Great winter festivals

Enjoy the chilly season with snow sculptures, ice castles, sleigh rides and lots of hot chocolate.

A Beargrease team explodes from the start.
A team explodes from the starting line in Duluth's John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon.

True northerners don't let cold weather keep them indoors, not when they could be out on the ice playing broomball and bowling turkeys.

Many festivals in winter are held on frozen lakes, the best place for kite-flying, ice golf and hot-air balloon lift-offs.

In parks, elaborate ice and snow sculptures entertain passersby. On rivers, buses take tourists to see bald eagles. Bonfires and hot chocolate are offered everywhere.

Below are some of the fun festivals going on around the region in 2022 .

Always check before you go to verify dates and to make sure you catch the best parts of a festival, especially the parades.

For candlelight events, see Ski or snowshoe by candlelight .

For more about eagle-watching events, see Where eagles land .

For events year-round, see the Events Calendar .

New Year's celebrations

Look for fireworks everywhere New Year's Eve, especially in La Crosse, where the Skyrockers are famous for their pyrotechnics from Grandad Bluff (midnight, with a kids' show at 6 p.m.).

For getaway ideas, see 10 great ways to celebrate New Year's .

Holiday Fantasy in Lights in Madison, WI The free display in Olin Park is open from dusk to dawn. Nov. 13--Jan. 3.

Holiday Lights Festival in Milwaukee, WI The season-long lights festival includes more than 500,000 lights throughout downtown's parks and streets.   Nov. 18--Jan. 1.

Lakeside Park Holiday Lights in Fond du Lac, WI This free light show on Lake Winnebago includes animated scenes and trees that dance to 20 minutes of music played on 87.9 FM (you can listen on your car radio). Nov. 25--Jan. 1.

Rotary Lights in La Crosse, WI In Riverside Park, see a holiday display of 3 million lights with music. It opens with a parade, and Santa and reindeer are there every night through Dec. 23, with a live Nativity some nights. There's also an ice rink with free use of skates, and free s'mores at fire pits. Donations of cash and/or food are requested. Carriage and helicopters rides also will be available. Nov. 26--Dec. 31.

Christkindlmarket Wrigleyville in Chicago, IL This North Side satellite of the Daley Plaza Christkindlmarket features ice-skating, wreath-making, music and Santa's Workshop as well as holiday vendors.     Dec. 26--31.

ZooLights in Chicago, IL The annual display of 2.5 million lights at the Lincoln Park Zoo is operating at limited capacity again this year and charging $5 per person. Tickets are free on Mondays and Tuesdays. Reserve in advance. Dec. 26--30.

Carp Fest in Prairie du Chien, WI During the last week of the year, the parks department in this Mississippi River town offers lighted sledding, a torchlight ski/hike, a skating party, ice fishing and snow football. Dec. 27--31.

Cherry Ball Drop in Traverse City, MI In this town on Grand Traverse Bay, there's music from 10:30 p.m., and a large illuminated cherry drops 115 feet at midnight. Dec. 31.

New Year's Eve Ball Drop in Ludington, MI The party in this Lake Michigan beach town includes music, dancing, a beer tent, a lighted ball drop and fireworks. Dec. 31.

Pierogi Drop in Whiting, IN This suburb of Chicago with Polish roots celebrates the new year by dropping a 10-foot illuminated pierogi, or filled dumpling, into a boiling cauldron at midnight. There will also be music and fireworks. Dec. 31.

Cheese Drop in Plymouth, WI At this family-friendly event at the Plymouth Arts Center, there will be live music, cheese-tasting, hot cocoa and a bonfire before an 80-pound lighted wedge of cheese is dropped 100 feet at 10 p.m. It's followed by more music and a champagne toast at midnight. Dec. 31.

New Year's Day Parade in Egg Harbor, WI Welcome the new year with a 1 p.m. parade. Everyone is welcome to march. Jan. 1.

Cool Fool Kite & Ice Festival in Milwaukee, WI In addition to kite-flying, there will be ice carving, trebuchet tossing and free hot chocolate, coffee and snacks in the lakefront Veterans Park. Jan. 1.

