Minnesota Events: The Land of 10,000 Lakes

Highlights this week and weekend include Rochester WinterFest X in Rochester, the 126th Annual St. Paul Winter Carnival in St. Paul, the 9th Annual Crosslake WinterFest in Crosslake, the 29th Annual Buena Vista Logging Days at Buena Vista Ski Area in Bemidji, and the Ely Winter Festival in Ely.
Please Note: previous warm temperatures and a lack of snow may result in changes to outdoor events and activities–please call ahead before traveling.whitebirchresort.net
This report is brought to you by Explore Minnesota Tourism.
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Southern Minnesota
The city of Rochester will hold Rochester WinterFest X from Thursday, February 2 through Sunday, February 12 to promote winter activities for all ages while raising awareness and funds for area nonprofit organizations. Just some of the highlights this Saturday, February 4 include a Warm-Up to the Polar Plunge, WinterFest sleigh rides and bonfire at the History Center, the Channel One ‘Mile of Mac & Cheese,’ Free Family Day Snow Globes, Dance the Cold Away, the Frozen Goose 10K & 5K Fun Run/Walk, and a Hearts & Diamonds Spectacular! 1-800-634-8277; www.rochestercvb.org/play
Winterfest will be held throughout the city of St. Peter, Friday, February 3 through Sunday, February 12. Just some of the festivities include a Medallion Hunt, Kiwanis Chili Feed, Youth Fishing Contest, a free Poker Walk, live music, Candlelight Hike at the Treaty Site History Center, an All City Spelling Bee, wine tasting, a Polar Plunge, snowman building contest, Rock/Scissors/Paper & Hairy Legs contests, and the All American Canned Beer Invitational! Please note that some events are weather permitting. 1-800-473-3404; http://www.stpeterchamber.org
The 62nd Annual Waseca Sleigh & Cutter Festival will be held throughout the city of Waseca from Friday, February 3 through Saturday, February 25. Highlights the first weekend of the event include the 11th Annual Squirts Hockey Tournament, 5th Annual Waseca Fireman’s Kickball Tournament on Clear Lake near the Boat House Grill & Bar, a Bridge Card Tournament, and the 3rd Annual Sleigh & Cutter Ice Plunge on Clear Lake by Clear Lake Park. The Waseca Sleigh & Cutter Parade will be held Saturday, February 11. 507/461-3727; www.sleighandcutter.org
Eastside Lake in Austin will be the site of the 10th Annual Fishing For A Cure Ice Fishing Tournament on Saturday, February 4 from noon until 2:00 p.m. The $10 entry fee includes minnows, predrilled holes, a Berkley tackle pack, door prizes and food, with prizes for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners. In addition, enjoy a live auction, raffles, door prizes and food following the tournament at the Austin Eagles Club. One hundred percent of the proceeds go directly to the Hormel Institute’s fight against cancer. 507/219-6229; www.austindailyherald.com
The MnUSA 2012 Winter Rendezvous will be held throughout the city of Fairmont, Thursday through Sunday, February 9-12, with Vintage Sled Ride to the MN/IA border and groomer demonstrations, weather permitting. Non weather-dependent events include a bean bag tournament, DNR seminars, Schell’s Brewery Tours in New Ulm, wine tastings, a Barn Quilt tour, tour of historic sites in Fairmont, and a Quilt Show with roughly 40 quilts on display. The Fairmont Holiday Inn will serve as the headquarters, with beverages around bonfires at their fire pits Friday evening. 507/235-8585; http://myblizzardclub.com/2012%20Rendezvous.htm, www.visitfairmontmn.com
The city of Worthington will hold their Winterfest celebration at Saturday, February 11. Highlights include the crowning of the Snow Queen and Winterfest Ambassador, the Deep Freeze Dip at Lake Okabena, a Heart Healthy walk, and the Southwest Minnesota Fishing Club’s Ice Fishing Tournament on Lake Okabena, weather permitting. 1-800-279-2919; www.worthingtonmnchamber.com/events/winterfest-0, www.worthingtonmnchamber.com
Twin Cities Greater Metropolitan vicinity
