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A royal pain in the throne: Grand lighting ceremony postponed by weather; Polar Fest continues through Feb. 18

A 'soft' lighting of King Isbit's royal throne was held Thursday night on the Detroit Lakes City Beach, but the Grand Lighting Ceremony was postponed until Saturday due to the weather. (Photo courtesy of Lee Kensinger)

Sometimes, even King Isbit and Polar Pete have to concede that the weather outside is too frightful for a winter celebration.

Though a 'soft lighting' for Isbit's Royal Courtyard and Palatial Playground was held Thursday night as planned, the rest of the Grand Lighting Ceremony was postponed until Saturday night, to coincide with the crowning of the winners of Detroit Lakes' first Multi-Block Ice Carving Competition at 6 p.m. (check out the website at www.iceharvestdl.org for details). The ceremony will also include bonfires, a light show with music, and hot chocolate served up by the local Boy Scouts.

Committee member Becky Mitchell said that when the county started pulling its snow plows off the road Thursday afternoon, Polar Fest and Minnesota Sn'Ice Showcase organizers decided it would be prudent to postpone the celebration until conditions were more hospitable for travelers.

The Polar Fest Land celebration at Lincoln Education Center was also a casualty of Thursday's blizzard, as organizers opted to move the event from this weekend until later in the month.

Families with children ages 0-5 are now invited to come to Lincoln Education Center on Thursday, Feb. 28 and Friday, March 1 to enjoy a life-sized Polar Fest Land game, following the rules of the board game Candy Land. Hours will be 4:30-6 p.m. Feb. 28, and 10-11:30 a.m. on March 1. No pre-registration is necessary for this free event, which will also include free pizza courtesy of Papa Murphy's.

As of press time for this issue of the Tribune, however, no other Polar Fest events have been rescheduled. A complete listing of all the festivities can be found online at www.polarfestdl.com; however, here are a couple of highlights for the coming week:

• Polar explorer, famed musher and Outside Magazine's "Adventurer of the Year," Paul Schurke will visit the Historic Holmes Theatre on Monday, Feb. 11 to share stories of his dog sledding expeditions and adventures which retraced the routes of past explorers. Paul and his wife Susan own and operate Wintergreen Dogsled Lodge, the nation's only lodge devoted exclusively to dog sledding. This special Polar Fest event, which gets underway at 7 p.m., is offered free of charge by the Detroit Lakes Public Library, thanks to funding from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

• On Wednesday, Feb. 13, art students from Detroit Lakes, Frazee-Vergas, Lake Park-Audubon and Circle of LIfe Academy will face off in the first ever Minnesota Sn'Ice Snow Sculpture Challenge, starting at 8:30 a.m. Student teams will be building giant snow sculptures in King Isbit's Palatial Playground (also known as the Detroit Lakes City Park) until 2:30 p.m., so be sure to stop by and watch!

• The Becker County Museum will host its inaugural Chocolate Fantasy fundraiser on Valentine's Day, Thursday, Feb. 14. Stop by the museum and fill a plate or box with chocolate treats to surprise your sweetheart, friends, employees and more; or pre-order for delivery to any Becker County business office on Valentine's Day. A variety of plates, platters and boxes are available, at a cost of $20 for a small plate or $40 for a large platter. Delivery is available from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., for an additional $5 fee. Or you can come to the museum from 4 to 6 p.m. and pick out your own plate, enjoy a chocolate-flavored beverage of your choice and view the museum's romance-themed exhibits in honor of Valentine's Day. For more information, call 218-847-2938 or visit www.beckercountyhistory.org (click on the "Store" link at the top of the page) to place your order.

• This year's Welcome to Polaritaville Dance hosted by the Lakes Area Parrot Heads on Friday, Feb. 15, will benefit the local Imagination Library. The celebration will take place from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., and will feature a Caribbean style dinner as well as tropical style music from Showtyme DJ Service. Tickets are $30, each of which will help supply one child with a year's supply of books from the Imagination Library. For more information, or to purchase tickets, please call Jim Brogren at 218-841-2968.

• Saturday, Feb. 16 is Polar Fest's biggest day, with the Polar Fest Plunge at 1 p.m., Frozen Fireworks at 7 p.m., and a concert by Deuces Wild Dueling Pianos at 8 p.m. in the HIstoric Holmes Theatre. The newest events on the schedule, however, are the Beer Quaffing Competition set for 2 p.m. at Hub 41, and the Polar Pile-Up, a winter demolition derby set for 3 p.m. at the Becker County Fairgrounds.

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 18-plus years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Detroit Lakes School Board. 

(218) 844-1454