The last weekend in February plays host to two of the largest outdoor events in the state of Minnesota, The Frozen Fore on Gull Lake in Brained, and the Eelpout Festival on Leech Lake in Walker. As attendees began to get excited over the events, Mother Nature had a different idea. With mid-day temperatures reaching nearly 65 degrees in some areas a couple weeks prior to both events, the threat of poor ice conditions lingered, but with temps quickly dropping just in time, both events got to go on.
The Frozen Fore, is an ice golf event, typically played all across the Gull Lake area, with different holes at each restaurant and resort around the lake. The questionable conditions brought the event from the on the lake, up onto the grass, with even the big party tent being set up in a large field in Nisswa, rather than on the lake. Many still got out to enjoy all the fun to be had around the area that day, even if they couldn’t ride their snowmobiles or play on the ice. You can read more about this event here.
As for the Eelpout Festival, the warm temps had little effect on Leech Lake, and nearly 2 feet of ice remained. With the minor adjustment of no vehicles within the event area, thousands still flocked to Walker for one of the largest events on ice, designed to celebrate on of the ugliest fish in the area.
Although these unusual temps brought glimmers of spring to the area, they were not enough to bring an end to some of the largest winter events in the state, and just outside of our back yard here at Stern.