The Art Shanty Projects will be open Saturdays and Sundays, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., through February 5 on Medicine Lake in Plymouth. This four-week exhibition is part sculpture park, part artist residency and part social experiment, inspired by traditional ice fishing houses that dot the state’s lakes in the winter. It is an artist-driven temporary community exploring the ways in which a public space of a frozen lake can be used as an artistic environment to expand notions of what art can be. And on Saturday, February 4 from noon until 3:00 p.m., the Fishing For Life Holes for Heroes Ice Fishing Tournament will also be held on Medicine Lake in Plymouth. This fun ice fishing contest honors the Armed Forces and their families, and features great fishing and prizes, as well as random drawings, food and fun KidsZone activities in a huge heated tent. The tournament will be simulcast for active military overseas. 612/567-6844, 651/337-1783; www.artshantyprojects.org, www.fishingforlife.org, http://2012holesforheroes.eventbrite.com
The Science Museum of Minnesota in St. Paul will present Omnifest 2012 through February 17. This year’s films are Journey to Amazing Caves, Amazon, Shackleton’s Antarctic Adventure, Search for the Great Sharks, and Wolves. See them over several days or watch them back-to-back, and return for your favorites as many times as you’d like! 1-800-221-9444; www.smm.org/omnifest
The 126th Annual St. Paul Winter Carnival will be held throughout the city of St. Paul, Thursday, January 26 through Sunday, February 5. “The Coolest Celebration on Earth!” attracts approximately 350,000 visitors a year to its fun and educational activities and events. This Saturday, February 4, don’t miss Family Day events at the Landmark Center and Rice Park, Music In Rice Park, skating at the Wells Fargo skating rink, the Ambassador Pre-Parade Party and Torchlight Parade, the Overthrow of Boreas, a fireworks display, and the Vulcan Victory Dance at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. Please note that some events are weather permitting. 651/223-4700, 651/222-7027; www.winter-carnival.com, www.gai-mn.org/events
The Minneapolis Convention Center in downtown Minneapolis will be the site of the Progressive International Motorcycle Show will be held Friday through Sunday, February 3–5. Experience the World’s Largest Motorcycle Show and research and compare makes and models, see custom bikes and stunt shows, visit the Dream Pavilion, test your Motorcycling IQ, spin the wheel and win awesome prizes, and shop for the newest products at Just for Women and The Marketplace. And on Sunday, February 5, check out Unveiled ~ The Ultimate Wedding Planning Event at the Minneapolis Convention Center, with the latest fashions, trends and ideas, along with gowns straight from the runways of New York’s Couture Bridal Market. 612/335-6651; www.minneapolis.org/minneapolis-convention-center
The North Branch Chamber’s 12th Annual Winter Fest will take place Saturday through Sunday, February 4-12 in North Branch’s Central Park, with a wide array of activities to chase the Winter Blues away. Highlights on Saturday, February 11 include ice sculptures and sculpting demonstrations, a Chili Show Down, free Family Fun games, Turkey Bowling, and family ice-skating with Frosty! 651/674-4077; www.northbranchchamber.com, www.northbranchchamber.com/images/stories/pdf_forms/wfposter.pdf
The 45th Annual RV, Vacation and Camping Show will be held at the Minneapolis Convention Center in downtown Minneapolis, Thursday, February 9 through Sunday, February 12, with nearly anything and everything related to outdoor vacationing and camping. Shop hundreds of 2012 class A, B and C motorhomes, travel trailers, fifth-wheels, tent trailers and park models, see the latest in RV and camping accessories, stock up on essentials, and gather great ideas for your next vacation! The Minneapolis Convention Center will also host the 8th Annual Lake Home & Cabin Show, February 10-12, specializing in second homes and the second home lifestyle. Shop for rustic and specialty furniture and furnishings, see the latest in sporting gear, outdoor equipment & marine equipment, watch How-To seminars and demonstrations, and meet with architects, builders, remodelers, landscaping, lakeshore maintenance, real estate and finance professionals. 1-800-848-6247, 952/471-1192; www.gsevents.com/shows, www.lakehomeandcabinshow.com
