Superior Fun in the Cold Outdoors


The Best Event Our Chilly Climate has to Offer

By Tylor Elm

It wasn’t long ago options were limited for Winter fun in the Northland. Memories of being cooped up inside or just walking about the mall, was as good as it got on a Northland Winter day.

Ice Project | Superior, Wisconsin

IceMan Roger’s 2016 creation

Then in an attempt to change that, the city of Superior hired the Iceman Roger, using tech to create a unique ice sculpture. After a collapse of his first ice sculpture on Barker’s Island and mixed reviews by many citizens, the city decided to take a different approach to attracting visitors to the city during the Winter.

This year the focus was to have a weekend ice festival based on community involvement of various events and activities. I had the opportunity to participate in this family friendly and free event.

Ice Project | Superior, Wisconsin | Explore SuperiorTo say a lot was going on this past weekend is an understatement. If you attended, you knew this was true. From the fantastic original ice sculptures, to the Superior’s first ice bar. A unique experience seldom seen around these parts.

Kicking off the festival the off-duty police officers and fire department went head to head in hockey, titled Guns and Hoses. They showed an intense match between the two public service entities. In the end the police department defeated the fire department by showing just how to hit the puck this year.

Guns & Hoses Hockey Tournament | Ice Festival 2017 | Explore Superior

Besides the many hockey competitions there were many ice rinks, recently made in the bay, for the public to have fun ice skating during the festival on Sunday.

Enbridge Slide | Ice Festival | Explore SuperiorA personal favorite was the Enbridge half-pipe slide, basically a man-made sledding hill. It’s been many years since I’ve gone down a hill, to go down a perfected hill at top speed was great!

Additionally, things going on that I missed out on was a craft fair in Barker’s Island where 35 different vendors showed their arts and wears. Not to forget the live music going on in the large tent, where you could also warm up with some hot cocoa or coffee. There was even a kids zone with ice princesses for the young ones. This was truly a broad Winter fair for all to enjoy.

I’ve never seen Barkers so busy both outside and inside during the Winter time, what a positive impact this event has on our economy. Not only at Barker’s Island, but by the many offers the local businesses participated in.

Unfortunately, several events were cancelled and/or moved including the LSIRA Ice Racing, MIRA Ice Racing (postponed until next weekend), and the Frozen Fore Golf due to the January thaw just before the event. On a positive, note the actual weather during the weekend was perfect and clear for the activities that remained.

To wrap up the event, Saturday night I was greeted with floating Chinese lanterns, then fireworks without mosquitoes along with some fun tunes. It was truly a phenomenal sight to see on a clear Winter night.

I’m excited to see what next year brings as this event will likely grow into a highly anticipated annual event. Only time will tell.

Photo Credits: Tylor Elm, Kalee Hermanson, Doug Dalager, JoAnn Jardine, Jerry Thoreson, Paul Scinocca, Jamie Radtke Johnson, Gregory A. Israelson, Andrea Rugg, Lake Superior Ice Festival, and Superior Telegram.

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