The lack of snow is bad news for many winter-loving Minnesotans, but this unseasonably dry weather has one positive side effect: the best ice skating season in recent memory.
The combination of cold weather, no snow and rain has resulted in epic ice skating opportunities on ponds and lakes across the Twin Cities.
“There have been hundreds of people skating on Lake Minnetonka,” said Tim Jenzer, ice director for the North American Pond Hockey Championship. “It’s like a winter scene from Holland with people skating everywhere.”
After having to cancel the tournament in 2016 and 2017, Janzen said the ice is “better than it’s ever been” for the Jan. 17-20 tournament.
“I don’t think anyone has seen anything like this in 30 years,” he said.
Former Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak took advantage of the snowless ice last weekend by venturing on an ice skating expedition through the frozen city of lakes.
Rybak Tweeted: “Instead of moaning about not having snow, we took winter into our own hands and did something I’ve never been able to do...skated from Brownie Lake to Cedar to Isles to the edge of Bde Mka Ska. Magic.”
Rachel Simon had the same idea. She and her family laced up their hockey skates for a game of pond hockey on Silver Lake at Silverwood Park in St. Anthony.
“Usually the lakes are covered in snow but Mother Nature had other plans this year,” Simon wrote in a caption with her photo on Instagram. “I can’t think of anything more Minnesotan than skating on a frozen lake.”
Last week, Brett Vasey captured video of someone skating across Lake Minnetonka with the help of an umbrella. The Mary Poppins-like scene went viral and the video was shared on Reddit, ABC’s Good Morning America, Yahoo and Daily Mail.
Jenzer also saw video of someone pulling a couch across Lake Minnetonka with a tractor. “People are getting creative,” he said. “It’s fun to see.”