First Day Hikes in Iowa in State parks, IA More than 50 Iowa state parks will participate in a hiking challenge, and 23 state parks are offering guided hikes, many with hot drinks and snacks. Admission is always free. Jan. 1.

Second weekend of January

Ice Festival in Sandstone, MN There are ice-climbing and winter camping clinics, a chili cook-off, door prizes and use of demo gear in Sandstone Ice Park. Jan. 7--8.

SISU Ski Fest in Ironwood, MI This Finnish fest includes a ski expo, free kids' ski, 5K Fun Ski, 15km and 30km ski races, a free after-party at the Historic Ironwood Theatre and a free fat-bike demo on scenic bluffs and along the Montreal River. Jan. 7--9.

Bald Eagle Days in Rock Island, IL At the Quad Cities Expo Center, there's an environmental fair, with flying demonstrations by eagles, hawks and owls and hourlong eagle-watching tours. Jan. 7--9.

Breezy Point Ice Fest in Breezy Point, MN This Brainerd Lakes resort village celebrates with horse-drawn sleigh rides, an ice slide, snow golf, bonfires and kids' ice fishing. Jan. 7--9.

Winter Festival in La Farge, WI Visit the Kickapoo Valley Reserve for horse-drawn bobsled rides, guided snowshoe and ice-cave hikes, winter games, fat-tire bike demos and a sled-dog race and weight pull.   Jan. 8.

Gunflint Mail Run sled-dog race in Gunflint Trail, MN In far northeast Minnesota, watch mushers travel two legs of 50 miles, starting and ending at the Trail Center Lodge on the Central Gunflint Trail. Jan. 8.

Bald Eagle Watch in Clinton, IA Two Mississippi River towns host this event, with live-eagle and nature programs at Iowa's Clinton Community College and free bus service to Lock & Dam 13 in Fulton, Ill. Jan. 8.

A ski jumper in Westby.
A skier flies down the hill at the Snowflake Ski Jumping Tournament in Westby, Wis.

Third weekend of January

Icebox Days in International Falls, MN In this far-north town, there will be smoosh races, frozen turkey bowling, a toilet-seat toss, boot hockey and fireworks. On Saturday, there's the annual Freeze Yer Gizzard Blizzard Run. Jan. 13--16.

World Championship Snowmobile Derby in Eagle River, WI Watch oval, snocross and vintage snowmobiles race in this northeast Wisconsin town, which attracts 40,000 spectators to the "Indianapolis 500 of snowmobile racing." Jan. 13--16.

Janboree in Waukesha, WI The fest in this Milwaukee suburb includes Friday-night fireworks, ice sculpting, Ojibwe snow-snake games, ice bocce, a penguin-egg hunt and tobogganing on the lighted run in Lowell Park. Jan. 14--23.

Silver Mine Ski Jumping Championships in Eau Claire, WI Watch top skiers from North America and Europe compete at Silver Mine Hill, above the Chippewa River on the southwest edge of town. Jan. 14--15.

Back to Hack Winter Festival in Hackensack, MN The festival in this Brainerd Lakes town on the Paul Bunyan State Trail features snow sculpting, ice golf, an ice-fishing contest, penguin plunge, kids' games and Saturday fireworks. Jan. 14--16.

Take a Kid Ice Fishing Weekend in All of Minnesota, MN Take a kid younger than 16 spear- or ice-fishing this holiday weekend, and you can fish for free. Jan. 15--17.

Bald Eagle Appreciation Days in Keokuk and Montrose, IA There will be live-eagle presentations, Native American activities, seminars and viewing on the river in Keokuk on Saturday, and on Sunday activities will be in Montrose.   Jan. 15--16.

Art Shanty Projects in Minneapolis, MN Frozen Lake Harriet hosts two dozen artist-designed ice houses and lots of fun art antics for kids and adults alike. Check for scheduled events and ice conditions.     Jan. 15--16.

Ice Fest in Dubuque, IA The National Mississippi River Museum hosts this indoor-outdoor festival, which includes ice-harvest and ice-rescue demonstrations, snow sculpting, a live-raptor program and youth ice fishing. Jan. 15--16.

