Celebrate winter the Superior way
For the past two years, a giant ice wall has risen along Barker's Island, the centerpiece of a frozen festival. Not this year. Superior is hosting a wall-free celebration later this month during the Lake Superior Ice Festival. The city has opted ...
For the past two years, a giant ice wall has risen along Barker's Island, the centerpiece of a frozen festival.
Not this year.
Superior is hosting a wall-free celebration later this month during the Lake Superior Ice Festival. The city has opted to spread the ice around in the form of smaller sculptures, sheets and orbs.
"I think that the ice sculpture added a unique feel, but I think we can have a great ice festival without it," said Diane Nelson, storm water and administration manager for Superior's environmental services division. "We've got a lot of activities to get people out and moving."
The line-up for the festival, which takes place Jan. 27-29 on Barker's Island, is jam-packed. Pond hockey? Check. Ice racing? Check. Kids' activities and a pair of princesses? Check. Craft show? Check.
Add in bonfires, s'mores, a faceoff between members of the Superior police and fire departments, a snow slide, open skating, fireworks and more.
"There are exponentially more activities," said City Parks, Recreation and Forestry Director Linda Cadotte.
Many of them are being sponsored by local organizations and businesses.
"The community seems to really be rallying around the festival," Cadotte said.
The collaborative event is building off the momentum of the past two years and taking into account feedback from the public. Cadotte said many of those who attended in the past asked for more than one reason to stop by. The city and its partners aim to give folks what they asked for.
"It was important that we focus on events that will foster tourism, but also ones that residents of all ages could enjoy and be proud of," said Kalee Hermanson, a member of the festival planning committee.
Ice sculptures are still part of the plan, including an ice throne, the unveiling of an ice bar at Barker's Island Inn and Resort, and a community art installation created with frozen orbs provided by members of the public. To contribute icy spheres to the Orb365 project, or get free balloons to make them with, contact Andrea Crouse at 715-394-0392 or email email@example.com .
Kids can learn the basics of carving an ice sculpture from professionals during demonstrations Jan. 28. Fireworks are slated to start at 7:30 p.m. the same day.
A complete list of events can be found online at superioricefestival.com or the Lake Superior Ice Festival Facebook page.
Weather is still the big unknown. The ice must be thick enough for racing, ice golf and pond hockey to safely take place. But Enbridge's half-pipe snow slide will get built, regardless of the temperature.
"If we have to haul in snow, we've got a plan for that," Cadotte said.
Shuttles will offer visitors rides to the island from the Belknap Plaza and Vintage Italian Pizza.
The city has earmarked up to $36,500 in hotel/motel tax money for the festival and the Tourist Development Fund has added $25,000 for the event. More than a dozen sponsors are contributing to the festival as well, including Barker's Island Inn, Superior Jaycees, Team Carr, Lake Superior Ice Racing Association, Superior Water, Light and Power, National Bank of Commerce and Veteran's Construction.
"This year's Lake Superior Ice Festival has a little something for everyone to enjoy, but most importantly it encompasses all that we have to offer during our long winter months," Hermanson said. "It will truly be a 'Superior' event for all."
Cadotte encouraged those interested in the festival to keep watch on the website and Facebook page for up-to-date listings of events, times and schedules.