And just some of the upcoming concerts and performances include:
Disney Presents The Lion King at the Historic Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis through February 12
A Prairie Home Companion at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul, each Saturday through February 18
Girls Only: The Secret Comedy Of Women at the New Century Theatre in Minneapolis through March 18
Diana: A Celebration at the Mall of America in Bloomington, February 2-June 10
The World’s Toughest Rodeo at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, February 3
Jeff Mangum at the Pantages Theatre in Minneapolis, February 4
Mystic Comedy Night at Mystic Lake Casino & Hotel in Prior Lake, February 4
Lenny Kravitz at the Historic State Theatre in Minneapolis, February 7
O.A.R. at the Historic State Theatre, February 11
Tim Patrick and His Blue Eyes Band at the Burnsville Performing Arts Center, February 11
Jason Aldean with Luke Bryan at the Xcel Energy Center, February 17
Jin Xing Dance Theatre’s Shanghai at the Historic Orpheum Theatre, February 18
The Jayhawks at the Historic State Theatre, February 18
WWE Raw Supershow at the Target Center in Minneapolis, February 20
Green Day’s American Idiot Tour at the Historic Orpheum Theatre, February 21-26
Arenacross at the Target Center, February 25
Amateur Arenacross at the Target Center, February 26
Montgomery Gentry at Mystic Lake Casino & Hotel, February 26
Disney On Ice: Dare To Dream at the Target Center, February 29-March 4
The Fresh Beat Band Live In Concert at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul, March 1
Brian Regan at the Historic Orpheum Theatre, March 2
Buddy Guy at the Historic State Theatre, March 2
Spencers Theater of Illusion at the Burnsville Performing Arts Center, March 8
Shen Yun at the Historic Orpheum Theatre, March 9-11
Lady Antebellum: Own The Night 2012 World Tour at the Target Center, March 11
The Houston Ballet at the Historic Orpheum Theatre, March 23 & 24
Pat Donohue at the Fitzgerald Theater, March 24
Mama Mia! at the Historic Orpheum Theatre, March 24-29
Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour by Cirque du Soleil at the Target Center, March 27 & 28
The Million Dollar Quartet at the Historic State Theatre, March 27-April 1
Celtic Woman – Believe at the Xcel Energy Center, April 1
Human Nature: The Motown Show Presented by Smokey Robinson at the Historic State Theatre, April 3
Rodney Crowell at the Fitzgerald Theater, April 3
Guster & Jeff Garlin Present a Night of Acoustic Music & Comedy at the Pantages Theatre, April 6
The Harlem Globetrotters at the Target Center, April 6 & 7
Ballet Preljocaj at the Historic Orpheum Theatre, April 13 & 14
Casting Crowns at the Target Center, April 21
Melissa Etheridge at Mystic Lake Casino & Hotel, April 21
Snow Patrol at the Historic State Theatre, April 25
Florence and the Machine at the Historic State Theatre, April 27
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater at the Historic Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis, May 1 & 2
Weird Al Yankovic at the Historic State Theatre, May 3
An Evening With Yanni at Mystic Lake Casino & Hotel, May 4
Rammstein at the Target Center, May 8
Stephanie Miller’s Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour at the Historic State Theatre in Minneapolis, May 12
The Black Keys at the Target Center, May 15
B.B. King at the Historic State Theatre, May 18
Jeremy Messersmith at the Fitzgerald Theater, May 19
Van Halen at the Xcel Energy Center, May 19
Nickelback with special guests Bush, Seether, & My Darkest Days at the Target Center, May 23
Roger Waters: The Wall Live at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, June 3
Chris Koza at the Fitzgerald Theater, June 8
The Blue Man Group at the Historic Orpheum Theatre, June 15-24
T. Michael Rambo at the Fitzgerald Theater, June 16
Foster the People at the Target Center, June 22
Neil Diamond Live In Concert at the Xcel Energy Center, July 11
Il Divo at the Target Center in Minneapolis, August 2
Coldplay at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, August 11