Bald Eagle Watching Days in Prairie du Sac, WI This town along the Wisconsin River, next to a hydroelectric plant, offers guided bus tours, live birds of prey programs and kids' activities in addition to eagle viewing at overlooks staffed by volunteers.   Jan. 15--16.

Wisconsin Free Fishing Weekend in All over the state, WI No license is needed for fishing in Wisconsin or on its side of the Mississippi River and lakes Superior and Michigan. Jan. 15--16.

Red Bull Heavy Metal Street Snowboarding in Duluth, MN Red Bull sponsors this street-snowboarding spectacle in hillside Cascade Park, at Mesaba Avenue and North First Street West on the north edge of downtown. Watching is free. Jan. 16.

World Snow Sculpting Championship in Stillwater, MN Snow-sculpting teams from around the world will compete in Lowell Park. Jan. 18--23.

A Westby princess and a ski jumper.
A Snowflake princess congratulates a jumper at the Snowflake Ski Jumping Tournament in Westby, Wis.

Fourth weekend of January

Janboree in Waukesha, WI The fest in this Milwaukee suburb includes Friday-night fireworks, ice sculpting, Ojibwe snow-snake games, ice bocce, a penguin-egg hunt and tobogganing on the lighted run in Lowell Park. Jan. 14--23.

World Snow Sculpting Championship in Stillwater, MN Snow-sculpting teams from around the world will compete in Lowell Park. Jan. 18--23.

Snowflake Ski-Jumping Tournament in Westby, WI At the top of a hill that's the equivalent of a 41-story skyscraper, watch jumpers fly by at 55 mph. It's fun to watch because the jump is built onto the side of a coulee, and spectators can climb it and watch from the top. There are hot drinks and food at the bottom. Jan. 21--22.

Winterfest in Mackinaw City, MI In this town on the Mackinac Straits, there's a snow-sculpting competition, sleigh rides, a poker run and, on Saturday, outhouse races. Jan. 21--23.

Winterfest in Amana, IA Go on a beer and wine walk or compete in ham-throwing, log-sawing, wreath-tossing, the Amana Freezer Run/Walk or for the best beard. There will also be ice sculpting and chainsaw-carving. Jan. 22.

Art Shanty Projects in Minneapolis, MN Frozen Lake Harriet hosts two dozen artist-designed ice houses and lots of fun art antics for kids and adults alike. Check for scheduled events and ice conditions.     Jan. 22--23.

Beer & Cheese Fest in Madison, WI A celebration of Wisconsin's greatest products at Alliant Energy Center, with plenty to sample. Tickets sell out, so buy early. Jan. 22.

Lake Harriet Kite Festival in Minneapolis, MN In addition to kite-flying, this event on popular Lake Harriet includes horse-drawn wagon rides, kids' ice fishing, arts, music and roasted marshmallows. Jan. 22.

Fifth weekend of January

Winter Games in Lake Okoboji, IA This resort area in northwest Iowa will offer human sled races, flag football on ice, indoor golf, snowball drop, stein-holding, horse-drawn carriage rides, a Freeze Yer Fanny Bike Ride, keg toss and fireworks. Jan. 27--30.

Winterfest in Grand Haven, MI In this Lake Michigan town, there's a human sled race, cardboard sled race, luau and snow-angel contest. Jan. 27--30.

Winter Carnival in St. Paul, MN This outdoor festival around Rice Park downtown features ice carving, parades, scavenger hunts, pop-up outdoor concerts, ice-fishing and softball and puzzle tournaments. The King Boreas Grande Day Parade is at 2 p.m. Jan. 29. Kids and Family Day is Feb. 5, with the Vulcan Victory Torchlight Parade at 5:30 p.m., followed by fireworks. Jan. 28--Feb. 6.

Groundhog Days in Woodstock, IL The 1993 movie "Groundhog Day" was filmed in this town an hour northwest of Chicago, and it celebrates with trivia, a bags tourney, bingo and walking tours of movie sites, including the 1889 Opera House, where actor Bill Murray jumped from the belfry. At 7 a.m. Wednesday, Woodstock Willie will look for his shadow. Jan. 28--Feb. 2.

