Event organizers mull over decision to cancel Winter Frolic
The lack of snow affecting people that range from the Two Harbors High School Nordic ski team to the inns and hotels that are still waiting for traveling snowshoe enthusiasts and snowmobilers has now taken ahold of this year's Winter Frolic.
Two Harbors Area Chamber of Commerce staff members met with other members of the Winter Frolic planning committee Tuesday to determine what is to be done.
Two Harbors interim public works director Larry Fabini said that in order to have the smoosh race and boot hockey, about six inches of snow would have to fall before Feb. 10 and 11, the scheduled weekend for the Frolic. Fabini said he can't remember the last time he saw bare ground like this in January and that there wasn't enough snow to cover First Avenue as was done for past Winter Frolic events.
While minimal amounts of snow have fallen this winter, at one time there was enough snow at the Two Harbors airport that could be scooped up and trucked into town to be used for the Winter Frolic. However, with days of warm temperatures after the small amounts of snowfall, the airport, like other parts of Two Harbors, is bare. "We could move snow into town from the airport if we got enough," Fabini said.
There was talk of holding an abbreviated version of the Frolic but some members of the committee felt that if an abbreviated version was held, the people who attended might be disappointed since the regular Winter Frolic is usually a more large-scale event.
Delaying the Winter Frolic until late February or March was also discussed, as well as deciding the Winter Frolic's fate at a later cut-off date. The vintage snowmobiles and the alumni hockey game at Lake County Arena could be cancelled due to scheduling issues.
The committee also batted around suggestions like moving Friday's events, which are not dependent on snow, to Saturday. Friday's events include the parade, the scavenger hunt, Fun with Frosty, the chili cook-off held by the Lake Bank, and the spaghetti dinner held by the American Legion. The committee ruled out the snow sculpture contest and the sliding hill unless the weather changes dramatically soon.
Cancelling the Winter Frolic completely is an option too.
"People will definitely be disappointed if that happens," Vicky Louks, the general manager of the Two Harbors AmericInn, said. "The children were really looking forward to it. This is a big deal," she said.
The planning committee decided to wait until next Monday to make a final decision and to see if the weather had changed at all.
"We haven't ruled anything out," Two Harbors Area Chamber of Commerce tourism director Janelle Josaid. "This has never happened before."
Winter Frolic has been a tradition in Two Harbors for the last few years. According to Two Harbors Area Chamber of Commerce President Gordy Anderson, Two Harbors used to celebrate a week-long Winter Frolic. "Back in the 1950's and 1960's it was the Two Harbors event," he said. "It would go on for a week."
After a brief cooling off period, it restarted again. The planning committee said that last year's Winter Frolic had been a success. Jones said more than 1,000 people from all over Minnesota and Wisconsin attended. "It had a great family atmosphere. People talked about it for long time afterwards," she said.