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No ice castle - plenty of fun at Spicer WinterFest

Stefan Linder, 7, of Willmar rides his snowboard Monday on the WinterFest slide in Spicer. (Tribune photo by Ron Adams)

SPICER -- Ice conditions on Green Lake may have prevented the construction of an ice castle for this year's WinterFest activities, but there are still plenty of outdoor activities -- and indoor events -- planned for the next three weekends in Spicer.

Events for the annual celebration start Friday with the all-you-can-eat fish fry at the Westwood Café from 4 to 8 p.m. and end with live entertainment at Melvin's on the evening of Feb. 6. The outdoor activities include the Frozen 5k, the ice golf challenge and the lighting ceremony and fireworks at 7 p.m. Saturday. There will cartoon characters in the crowd from 6 to 7 p.m., sponsored by the Kandiyohi Men's Club, leading up to the lighting ceremony.

The 2010 Polar Plunge, sponsored by the Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Office and the Willmar Police Department, is at 2 p.m. Jan. 30. The annual is a fundraiser for the Special Olympics Minnesota.

Even if there's no castle, there's a pretty awesome snow slide built to take sliders down onto the lake, according to Corey Thorsen, a Spicer Commercial Club member. Kids -- and grownups too -- can take their sled or tube and have some fun on the slide.

"We've got to deal with what nature gives us," Thorsen said. He explained how the ice froze on Green Lake and then blew onto the west shore, where it became choppy and broken and then froze again. Then the late December snowfall prevented the second plan to cut and truck the ice from another part of the lake.

The outdoor activities also include snowmobile radar runs, ice hockey on the outdoor rink at Prairie Meadows, broomball on the lake at Saulsbury Beach and the annual men's softball tournament, where the Spicer and New London and other fire department teams will face off, along with other teams, at the Green Lake Diamonds. The winning fire department receives a traveling trophy.

Indoor activities include the fifth annual art exhibit and wine tasting Friday and Saturday at Melvin's, events at the Glacial Ridge Winery and a Texas Hold'em tournament and live entertainment each Saturday night at Melvin's. There's also a 3-on-3 basketball tournament at the Prairie Meadows School.

"There are a lot of events going on," Thorsen said. "There's something for everybody."

See the full schedule of WinterFest events for times, locations and further details.

Gretchen Schlosser

Gretchen Schlosser is the public safety reporter, and writes about agriculture occasionally, for the West Central Tribune. She's been with the Tribune since 2006 and has 17 years of experience working in news, media and communications. 

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