Wanted: Cold weather for Shiverfest

Mike Bellmore, Features Editor
This colorful character was stationed at the entrance to Ackerman’s Acres for 2010 Shiverfest activities planned there.

While those involved in the upcoming Devils Lake Rural Fire Department Ice Fishing Tournament are hoping for cold weather and solid ice conditions, those involved in Shiverfest in mid-February are harboring similar thoughts.

With the big lake covered early by a big snowfall before the winter turned incredibly cold, there are concerns about the ice possibly harboring some “soft” spots.

But Tourism Director Suzie Baisch says she’s hopeful and confident the 11th annual event will be held the weekend of Feb. 18-20.

“As of now, I’m optimistic,” she smiles. “There’s still time. We need it to get cold, so we’ll have to see what happens.”

Baisch is a relative newcomer to the event, which was instituted by former Chamber Director Greg Otis just over a decade ago.

The event features several outdoor activities designed to help people break out of the winter doldrums and get outside to enjoy the great outdoors.

Last year over 150 youngsters participated in a two-day ice fishing tournament during Shiverfest.

There’s also a Mite Hockey Tournament on tap, and local Parks and Recreation Director Terry Wallace says 16 teams have been secured for that event already.

A junior bonspiel is on the agenda, as is an ice fishing tournament.

Sleigh rides and a motorcycle  show at the mall are a couple of other highlights during the big weekend.

“We’ve also got pond hockey, Olympic size kite flying and golf on ice,” adds Baisch.

“There are snowshoe races and ice-cross car races, planned, too.”

The entire weekend carries a theme based on kids and family activities, all designed to relieve any possible mid-winter blues.

There will also be some business promotions combined with the weekend festivities, Baisch adds.

Most of the weekend activities are scheduled to take place at either Woodland Resort of Ackerman Acres, all on the shores of Devils Lake.