Schnee Days in Elkhart Lake, WI The Snow Days festival in this town in east-central Wisconsin includes the SchneeLauf Run/Walk and such activities as a hunt for colored ice cubes, dog sledding and a chili cook-off. Jan. 28--30.

Lake Superior Ice Festival in Superior, WI On Barker's Island, there's a snow slide, ice carving, disc golf, ice racing, kids' activities and fireworks on Saturday. Jan. 28--29.

Heikki Lunta Winter Festival in Negaunee, MI This town just west of Marquette pays tribute to the Finnish snow god with a rail jam, snowshoe lantern tours, sliding, luging, a fat-tire race and fireworks. Jan. 28--29.

Fire & Ice Winter Social in Stillwater, MN In this St. Croix river town, there will be hot-air balloons, an ice-cream social, ice sculptures, music, bags and pond-hockey tournaments and a beer tent. Jan. 28--30.

Art Shanty Projects in Minneapolis, MN Frozen Lake Harriet hosts two dozen artist-designed ice houses and lots of fun art antics for kids and adults alike. Check for scheduled events and ice conditions.     Jan. 29--30.

International Festival in Madison, WI Dancers, musicians, storytellers and puppeteers representing traditions from around the world converge on the Overture Center for the Arts on State Street for this free festival.  Jan. 29.

Art Sled Rally in Minneapolis, MN Watch sledders or ride down a decorated hill at Powderhorn Park in your own wacky sled, which you can make at home or at free workshops at Powderhorn Park Community Center. There's also live music and hot chocolate. Jan. 29.

Norge Ski Jumping Tournament in Fox River Grove, IL See some of the nation's best jumpers compete in this northwest Chicago suburb, which has produced several Olympians. Jan. 29--30.

Winter Fest in Wausau, WI On the 400 Block downtown, there will be ice carving, ice skating, games and, inside the Great Hall, art projects and free hot chocolate and cookies. Jan. 29.

Frostival in Moorhead, MN In this border town, events include snow-sculpture and disc-golf competitions, games, a snowshoe hike, marshmallow roast, snowga and free ski and snowshoe rentals.   Jan. 29.

Duluth Ice & Mixed Fest in Duluth, MN This annual festival in West Duluth's Quarry Park features such events as a free ice-climbing clinic for youths 12 and older, beginner and intermediate clinics for adult climbers, a fat-bike intro and presentations on mountain climbing. Jan. 29--30.

John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon in Duluth, MN From Duluth, marathon mushers travel to to Grand Portage and mid-distance racers to Tofte.     Jan. 30.

Kites in Clear Lake.
Show kites are displayed at Clear Lake's Color the Wind festival.

First weekend of February

Winter Carnival in St. Paul, MN This outdoor festival around Rice Park downtown features ice carving, parades, scavenger hunts, pop-up outdoor concerts, ice-fishing and softball and puzzle tournaments. The King Boreas Grande Day Parade is at 2 p.m. Jan. 29. Kids and Family Day is Feb. 5, with the Vulcan Victory Torchlight Parade at 5:30 p.m., followed by fireworks. Jan. 28--Feb. 6.

Groundhog Days in Woodstock, IL The 1993 movie "Groundhog Day" was filmed in this town an hour northwest of Chicago, and it celebrates with trivia, a bags tourney, bingo and walking tours of movie sites, including the 1889 Opera House, where actor Bill Murray jumped from the belfry. At 7 a.m. Wednesday, Woodstock Willie will look for his shadow. Jan. 28--Feb. 2.

Winterfest and U.S. Snow Sculpting Championship in Lake Geneva, WI In this lake town, there's music, magic shows, a human sled-dog race, a cocoa crawl, ice bars and an ice castle, plus the U.S. snow-sculpting championship. Feb. 2--6.

Winter Festival in Ely, MN There's a snow sculpting contest, an arts walk, music, beard and mustache championships and snowshoe tours to Sigurd Olson's Listening Point.   Feb. 3--13.

