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Two Harbors Winter Frolic: the cure for cold-weather blues

Sick of the cold weather? You’re not alone and help is on the way! The Two Harbors Winter Frolic starts next Friday with a full slate of activites and events. Earlier this year, the Two Harbors Area Chamber of Commerce opted to discontinue its leadership role in planning the annual event, leaving its future doubtful, but a group of volunteers and local businesses came to the rescue.

Unwilling to allow the Frolic to fall by the way, Two Harbors Mayor Randy Bolen announced at a council meeting that he would undertake the planning and fundraising for the event. Council president Jerry Norberg pledged his support, too. The planning started in the fall and has involved the efforts of many, but Bolen said that he’s looking forward to giving local residents an opportunity to have a little fun.

“it’s already been a long winter, a cold winter with a lot of snow, so why not have an event, a date on the calendar that gives people something to look forward to,” he reasoned, “to break up the monotony of the long winter.” Bolen said that, to his way of thinking, bringing the Frolic back from the brink of cancellation this year is part of his responsibility as mayor.

“The reason we did this is two-fold.

As elected officials, our jobs are sometimes to look beyond infrastructure and provide other things for our community…events that make our town a community. Doing things like this falls under this umbrella,” he said. “The second reason is to try to provide a shot in the arm to local businesses, to help them pay the bills and fill their hotel rooms. We’re doing what we can.”

Some of the activities planned will be favorites from years past – a sliding hill, a bonfire where the peckish can satisfy their appetites for s’mores, and a vintage snowmobile ride that starts at the Richard B. Helgeson airport. The Lake Bank will again host the chili cook-off, but this year it will be held at the Two Harbors Curling Club. Chili fans can sample and vote on the offerings of local chefs, while witnessing the annual curling grudge match between spirited representatives of Lake County and the City of Two Harbors. Last year the City won. This year, along with bragging rights, the winners will receive a travelling trophy as evidence of their supremacy on the ice.

Wells Fargo is sponsoring a carnival in its parking lot on Saturday afternoon with fun for the kids and starting 11 a.m., the Winter Frolic Snow Ball kicks off in a heated tent downtown. There’ll be music until 2 a.m., along with food and beverages from Carmody 61.

Bolen said that music will be provided by an eclectic line up of artists, with something for everyone. The Lockpicks, a trio from Two Harbors will make its Frolic debut, along with Step Off and the Fractals, a perennial favorite throughout the Duluth and Twin Cities areas. The evening will be devoted to pleasing country music lovers with bands like Ragin’ Country and national recording artist, Jenny Campbell. Organizers say that the tent, a new addition to the Frolic this year, will serve as a focal point, bringing people into the downtown.

“It will be a gathering place”, said Winter Frolic co-chair Deb Ruberg, adding that oft-frequented, long-standing local businesses will share the benefits of drawing more people to the First Avenue area.

Look for the full schedule of Two Harbors Winter Frolic activities and events on page A8, in the Northland Smart Shopper and on posters around town.

Come on out, kick the winter blues and frolic with your friendly North Shore neighbors. See you there!