Detroit Lake is situated in the mid of Minnesota’s winter wonderland. It’s a year-round destination. Numerous festivals and events are hosted here that celebrate northern climate and foster a sense of community inspite of the cold. Of all the events, Polar Fest is the most popular festival among the tourist and people of Minnesota. The festival has been around since the mid-1990s with a growing number of attendees and sponsors. Many events of at this fest raise money for several non-profit organizations.
About Polar Fest
Polar Fest is a 10-day long winter festival with various indoor & outdoor activities and competitions for people of all age groups. It begins with lighting of the King Isbit’s Throne and Royal Courtyard on Feb. 7 at the Detroit Lakes city beach. Ice sculptures are kept on display in the nearby city park and are part of the MN Sn’Ice competitions and Area Schools Snow Sculpture Competition.
Other outdoor events at the Polar fest include the Poles ‘N Holes Ice fishing derby, The Great Polar Race, Scavenger hunt as well as the SnoWay But Up race for runners & cross-country skiers, and the SnoWay But Round fat-tire bike race.
There are many free and family-friendly events that you can participate in or be a spectator at. The Frozen Fireworks over Detroit Lake is a family favorite.
Attendees at fest embrace the cold, but there’s one event that is so frigid that even Polar Pete, the festival’s mascot, would stop and reconsider, THE POLAR PLUNGE!!! The Polar Plunge is a fundraiser for the Boys & Girls Club of Detroit Lakes. Around 200 people in costumes leap through a hole cut in the ice into the freezing waters of Detroit Lake. This event takes place on Feb. 16. Although only a select few would be willing to take the plunge, everyone else can jump on board with the cause it supports.
Finally, Last day of the festival, Feb. 16, is full of fun events for the entire family. These include the ULTRA Vintage Snowmobile Rally, Swap Meet & Ride, helicopter rides, the Freeze Your Buns Run 5K, and Polar Pile-up demolition derby. Then the fest ends with fireworks in the evening and that is one of the highlights of the week-long winter celebration.