Winter Dance Party in Clear Lake, IA The Surf Ballroom marks the 61st anniversary of the plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, with concerts, luncheons, dance lessons and crash-site tours. Feb. 3--5.

WinterFest in Crosslake, MN In this Brainerd Lakes area town, there are horse-drawn sleigh rides, bonfires, soup sampling, ice car races, Friday fireworks and Italian Outdoor Olympics. Feb. 3--5.

SocialICE in Rochester, MN At Peace Plaza downtown, five ice bars each offer a different theme and signature drink, with ice sculptures illuminated by lights and nightly DJ entertainment. On Saturday afternoon, there's a FAM JAM for families. Feb. 3--5.

Hot Air Affair in Hudson, WI There will be balloon rides, moon glows and such events as geocaching, bird-watching, a fat-tire bike race and a corn-hole tournament. Feb. 4--6.

Knickerbocker Ice Festival in Lake Mills, WI The festival in this town east of Madison includes such events as a fish toss, snowball-eating contest, dad-sled race, chili cook-off and Iceberg Open golf tournament. There's ice carving and ice wine, too. Feb. 4--5.

Ice Breaker in South Haven, MI There's an ice-carving competition in this Lake Michigan town, plus a chili cook-off. curling lessons, frozen-fish fling,cardboard-sled race and disc golf tournament. Feb. 4--6.

Magical Ice Fest in St. Joseph, MI Watch the pros carve sculptures in this Lake Michigan town. There's also entertainment, a scavenger hunt and magic and crafts for kids. Feb. 4--6.

Iola Winter Carnival in Iola, WI This village near Waupaca offers ice carving, ski jumping and ski, snowshoe and fat-bike races. Feb. 4--6.

Banbury Art Crawl in Eau Claire, WI Visit more than 100 artists at studios in the Building 13 art complex. Many will give demonstrations. There will be also music, food and art projects for children. Feb. 4--5.

Pine Mountain Ski Jumping Tournament in Iron Mountain, MI The tournament in this Upper Peninsula town on the Wisconsin border is where the international jumpers compete; it's a stop on the Continental Cup circuit. Feb. 5--6.

Winter Festival in Fish Creek, WI This Door County village lets loose with such events as a toilet-seat throw, pie tin toss, bean-bag cannon shoot, smoosh racing and an ugly-sweater contest. There are also free trolley rides, ice carving, a fiddle contest, a snowshoe dance and fireworks. Feb. 5--6.

Art Shanty Projects in Minneapolis, MN Frozen Lake Harriet hosts two dozen artist-designed ice houses and lots of fun art antics for kids and adults alike. Check for scheduled events and ice conditions. Feb. 5--6.

Cold Front in Duluth, MN This port town on Lake Superior celebrates winter with a festival in Bayfront Festival Park that includes dog sledding, ice skating, bonfires, food and drink. Feb. 5.

City of Lakes Loppet in Minneapolis, MN For recreational skiers, the highlight of this big cross-country ski festival is the Saturday-night Luminary Loppet on Lake of the Isles, with glowing ice pillars and "ruins." Reserve a time slot in advance. There are also classical and free-style races and orienteering, fat-tire, snowshoeing and skijoring tours and races in Theodore Wirth Park, location of most events. Feb. 5--6.

Frozen River Film Festival in Winona, MN This festival shows a large selection of documentaries specializing in adventure, extreme sports and environmental issues. Feb. 6--13.

Outhouse race in Perkinstown.
Outhouse races are held in three Michigan towns.

Second weekend of February

Winter Festival in Ely, MN There's a snow sculpting contest, an arts walk, music, beard and mustache championships and snowshoe tours to Sigurd Olson's Listening Point. Feb. 3--13.

Frozen River Film Festival in Winona, MN This festival shows a large selection of documentaries specializing in adventure, extreme sports and environmental issues. Feb. 6--13.

Winter Carnival in Houghton, MI This snow fest at Michigan Tech University includes a human dog-sled race, snow volleyball and a tug of war and ends with a torchlight parade and fireworks at Mont Ripley ski hill. Feb. 9--12.

