Snowmobile fans can watch youth professional riders compete in races at 10 a.m. Feb. 9 during the Snowbowl festival at Ham Lake Park. The Kids Pro Ice Snowmobiling Racing group, a nonprofit Twin Cities organization that teaches safe driving skills, is new to this year’s event.
The festival’s second annual Fat Tire race will feature 15K and 25K races, beginning at 10 a.m. and noon respectively, through the park and surrounding area. Registration is required ($33 in advance) and is available on race day ($38). Other events continue until 3 p.m. and include a medallion hunt, broomball tournament, snow sculpting, craft fair and a business expo (hamlakeareacc.org/snowbowl).
A parade at noon Feb. 9 highlights the 69th annual Sleigh and Cutter Festival. Visitors can check out ice sculpting Feb. 6-8, and also on Friday a popular children’s coloring contest, dinner and dance will be held. The annual Curling Bonspiel begins at 8 a.m. Saturday at Clear Lake (registration required at 1-507-833-4065). The festival continues through Feb. 24 with vintage snowmobile races and cross-country skiing at Waseca Courthouse Park, fat tire bike ride, a veterans memorial walk and run and more (sleighandcutterfestival.org).
Picturesque Whiteside Park is the backdrop for the annual Winter Fest Feb. 7-18. The main event is the elaborate International Snow Sculpting Symposium featuring top sculptors from around the world. During the kickoff event on Feb. 8 from 6-7:30 p.m., the park will be bustling with ice skating, kick sledding, music, a fire bowl and more. Throughout the festival check out amateur snow sculpting, winter camping demonstrations, an artwalk, ice fishing, a spaghetti feed, chili cookoff, crafts and more (elywinterfestival.com).
Colleen A. Coles