becker County Museum
The Becker County Museum is also hosting multiple Polar Fest events this week, starting with a Winter Crafting Fun Day on Saturday, Feb. 8, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Rescheduled from Jan. 18, this event will feature a variety of fun, simple winter-themed craft projects, some costing as little as $1 each. Families can come in and do some crafting together, the explore the museum and its many interactive exhibits (the regular admission fee is waived for any families crafting together).
From Wednesday through Friday, Feb. 12-14, the museum will once again be offering its Sweetheart Grams; order a hand-stamped keepsake with a special message for your favorite person during the museum's regular hours (10 a.m.-4 p.m.). The charms cost just $10, though there are a variety of decorations that can be added, and you can even arrange for delivery to that special someone on Valentine's Day, for an additional fee.
Or, if you prefer to send your loved ones something a little sweeter, the museum's Chocolate Fantasy fundraiser also starts on Wednesday and continues through Valentine's Day. Choose from two different sizes of trays to send out a variety of special chocolate treats, donated by local businesses and restaurants, at a cost of $20 for a small tray or $40 for a large tray. For an additional $5, you can pre-order a tray for delivery to a local office or school on Valentine's Day. Those who would prefer to choose their own tray of chocolates can come into the museum between 5:30-7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13, and explore the museum while choosing from the various displays of special treats. Call the museum at 218-847-2938 for more information, or to arrange delivery of either a Sweetheart Gram or Chocolate Fantasy tray — or both.
Also on Wednesday, the museum will be hosting a special Brown Bag Lunch starting at noon. Presenter Kevin Mitchell will be talking about "The Power Struggle of 1900-Holmes vs. McCarthy." This will be the final presentation in conjunction with the museum's "Electrifying Minnesota" exhibit, which closes on Saturday, Feb. 22. Bring your own lunch, or reserve one for $8 by contacting the museum in advance at 218-847-2168.
And that's not all
The Detroit Lakes Public Library will be hosting a presentation by Arctic explorer Jared Munch on "Paddleboarding from Duluth to the Arctic Ocean" on Monday, Feb. 10, at 7 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.
University of Minnesota Soil Scientist Dr. Lee Frelich will be discussing "Trees and Climate Change in Minnesota" at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 11, in the lodge at Detroit Mountain Recreation Area. This event is being co-hosted by Detroit Mountain, the Prairie Woods Chapter of the Izaak Walton League and West Central Climate Action. It is free and open to the public.
The Historic Holmes Theatre will be hosting performances by comedian Tom Papa on Friday, Feb. 14, at 7:30 p.m., and popular Fargo-Moorhead area band The Stovepipes on Saturday, Feb. 15, at 8 p.m. Call 218-844-7469 or visit www.dlccc.org/holmes-theatre.html for ticket information.
The Polar Fest Plunge, Beer Quaffing Competition, Freeze Your Buns Run and much more are also set for Saturday, Feb. 15.