Michigan Ice Fest in Munising, MI Watch ice-climbing demos, slide shows and professional climbers and take clinics for beginners at spectacular Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore on Lake Superior. Feb. 9--13.

Celebration of the Lakes in Chisago Lakes, MN This festival north of the Twin Cities includes snowmobile races, fat biking, an ice-fishing tournament, sled-dog rides and a free ice-fishing clinic for kids. Activities are on North Center Lake in Center City and in Chisago City, Lindstrom and Shafer. Feb. 11--13.

Scandihoovian Winter Festival in Mount Horeb, WI The festival in this town just west of Madison features such events as turkey bowling, a snowman-building contest, kick sledding, a spelling bee and a vintage snowmobile show and ride. Feb. 11--13.

Sturgeon Spectacular in Fond du Lac, WI Lake Winnebago is the setting for this celebration of giant fish. There will be ice carving and snow sculpting, a snowman-building contest, bonfires and live music. Feb. 11--13.

Polar Fest in Detroit Lakes, MN This festival features such events as ice golf, a Freeze Your Buns run, a snowshoe hike in Tamarac Wildlife Refuge and kite-flying, with professional giant-kite flyers, kite decorating and prizes for amateurs.   Feb. 11--27.

Ice Lantern Festival in Mineral Point, WI See ice lanterns created by artists and students in this arty southwest Wisconsin town and visit the cupcake/cookie/hot chocolate bar as well as the ice bar. Feb. 12.

Kites on Ice Festival in Buffalo, MN This festival on Buffalo Lake and in Sturges Park, just northwest of Minneapolis, features show-kite flyers, free kites for kids, a beer garden, dog-sled rides and a cornhole tournament. Feb. 12.

Chinese Lunar New Year's Parade in Chicago, IL Celebrate the Year of the Tiger in Chinatown with a parade, marching bands and lion dancing. It starts at 1 p.m. at 24th Street and Wentworth Avenue. Feb. 13.

A Bock Fest parade.
Bock Fest in New Ulm signals the end of winter.

Third weekend of February

Polar Fest in Detroit Lakes, MN This festival features such events as ice golf, a Freeze Your Buns run, a snowshoe hike in Tamarac Wildlife Refuge and kite-flying, with professional giant-kite flyers, kite decorating and prizes for amateurs. Feb. 11--27.

Fire & Ice in Sturgeon Bay, WI Ice and snow sculptors create pieces around town. There's a novice category for beginners. On Friday, there will be a candlelight ski/hike at Big Creek Nature Preserve, and on Saturday, there will be fireworks. Feb. 18--19.

Big Turn Music Fest in Red Wing, MN At the Sheldon Theatre in downtown Red Wing, six bands are playing: Brothers Burn Mountain, Low, Cloud Cult, Heiruspecs, Annie Mack and Bad Bad Hat. Feb. 18--19.

Winterfest in Stillwater, MN In this St. Croix River town, there will be a parka pub crawl, ice maze, stein-holding and beard contests, axe-throwing, ice carving and Saturday parade and fireworks. Feb. 18--21.

Winter Jubilee in Nisswa, MN This Brainerd Lakes town celebrates with smoosh racing, competitions in snow sculpting, nail driving, ice fishing and wood splitting, and a Saturday parade. Feb. 18--20.

Book Across the Bay in Ashland/Washburn, WI The weekend starts with a Friday-night party in Ashland. On Saturday night, ski or snowshoe across Lake Superior's Chequamegon Bay on a 10-kilometer route lined by ice luminaries. If you're not too fast, fireworks will fill the sky as you're approaching Washburn; a bonfire, chili feed and blues music follow. Feb. 19.

Winter Festival in Cedarburg, WI This festival just north of Milwaukee features bed races, ice-carving, a dog weight pull competition, an egg hunt for kids and a parade at 1 p.m. Saturday. Feb. 19--20.

Color the Wind Kite Festival in Clear Lake, IA This town in north-central Iowa draws kiters from eight states for its festival, the largest in the Midwest, and stunt fliers will perform routines choreographed to music. Feb. 19.

