Minnesota's mild winter has already produced the warmest December and ninth least-snowy season on record. It's wreaked havoc on the metro area's usually bustling series of ice- and show-themed festivals and community gatherings.

Some have retooled offerings to adjust for the lack of snow or postponed in hopes of an arctic turn down the line. Here's a list of the local winter programming altered or outright canceled by the unseasonable warmth.

If you know of any winter festivals or other events affected by Minnesota's warm winter, email reporter Eder Campuzano at eder.campuzano@startribune.com.


The Luminary Loppet will limit visitors to the shores of Lake of the Isles for the second consecutive year. While the ice was thick enough on parts of the lake to hold the art installations, it's likely they, too, will have to remain on land this year, Executive Director Claire Wilson said.

Organizers for the American Birkebeiner, a weekend's worth of ski races in the Hayward area of northwestern Wisconsin, may launch what they're calling "potential contingencies" for the Feb. 24 event. Those could include a 10-kilometer course made of artificial snow or an outright cancelation. Officials say they'll make a final announcement Feb. 12.


Maple Grove canceled its Ice Castles event in late January in anticipation of a shortened season. Ticket holders were told they would receive an email about refunds.

Warm weather and melting ice canceled the Art Shanty Projects on Lake Harriet. The event managed to soldier on for one week — organizers said they needed at least 10 inches of ice on the lake to safely hold the installations.

The Vasaloppet USA Race in Mora was canceled. And the Miniloppet ski race has been pushed back to Feb. 10.

The City of Minneapolis closed the outdoor ice rinks it maintains and the City of Edina has closed its warming house and ice skating operation at Centennial Lakes Park "until further notice."

The Ice Palace in Delano was supposed to run from Jan. 21 through Feb. 18 but instead closed after one week.

The warm weather may have dashed hopes of watching the Lake Minnetonka Klondike Dog Derby, but the cutest puppy contest will go on as planned from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Feb. 3 at Excelsior Brewing Company.

The Minnesota Ice Festival and the ice maze at the Vikings practice facility in Eagan was canceled in December. "We were really looking forward to celebrating the beautiful Minnesota winter with everyone, but the weather hasn't cooperated, and we won't be able to deliver the experience we had hoped for," Minnesota Ice CEO Robbie Harrell said.

Chanhassen's February Festival and ice fishing contest were canceled, although the medallion hunt began as planned Jan. 29.

The Maple Lake Ice Fishing Derby, scheduled for Feb. 3, was canceled. The 2025 installment of the event is scheduled for Feb. 8.

The Wayzata Chamber of Commerce announced in late January that uneven conditions on Lake Minnetonka would also cancel the annual Chilly Open golf tournament.

The John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon canceled its 2024 event and will instead hold the 40th running on Jan. 26, 2025.

The Plymouth Fire and Ice Winter Festival, initially scheduled for Feb. 3, was canceled. The medallion hunt and coloring contest went on as planned.

The Centennial Lakes Park Winter Ice Festival in Edina was canceled. The city moved the horse-drawn trolley rides to Feb. 11.

The Frosty Festival in Eagan, originally scheduled for Feb. 12, was canceled.

The U.S. Pond Hockey Championships went on as planned Jan. 18-21 but event organizers had to cancel the final weekend, shelving the contest for the Golden Shovel.