We’re grateful to have another round of blog posts written by student volunteers through Wayzata High School’s Club Y.E.S. program. This week’s post is by Brittany Wang.
A chilly wind blows across Parkers Lake’s icy surface and the frosty air bites the cheeks of the crowd gathered on the lake’s frozen top. Despite the cold weather, these attendees of Plymouth’s Fire and Ice Festival are kept warm with excitement by the celebration’s lively activities and family-oriented festivities. From wintertime games to local food vendors to a majestic fireworks display, Plymouth has created a dazzling wintry festival truly fitting of its imposing name.
Starting in 1990, Plymouth has held its Fire and Ice Winter Festival annually in early February at Parkers Lake Park, by County Road 6 and Niagara Lane. Karol Gruepner, the festival’s founder, first created Fire and Ice as an exciting way for the community to bundle up and celebrate Minnesota’s bold winter with neighbors and friends.
This year the celebration was kicked off with a medallion hunt, a tradition first started 11 years ago in 2011. Beginning January 6, clues were published on the Fire and Ice webpage and the city’s social media platforms weekly through January 27, or until the medallion was found; a prize of $300 was given to the first sleuth who found the medallion.
Fire and Ice’s true festivities began about a month later on February 5. While a live DJ set an upbeat tone for the evening, families and children were able to enjoy a wide variety of interactive games and activities on the ice. This year’s activities featured recycle bin races, a youth ice fishing contest, horse-drawn trolley rides, pony rides, miniature golf on the ice, snow bowling, box hockey, recreational skating, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. When attendees needed a break from the fun and the cold, several toasty food options were available to help warm them up — multiple food trucks lined the edge of the lake and Step by Step Montessori sponsored a bonfire with s’mores. To end the festival with a grand finale, the Plymouth Civic League sponsored a brilliant fireworks show, adding the “fire” element to Fire and Ice.
Plymouth’s Fire and Ice Festival is a truly special opportunity to enjoy winter fun with family. Although this year’s festival has already passed, you can rest assured knowing that next year the fiery festivities will return to Parkers Lake once again.