Barstool Races in Drummond, WI In this small town north of Cable, watch people careen down a hill on decorated bar stools, then stay for the chili feed. Feb. 19.

Northwoods Blizzard Blast in Conover, WI On the snowy northeast edge of Wisconsin, go on horse-drawn sleigh rides and see such events as recliner racing, ice bowling, dog-sled dashing, snowshoe baseball and snow sculpting. Feb. 19.

Free Entrance Day at Minnesota state parks in All state parks, MN Entrance to all 75 Minnesota state parks and recreation areas is free today. Feb. 19.

Free Weekend in Michigan state parks in All state parks, MI There's no vehicle-entry fee in Michigan state parks this weekend, and Saturday and Sunday also is Free Fishing Weekend. Check events listings for fishing derbies and candlelight ski and snowshoe evenings. Feb. 19--20.

Fourth weekend of February

Polar Fest in Detroit Lakes, MN This festival features such events as ice golf, a Freeze Your Buns run, a snowshoe hike in Tamarac Wildlife Refuge and kite-flying, with professional giant-kite flyers, kite decorating and prizes for amateurs.   Feb. 11--27.

American Birkebeiner in Hayward, WI The "Greatest Show on Snow" includes races of all distances for all ages and abilities plus skijoring and vintage ski. Feb. 23--27.

Bald Eagle Appreciation Days in Prairie du Chien, WI Birding experts give live-eagle and raptor programs, and volunteers man spotting scopes at overlooks. There will also be children's activities and a life-size eagle nest. Feb. 25--26.

Grumpy Old Men Festival in Wabasha, MN There's always good eagle-viewing in this Mississippi River town, and during the festival, there will be an ice-fishing contest, polar plunge and minnow races. Feb. 26.

Bockfest at Capital Brewery in Middleton, WI This Madison-area brewery celebrates with the Running of the Blondes 1K race, a fish toss, music, costumes and, of course, beer. Tickets go on sale Dec. 1 and sell out fast. Feb. 26.

Chili Ice Walk in Racine, WI Between noon and 4 p.m., walk downtown to see ice sculpting, sample chili from eight restaurants and go on a scavenger hunt in shop windows. Feb. 26.

Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival in Des Moines, IA It's all about bacon at this festival at the Horizon Event Center. The theme is Bacon Gras, with Cajun-infused bacon dishes and street performers and beads on Bacon Bourbon Street. There's also live music, a silent disco, cooking demos and a bacon-eating contest. Feb. 26.

Trenary Outhouse Classic in Trenary, MI In this little town, not far from Munising and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, there will be potty-pushing contests for kids and adults, a best fur-hat contest and lots of craft beer. Feb. 26.

Leech Lake Frostfest in Walker, MN This town on Leech Lake offers fat-bike demos, dog-sled rides, a snow-golf course, lumberjack races, children's games and craft beer. Feb. 26.

WolfTrack Classic Sled Dog Race in Ely, MN The mushers race to Tower and back, and spectators have a chance to mingle beforehand. Feb. 27.

An art sled flies down the hill.
A child flies down the hill at Minneapolis' Art Sled Rally.

First weekend of March

Oneota Film Festival in Decorah, IA This free festival showcases documentary films and includes dance performances on the campus of Luther College. March 3--7.

World's Longest Weenie Roast in Cable, WI Lakewoods Resorts hosts this benefit on Lake Namekagon, which includes snowmobile speed runs, ice bowling, a weenie-eating contest and a frozen weenie polar plunge. March 4--5.

Artigras in Green Bay, WI This fine arts festival in KI Convention Center includes artist demonstrations, children's activities, dance, jazz and classical music. March 5--6.

Bock Fest in New Ulm, MN There's a parade of mythical Germanic characters, a hunt for billy-goat heads on the Schell Brewery grounds and beyond and a big party afterward with beer, live music and a bonfire. March 5.

For St. Patrick's Day events, see Toasting St. Pat .

For the best events in spring, see Great spring festivals .

Last updated on January 18, 2022

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