Volunteers putting finishing touches on Isbit's new royal digs

Minnesota Sn'Ice volunteers were hard at work putting the finishing touches on King Isbit's Royal Courtyard Tuesday afternoon, in preparation for Thursday night's Grand Lighting ceremony to kick off Polar Fest 2020. (Vicki Gerdes / Tribune)

Minnesota Sn'Ice volunteers have been busy this week putting the finishing touches on King Isbit's Royal Courtyard & Palatial Playground, which will be unveiled in a Grand Lighting Ceremony at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 6.

Ten days of winter fun will follow, with the MN Sn'Ice Snow & Ice Showcase taking center stage for Detroit Lakes' Polar Fest celebration.

  • Friday's Polar Fest festivities will feature the Business Snow Sculpting Contest at the City Park (8 a.m.-2 p.m.); Welcome to Polaritaville fundraiser for the Lakes Area Imagination Library (5:30-8 p.m.), hosted by the Lakes Area Parrot Heads at the Shorewood Pub; and Daddy's Little Sweetheart Dance at the Historic Holmes Theatre (6-9 p.m.).
  • Saturday's festivities include the Kiwanis Pancake Feed at the DL American Legion (8 a.m.-noon); Great Polar Race around Detroit Lakes, starting at 10 a.m. in the Chamber of Commerce office; Poles & Holes Ice Fishing Derby hosted by the Detroit Lakes Breakfast Rotary on Little Detroit Lake (noon-3 p.m., gates open at 9 a.m.); and two performances by the Fandazzi Fire Circus in the City Park, 7 and 9 p.m.
  • On Sunday, Grace Lutheran Church will be hosting the Third Annual Minne-"Soda" Hot Dish & Dessert Challenge, featuring Miss Minnesota 2019 — as a competitor — and a public taste testing starting at 4 p.m. Also this weekend, the Lakes Curling Club will be hosting the Vern Turner Memorial Bonspiel, Friday through Sunday, and Detroit Mountain Recreation Area will be hosting a Guided Wildlife Trek on Saturday and the Sno-Way But Up, Sno-Way But Round Polar Fest Races on Sunday.
  • Monday's festivities will feature teams from 13 area schools competing in a Snow Sculpting Challenge at the Detroit Lakes City Park and Beach from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.; "Monday Madness" on the slopes of Detroit Mountain, 4 to 9 p.m.; and a presentation by polar explorer Jared Munch hosted by the Detroit Lakes Public Library at the Historic Holmes Theatre. Munch's presentation, "Paddleboarding from Duluth to the Arctic Ocean," is set to start at 7 p.m.
  • Then on Tuesday, the Detroit Lakes Noon Rotary Club will present their Polar-ific Spaghetti Dinner in the M State Cafeteria from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., and the Prairie Woods Chapter of the Izaak Walton League will host a presentation by University of Minnesota Soil Scientist Lee Frelich at the Detroit Lakes Public Library. Frelich's presentation on "Trees & Climate Change in Minnesota" is scheduled to start at 7 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Feb. 12, will feature a Brown Bag Lunch presentation by the Becker County Museum's own Kevin Mitchell, who will discuss "The Power Struggle of 1900: Holmes vs. McCarthy." This noon presentation will be the final event held in conjunction with the museum's "Electrifying Minnesota" exhibit, which closes Feb. 22. Bring your own lunch, or reserve one for $8 by contacting the museum in advance at 218-847-2168. Then head on over to Detroit Mountain for their annual "Polar-palooza" tubing races from 5 to 8 p.m.

Much more fun is in store for Polar Fest's final weekend, including a Chocolate Fantasy feast at the Becker County Museum on Thursday, Feb. 13; Ice Tee Golf on Little Detroit Lake and a Valentine's Day comedy show by Tom Papa at the Historic Holmes Theatre on Friday, Feb. 14; and a whole slew of activities centering on the Polar Fest Plunge on Saturday, Feb. 15, including Frozen Fireworks, a Vintage Snowmobile Rally hosted by ULTRA Snowmobile Club, a Beer Quaffing Competition and much more.
The final day of Polar Fest, Sunday, Feb. 16, will include a Kids' Pan Fishing Derby, hosted by the Minnesota Darkhouse & Angling Association on Little Detroit Lake; a live performance by the Deb Jenkins Band at the Lodge on Lake Detroit; and a Candlelit Cross Country Ski Night at Detroit Mountain.

For a complete schedule, including dates, times, location and registration information, visit and .

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