It's been a rough week for organizers of Detroit Lakes' annual Polar Fest celebration, as an extended influx of subzero temperatures has caused multiple outdoor events to be canceled outright, or postponed.
Off the schedule for this weekend are Friday afternoon's Ice Tee Golf on Big Detroit Lake, Friday night's Laser Tubing at Detroit Mountain Recreation Area, and Saturday morning's in-person Freeze Your Buns Run at the Detroit Lakes Community & Cultural Center — though the DLCCC is still offering a virtual option for runners.
"Anybody who is registered for the Freeze Your Buns Run has an opportunity to complete the 5K on their own," says organizer Kim Bettcher. "We’re not gathering as a group on Saturday because of the extreme cold, but anybody who's signed up can do their run indoors, or outdoors at another time — you just have to complete it by Feb. 21 and your name will be put into a drawing for additional prizes."
Bettcher added that anyone who signed up for this Saturday's run will still be getting their commemorative gear — they can come pick up their neck gators at the DLCCC's front desk, or have them mailed directly to their homes.
"We've closed (online) registration for it, but anyone who still wants to sign up for the virtual event can still contact me directly," said Bettcher. She can be reached by phone at 218-844-4221, ext. 108, or by email at email@example.com.
Kite flyers coming to Little Detroit Lake on Sunday
Despite the cold, members of the Wings on Strings Kite Flying Club will be bringing some of their giant kites to the shores of Little Detroit Lake for a live kite flying demonstration, starting at noon on Sunday, Feb. 14.
"We will be out there setting up around 10 a.m.," said organizer Mike Gee, noting that some of the kites they will be bringing for the live demonstration are as large as 20x90 feet.
"We'll have soft kites, and semi-soft kites, and framed kites," he said, adding that the number and type of kites used will be somewhat weather-dependent. Gee added that they are expecting flyers to come from as close as Jamestown, N.D., (which is where he is from) and as far away as Clear Lake, Iowa, as well as a few from the Twin Cities area.
Most of them will be coming from a winter kite festival in Buffalo, Minn.; Gee said the idea is to try to start up an annual kite-flying event during Detroit Lakes' Polar Fest that would attract participants from the Buffalo event as well as local enthusiasts.
Area residents are also encouraged to bring their own kites to the ice on Sunday and try to make them airborne; the DLCCC will be giving away kite kits (while supplies last) to interested participants anytime during regular operating hours before Saturday, Feb. 13. Call 218-844-4221 for more information.
There is no cost to attend. Contact Amy Stearns at the Historic Holmes Theatre (218-844-7469 or firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
Ryman coming to Holmes Theatre Saturday
Indoor events such as Friday night's Daddy/Daughter Date Night and Saturday's 7 p.m. show by comedian Tommy Ryman at the Historic Holmes Theatre will go on as scheduled, however.
Ryman said in a Tuesday afternoon phone interview that he would be doing a live standup show similar to the one he performed at the Holmes during Polar Fest 2018 — but with a pandemic-related twist.
"There's a streaming option for people who want to watch from home," he said, noting that with COVID-19 related safety restrictions limiting the number of theater seats available to just 150, it was nice to be able to reach more fans virtually.
Ryman added that fans will have an opportunity to hear some of his latest material, as he is getting ready to film another TV special this fall for release in early 2022.
Saturday's show starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $28 per seat for the in-person show and $28 per household for the virtual performance. Masks must be worn if attending the live show at the theater. Visit dlccc.org/holmes-theatre.html or call 218-844-7469 for more information.
Decision still pending on Poles 'N Holes live event Saturday
The Detroit Lakes Breakfast Rotary Club, which hosts the annual Poles 'N Holes Ice Fishing Derby, has not yet made a decision on whether to cancel this Saturday's on-ice derby, which was already postponed for a week due to frigid temperatures.
"We are meeting tomorrow (Wednesday) to discuss the possibility of cancellation, postponement, or going to an all virtual event," organizer Brent Gerber said on Tuesday.
As tickets for the on-ice derby have been sold out for a couple of weeks, a virtual derby had already been planned this weekend in conjunction with the annual live event, with separate prizes to be awarded. Participation in the virtual derby is open to anyone who downloads the Fish Donkey app and signs up by Friday, Feb. 12. Visit icefishingdetroitlakes.org for updated information on both the virtual and on-ice events.
Tamarac snowshoe trek postponed to Feb. 21
The Sweetheart Snowshoe Trek that was set to take place at Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge on Sunday — Valentine's Day — has been postponed to Feb. 21, also due to the cold temperatures this weekend.
"The Friends of Tamarac will be providing a free snowshoe loan event from 1 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 21," said Park Ranger Janice Bengtson. "There will be snowshoes for children to borrow, with a limited number for adults. Snowshoes and trail information will be available in front of the Discovery Center.
"Invite a friend to social distance outdoors and try out snowshoeing. Bring water and a snack. Masks are required while checking out and returning snowshoes."
The Tamarac Discovery Center is next to the Visitor Center, nine miles north of the junction of State Highway 34 and Becker County Highway 29. For more information, call 218-849-9872. A complete schedule of Polar Fest events is available at polarfestdl.com.