CROSSLAKE – If you can’t beat winter, at least have fun with it.
The 19th annual Crosslake WinterFest will feature old favorites and new activities with a resumption of gatherings that were limited in size last year due to the pandemic.
“It’s changing every year,” said Crosslake Chamber of Commerce director Cindy Myogeto of Crosslake WinterFest. “New this year there is a craft and vendor fair at a new event center called The Gathering which is a new event center in Crosslake just south of town.”
will host the celebration from February 3-5, including the hugely popular SoupFest, fireworks and outdoor activities such as Radar Runs.
“This year we’re back with everything,” Myogeto said. “Last year we were at the mercy of some of the COVID restrictions when it came to gatherings. Even though they were outside, they still had a limited number allowed.
WinterFest will kick off when the first of three daily clues are given to local merchants, on the Crosslake app, and on the chamber’s website for where to find the WinterFest hidden medallion for a basket of prizes donated by member businesses of the room worth over $2,300.
Outdoor activities on February 4 at the Crosslake Community Center will include an ice rink and pond skating, sledding, cross-country skiing and a fireworks display with free hot chocolate, cider, s’mores and hot pepper to keep people warm and fed.
“It’s definitely a fun event for families,” Myogeto said of the outdoor activities. “And then Saturday, the Crosslake Firefighters Pancake Breakfast is back. It starts on Saturday morning from 8am to 11.30am.
A full day of activities on February 5 will include kite flying, helicopter rides, shopping, citywide food and drink specials, and a SoupFest tasting, starting at noon; the latter involves free soup samples at local businesses, and people can vote for their favorite on the Crosslake app.
“Then there are helicopter rides at Moonlight Bay (restaurant) as well as snowmobile radar races at Moonlight Bay. These didn’t happen last year, but they will happen this year,” Myogeto said.
for $5 to help support the event and save hundreds of dollars at participating Crosslake merchants. Wristbands are available for purchase at the Crosslake Chamber of Commerce and select chamber member businesses.
“There’s bingo, meat raffles and all those sorts of things that happen at some point in the day,” Myogeto said. “And then, of course, every night – Friday night and Saturday night – there’s a variety of live music or DJs at the various Crosslake establishments.”
This year we are back with everything.
The hottest day forecast for Crosslake from Wednesday, January 16 will be the last day of WinterFest, with a high in the teens, according to Weather.com’s 10-day weather forecast.
“When we have a great snowy year like this, it’s just a bonus because we’ll have so many people who can come to town,” Myogeto said. “Literally, you can do everything on this schedule from your snowmobile.”
Snowmobile activity in the area continues to be high and snowmobile trails are in good condition, according to Minnesota Department of Natural Resources conservation officers.
“We are blessed to have this snowmobile trail running through downtown…and it brings a lot of people into the community, so WinterFest is a major economic boost for our businesses in February when typically our tourism numbers are not very high,” Myogeto said.
Thursday February 3
- 9:00 a.m.: Find the hidden WinterFest medallion. The first of three daily indices will be published at local traders, on the Crosslake app and on the Crosslake Chamber of Commerce page. Prize package courtesy of chamber member companies valued at over $2,300.
- 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Get your $2 WinterFest raffle tickets for a chance to win a vintage sweater at Common Goods.
- 8 p.m.: Trivia at the Moonlite Bay restaurant.
Friday February 4
- 9:00 a.m.: Find the hidden WinterFest medallion. The second clue is revealed.
- 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Get your $2 WinterFest raffle tickets for a chance to win a vintage sweater at Common Goods. (Draw at 4 p.m.)
- 12-5 p.m.: Sip and shop at Squirrelly Mama.
- 3:45-6:00 p.m.: Crosslake Community School Cabin Fever kick-off to school registration 2022/2023 (snowshoeing, candy walk, games and more.)
- 7:00-9:00 p.m.: Crosslake Community Center outdoor activities including ice rink and pond skating, snow mountain sledding, cross-country skiing, bonfire and hot chocolate, cider and s’mores, and complimentary hot chili of Moonlight Bay and Crosslake Lutheran Church, respectively.
- 9 p.m.: Flashing Thunder fireworks choreographed to music with Premier Party Entertainment.
- 7:00 p.m.: Live music with Emily Hammer at Manhattan’s.
- 8-11 p.m.: Live music with Mike Derus at the Bourbon Room
- 10 p.m.: Dance with DJs JP and Dana at Moonlite Bay.
Saturday February 5
- 8:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.: Crosslake Firefighters Pancake Breakfast at Crosslake Lutheran Church.
- 9 a.m.: The third and final WinterFest hidden medallion clue will be revealed.
- 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.: WinterFest Craft and Vendor Fair at The Gathering.
- 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Open house and tours at Northern Minnesota Railroad Trackers.
- 11 a.m.: Manhattan’s bingo at Manhattan’s.
- 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.: decorating the Kids WinterFest souvenir bag at Moonlite Bay.
- 11am-1pm: Arts and crafts and games for children at Squirrelly Mama.
- 11:00 a.m.-dusk: Helicopter flights at Moonlite Bay.
- 12:00 p.m.: SoupFest – Soup samples served at participating Crosslake businesses. (Download the Crosslake app and vote for your favorite soup before 3 p.m.)
- 12 p.m.-2 p.m.: Italian Olympiads at the Italian Bistro in Maucieri.
- 12-3 p.m.: Bonfire and s’mores, and hot chocolate at Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway.
- 12-5 p.m.: Sip and shop at Squirrelly Mama.
- 1 to 4 p.m.: Live music with Michael Miller at 14 Lakes Craft Brewing Co.
- 1:00 p.m.: 4:00 p.m.: Snowmobile radar on Moonlite Bay.
- 2 p.m.: Mega meat raffle at the Bourbon Room.
- 2 p.m.: Live music with Shane Martin & Mike Derus at Manhattan’s.
- 2-4 p.m.: Kite flying at Crosslake Town Square. (Bring your own kite.)
- 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.: Seafood raffle at Andy’s Bar & Grill.
- 5-8 p.m.: Live music with Kelly Peterson at the Bourbon Room.
- 6-9 p.m.: Live music with Lisa Wenger at Maucieri’s Italian Bistro.
- 7-10 p.m.: Live music with Mark Johnson & Strange Brew at Cedar Chest.
- 8 p.m.: DJ Mike at the Wharf.
- 10pm-closing: Dance with DJs JP and Dana at Moonlite Bay.