For further information on any of these performances or events, please contact Ticketmaster at 651/989-5151, or visit www.ticketmaster.com
Central Minnesota
The city of Spicer will hold their annual Winterfest Celebration each Friday through Sunday, through Saturday, February 4. Just some of the highlights include fireworks, craft sales, the 8th Annual Polar Plunge, Skate In To Spicer, a Spa Day at Glacial Ridge Winery, Frozen 5K run & Walk, WinterFest $1,000 Raffle on Green Lake, All You Can Eat BBQ Ribs, and DJ & Dancing at Zorbaz. 320/796-8066; www.spicermn.com
The 9th Annual Crosslake WinterFest will be held Thursday through Saturday, February 2-4, at locations throughout Crosslake. This year’s events include a Treasure Hunt for the Medallion, bonfires & s’mores, pond skating, DJ music, horse-drawn wagon rides, a warming house with coffee & hot chocolate, specials all over town, a firefighter’s pancake breakfast, SoupFest, live comedy and an Italian buffet, Italian Olympics, bocce ball, radar runs, ice car races, ice sculpture demonstrations, kid’s games and a snowman building contest! 1-800-450-2838; www.explorebrainerdlakes.com
The Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge in Zimmerman will hold their Winterfest celebration on Saturday, February 4. This free family event offers outdoor and indoor activities, including horse-drawn sleigh rides, bird education with live owls, a scavenger hunt, nature walk, roasting marshmallows around a bonfire, winter bird feeding, great food, and various informational exhibits! 763/389-3323; www.fws.gov/midwest/sherburne
The Habitat For Humanity Ice Fishing Contest will be held noon until 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 4 on Mons Lake near Swanville, just west of Little Falls. Afterwards, enjoy an All You Can Eat Soup Supper fundraiser at the St. Francis Convent in Little Falls, with homemade soups and bars served from 4:30-7:00 p.m. And while in Little Falls, be sure to check out the Minnesota Home Front World War II Exhibit at the Linden Hill Mansion. This exhibit runs from January 21 through March 11, and features nine graphic panels, audio interviews, songs of the period, and a “Letter Stories” bin which explore the accomplishments, sacrifices, disappointments and challenges of “Minnesota’s Greatest Generation.” 1-800-325-5916; www.littlefallsmn.com
Hole In The Day Bay on Gull Lake in Brainerd will be the site of the Brainerd Jaycess $150,000 Ice Fishing Extravaganza on Saturday, February 11, with roughly 10,000 anglers competing for more than $200,000 in cash and prizes in 2012! The contest begins with the National Anthem and a cannon blast at 12:00 noon. Spectators will also enjoy live radio coverage and Youth Ice Olympics. A Kick-Off Party will be held Friday evening, February 10 at Grand View Lodge, with beer and wine tastings, appetizers, live music, a silent auction, raffle, and professional anglers sharing their tricks of the trade. Reservations are required. 1-800-450-2838; www.icefishing.org, www.explorebrainerdlakes.com
The Freeze Fest Winter Extravaganza will be held Saturday, February 11 on Little Pine Lake in Perham. In addition to the Saturday morning Freeze Fest Fishing Tourney, enjoy the Freeze Your Face 5K Run, the “Freezin for a Reason” Polar Plunge, and a “Prairie, Lake, Forest: Minnesota’s State Parks” presentation and Ministry of Jazz Concert: Dixieland and More at the In Their Own Words (ITOW) museum. 218/346-7710; www.perham.com
Northwest Minnesota
The 29th Annual Buena Vista Logging Days at Buena Vista Ski Area in Bemidji on Saturday, February 4. Highlights include old-time logging demonstrations, live music, sleigh rides, a lumberjack camp meal, blacksmithing and crosscut sawing demonstrations, crafts, roping contests, and a treasure hunt. 1-800-777-7958; www.bvskiarea.com/loggingdays.html
Fish Hook Lake in Park Rapids will be the site of the 13th Annual Park Rapids American Legion Community Ice Fishing Derby on Saturday, February 4, with $110,000 in prizes to be given away, including roughly 60 raffle prizes. 1-800-247-0054; www.parkrapidsfishingderby.com, www.parkrapids.com
