Polar Fest 2019 blew into town with a blast of arctic weather this weekend - and that means it's almost time for another 'Polar-riffic' Spaghetti Dinner hosted by the Detroit Lakes Noon Rotary Club.
This year's dinner, featuring spaghetti with meatballs, bread, salad and a Polar Fest favorite - ice cream! - is set to take place this Tuesday, Feb. 12 from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., inside the cafeteria at M State's Detroit Lakes campus.
"We'll be getting the meatballs ready the day before," says organizer Mark Berg, noting that the process of crafting more than 1,500 meatballs from fresh hamburger will take a couple of hours to complete.
Everything else is prepared the day of the event, which last year brought in about 480 hungry lakes area residents - and a special guest who will be making a return appearance this year.
"Polar Pete will be there," said Berg, referring to the Polar Fest 'spokesbear,' who is a familiar face at festival events throughout its 12-day run.
Also helping out at the dinner will be members of the Detroit Lakes Interact Club and Boy Scouts from Troop 674 in Detroit Lakes, who will be helping to clear and reset tables, assist people who need a little help finding their seats, and generally lending a hand wherever needed.
Tickets for the dinner, available at the door or in advance from any Noon Rotarian, are $10 for adults, $7 for kids age 5-17, and free to all kids age 4 and under.
For those unable to stay for the dinner, take out is available at the door - but according to Berg, the socializing that goes on at the annual event is a big part of its success.
"It's a real social event," he said. "People get their food quickly and just sit and visit for a couple of hours."
All proceeds benefit service projects of the Detroit Lakes Noon Rotary Club, the majority of which are youth-oriented, such as supporting scholarships for the Dollars for Scholars programs at several area school districts.
Here is a brief listing of other Polar Fest events taking place this coming week:
• Monday, Feb. 11: Polar Explorer and Dog Sledder Paul Schurke, Historic Holmes Theatre, 7 p.m.
• Tuesday, Feb. 12: Sweetheart Grams Delivery, Becker County Museum, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Polar Fest Break-A-Thon, Washington Square Mall, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 -p.m.
• Wednesday, Feb. 13: High School Snow Sculpture Competition, Palatial Playground, 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; Polar Putt, 11:30 a.m., Washington Square Mall; Sweetheart Grams Delivery, Becker County Museum, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Brown Bag Lunch featuring local quilters Deb Ormseth and Nancy Murphy , Becker County Museum, noon; "Polar-Palooza" Tubing Races, Detroit Mountain, 6 p.m.
• Thursday, Feb. 14: Chocolate Fantasy, Becker County Museum, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
• Friday, Feb. 15: Ice Tee Golf, Holiday Inn Lakeside, noon; Welcome to Polaritaville-A Benefit for the Lakes Area Imagination Library, 5:30 p.m., Shorewood Pub.
• Saturday, Feb. 16: ULTRA Snowmobile Rally & Swap Meet, 8 a.m., Little Detroit Lake and City Beach; Freeze Your Buns Run, 9 a.m., Detroit Lakes Community & Cultural Center; Helicopter Rides, Detroit Lake, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Fat Tire Bike Demonstrations, Detroit Lakes Pavilion, 12:30-3:30 p.m.; Youth Fishing Derby, Rossman Avenue Access, Little Detroit Lake, 11 a.m..; Polar Fest Plunge, City Beach and Little Detroit Lake, 1 p.m.; Beer Quaffing Competition, Hub 41, 2 p.m.; Polar Pile-Up Winter Demolition Derby, Becker County Fairgrounds, 3 p.m.; Angel of Remembrance Hot Chocolate & Coffee Fundraiser, City Beach Boat Access, 6 p.m.; Frozen Fireworks, Little Detroit Lake, 7 p.m.; Deuces Wild Concert, Historic Holmes Theatre, 8 p.m.
• Sunday, Feb. 17: Farm to Table 5-Course Dinner and Wine Pairing, Lodge on the Lake, 6 p.m.
Multi-day events include the viewing of King Isbits's Royal Courtyard & Palatial Playground, City Beach, now through Feb. 18; and "Blind Date with a Book," Detroit Lakes Public Library, now through Feb. 15. For a complete schedule of events, including details about registration and/or purchasing tickets, please visit www.polarfestdl.com.