Polar Fest coronation

Emily Peterson, 16-year-old daughter of Mike and Lisa Peterson of Perham, was crowned as Miss Polar Fest 2010 at the annual pageant Sunday night in Detroit Lakes' Historic Holmes Theatre.

Emily Peterson
Emily Peterson of Perham was crowned Miss Polar Fest 2010 Sunday night by Miss Polar Fest 2009 Nancy Stenger during the coronation at the Historic Holmes Theatre. (Brian Basham/DL Newspapers)

Emily Peterson, 16-year-old daughter of Mike and Lisa Peterson of Perham, was crowned as Miss Polar Fest 2010 at the annual pageant Sunday night in Detroit Lakes' Historic Holmes Theatre.

Though she was crowned Sunday, Peterson won't officially begin her reign until this Saturday, Feb. 6, as Detroit Lakes' annual celebration of all things cold and snowy finally gets underway.

She was joined on the podium by Miss Teen Polar Fest 2010, Brittanie Schafer. The 13-year-old daughter of John and Kim Schafer of Audubon was also crowned Sunday night.

The Polar Fest Pageant is the traditional kickoff to the annual winter celebration, though there are no other activities scheduled until Saturday.

That's when the fun really begins, as a new event, the doubles racquetball tournament, gets underway at 8 a.m. in the Detroit Lakes Community & Cultural Center.


There will be men's, women's and mixed doubles competition, said Kesley Myhre, DLCCC marketing coordinator, who is also one of organizers for the annual winter festival.

Then at 9 a.m., the second annual Great Polar Race begins in the Washington Square Mall. This scavenger hunt, with a format similar to the hit television competition, "The Amazing Race," will include "clues and challenges that will take the teams all around town," promised Myhre.

Next on Saturday's schedule is the Emmanuel Community Movie Party, which begins at 2 p.m. inside the Forest Conference Center at Emmanuel Nursing Home.

The movie party will include a free screening of the comedy "Snow Dogs," with concessions available for purchase.

Sunday's festivities all center around the broadcast of America's largest televised sporting event.

The Clayground, located on the campus of Minnesota State Community & Technical College in Detroit Lakes, will host a Super 'Bowl' Pottery Party from 1 to 4 p.m. Participants will get to decorate and take home their own pottery bowl, and register for a special party package.

Zorbaz at the Beach will be hosting a "Zuper Bowl Party," featuring the broadcast of the NFL championship football game between the Indianapolis Colts and the New Orleans Saints.

There will be a buffet dinner at halftime, prize giveaways throughout the evening and much more.


There are no scheduled events for Monday, Feb. 8, but on Tuesday, Feb. 9, the Detroit Lakes Public Library will be hosting a new event.

"The Legend of Polar Pete" is a short story contest in which participants are asked to come up with a fictional short story on the origins of Polar Pete, the festival's official mascot.

Contest entries of 1,000 words or less must be submitted to the DL Library no later than Thursday, Feb. 4. Cash prizes will be awarded on Tuesday, Feb. 9, starting at 7 p.m., and some of the more entertaining entries will be read aloud. Spiced cider and cookies will also be served at this free event.

The fun will continue on the morning of Wednesday, Feb. 10, with the annual "Splash 4 Cash" competition getting underway at 10 a.m. inside the Washington Square Mall. Contestants can sign up at the mall any time from now until Sunday, Feb. 7 (during regular mall hours).

Also next Wednesday, St. Mary's Innovis Health will sponsor its annual Turkey Bowling competition, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the parking lot of the hospital's north campus.

On Thursday, Feb. 11, the Historic Holmes Theatre will host a special performance by comedian C. Wylli Miles, a former southerner who now makes his home in the Midwest. Miles takes the stage at 7:30 p.m.; tickets are available online at , by phone at 218-844-SHOW (7469), or at the Holmes Theatre Box Office.

The festival's final weekend will be a whirlwind of activity, with events such as the Ice Tee Golf Tournament and Daddy's Little Sweetheart Dance on Friday, Feb. 12.

The fabled Polar Plunge, Freeze Your Buns Run, "Welcome to Polaritaville" Dance and Winter Fireworks Display all take place on Saturday, Feb. 13, and the festival draws to a close on Sunday, Feb. 14, with an open house at the Becker County Museum; a "Valentine's Day Bubbles Event" and Live at the Lodge jazz concert at the Lodge on Lake Detroit; and a "Cross Country By Candlelight" skiing event at Dunton Locks County Park.


Other events going on in conjunction with the annual winter festival include:

  • The ROLA One Lunger 100 Vintage Snowmobile Race, this Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 6-7 at the Holiday Inn.
  • Why Not Bonspiel, Feb. 7-9 at the Lakes Curling Club in Detroit Lakes.
  • Bingo at the Eagles Club, Feb. 6, 9, 12 and 13; at the American Legion, Feb. 8 and 10; and at the VFW, Feb. 8 and 11.
  • Vern Turner Memorial Open Bonspiel, Feb. 12-14, Lakes Curling Club.
  • Girls' U10 and U12 B Hockey Tournament, Feb. 12-14, Kent Freeman Arena.
  • Detroit Lakes Youth Hockey Association "Hockey Hauler" Truck Raffle: Saturday, Feb. 13 at Zorbaz.

According to Myhre, the Polar Fest committee is also selling buttons this year, at $2 each, with proceeds to go toward the fireworks display on Feb. 13.
"We're still a little short of our goal," Myhre said.

A complete schedule, including registration information for the various events, is available at the Detroit Lakes Regional Chamber of Commerce web site,

"Pie Jesu"
Emily Peterson sang "Pie Jesu" for her talent performance Sunday. (Brian Basham/DL Newspapers)

A reporter at Detroit Lakes Newspapers since relocating to the community in October 2000, Vicki was promoted to Community News Lead for the Detroit Lakes Tribune and Perham Focus on Jan. 1, 2022. She has covered pretty much every "beat" that a reporter can be assigned, from county board and city council to entertainment, crime and even sports. Born and raised in Madelia, Minnesota, she is a graduate of Hamline University, from which she earned a bachelor's degree in English literature (writing concentration). You can reach her at
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