Winter fun abounds during the Lake Superior Ice Festival Jan. 25-27 on Barker’s Island. Starting at 6 p.m. Fri. the Great Lakes Pond Hockey tournament will begin and there also will be ice sculpting, bonfires, food trucks and a giant snow slide. At 7 p.m. a Guns and Hoses hockey game, a contest between the local police and fire departments, will be played. Other activities include ice skating, ATV and motorcycle ice racing, trolley rides, arts and crafts and fireworks. The festival ends Sun. with the pond hockey tournament finals from 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (superioricefestival.com).
Excitement is high for the 35th annual John Beargrease Sled Dog Race beginning at noon next Sunday. The 120-mile mid-distance (a junior race will be held as well) and the marathon are the longest sled dog races in the Lower 48 states and dozens of mushers from around the world will compete. A 40-mile race will also be held. Fans can meet mushers on Sun. at 10 a.m. at the race start point (Billy’s Bar, 3502 W. Tischer Rd.) On Sat. a Cutest Puppy contest starts at noon at Fitger’s, with opening ceremonies from 3:30 to 5 p.m. at Lake Superior College, followed by a dinner ($20, reservations required). More info at beargrease.com.
During Winterfest — held Jan. 31-Feb. 2 in the Brainerd area — everyone is invited to join a medallion hunt at 9 a.m. Thu. as the kickoff event for the three-day festival packed with family-geared activities. On Fri. the hunt continues and outdoor fun will include sleigh rides, games, ice skating, fireworks and more. The festival ends on Sat. with a firefighter’s pancake breakfast, bocce ball, a pond hockey tournament, the popular SoupFest, helicopter rides, snowmobile races, music and other events (crosslake.com).
Colleen A. Coles