The annual Ice Bocce Tournament will be held February 4 on Girl Lake in Longville, with 70 four-person teams competing on lanes plowed on Girl Lake near Patrick’s Fine Dining–spectators will enjoy warmth and camaraderie, along with great food and beverage! 1-800-756-7583; www.longville.com/icebocce.html
The city of Detroit Lakes will be the site of the annual Polar Fest celebration, Friday, February 10 through Monday, February 20. Highlights include the 2nd Annual Poles ‘N Holes Fishing Derby, the One Lunger 100 Vintage Snowmobile Races, Polar Explorer Will Steger at the Historic Holmes Theatre, a Polar Plunge, Freeze Your Buns 5K, Frozen Bowling, spectacular fireworks display, theatre performances, curling bonspiels, a Chili and Chocolate Chill, pancake and French toast feed, Secrets of Pairing Wine Tasting, and the Polaritaville dance–also enjoy a variety of lodging specials! 1-800-542-3992; http://visitdetroitlakes.com
Audrey’s Purple Dream Fishing Tournament will be held Saturday, February 11 on the 11th Crow Wing Lake in Akeley, with prizes awarded by the largest weight and time registered. In addition, enjoy a pancake breakfast, hot food and warm beverages on the ice, the Purple Plunge, a raffle, and live music. 218/368-3393, 1-800-247-0054; www.audreyspurpledream.com
Northeast Minnesota
The Ely Winter Festival will be held Thursday, February 2 through Sunday, February 12 throughout the city of Ely. This 10-day celebration highlights the unique culture, art, history and traditions of the BWCAW. Highlights include the International Snow Sculpting Symposium, Ely ArtWalk, Historic Voyageur Encampment, a craft fair, sled dog rides, Boathouse Winter Classic Triathlon, Dorothy Molter museum tours, ArtWalk Artists’ Meet & Greet, Polar Bear dance, a fish fry, concerts, and spaghetti dinner. 1-800-777-7281; www.elywinterfestival.com
Grand Marias and other cities in Cook County will host the Winter Tracks Art Festival, Friday, February 3 through Sunday, February 12. This festival consists of two unique events: a Snow Carving Symposium and Winter Plein Air Painting. From February 3-12, freshly painted works will be on display and for sale at the Grand Marais Art Colony, with snow sculptures displayed outside of local businesses throughout Cook County. And don’t miss the Artists Reception & Winter Plein Air Painting Exhibit Opening at the Grand Marais Art Colony at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, February 3, and enjoy a slideshow of the snow carvings, along with a chance to meet the snow sculptors and outdoor painters and hear their stories about winter’s inspirations! 1-888-922-5000; www.grandmaraisartcolony.org
The Laskiainen Finnish Sliding Festival will be held Saturday and Sunday, February 4 & 5, at Loon Lake Community Center in Palo to celebrate the ethnic heritage, customs, crafts, music and sports of the area. The Loon Lake Community Center is located 10 miles south of Aurora on Hwy 100. 218/638-2551; www.ironrange.org
Downtown Two Harbors will be the site of the Two Harbors Winter Frolic, Friday and Saturday, February 10 & 11. Celebrate winter on the North Shore of Lake Superior, and enjoy sledding, ice carvings, a parade, Fun with Frosty, Chili Cook Off, Winter Frolic Ale, Digital Photo scavenger hunt, live music and entertainment, trail groomer rides, a bonfire with free s’mores, Winter Camping and outdoor sports demonstrations, family skating party, vintage snowmobiles, free horse drawn sleigh rides, and the very popular Winter Frolic Races Smoosh and Outhouse races! 1-800-777-7384; www.twoharborswinterfrolic.com
The 19th Annual Carlton Winterfest will be held at Carlton High School and on Chub Lake Park in Carlton, Friday through Sunday, February 10-12, with live music, children’s games, a Zoomobile, Candelight Ski at Jay Cooke State Park, 17th Annual Chili Cook Off, Hook and Slice on Ice, a talent show, Valentine’s Dinner, free movie and popcorn, and many other events around town! 1-800-625-4661; 1-800-554-4350; http://carltonchamber.com/events.aspx, www.visitcloquet.com

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Bemidji Region - Minnesota
18882 North Blackduck Lake RD NE Hines, MN 56630 Office 218-835-4552 Cell 218-553-0210
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