ELY – This community’s 29th annual celebration and embrace of the cold season returns this year with the 2022 Ely Winter Festival. A more typical celebration will be held Feb. 3-13, after …
ELY – This community’s 29th annual celebration and embrace of the cold season returns this year with the 2022 Ely Winter Festival. A more typical celebration will be held Feb. 3-13, after the 2021 celebration was dialed back due to COVID-19 public health concerns.
“There will be plenty of activities to fill your schedules,” said organizer Shauna Vega. “The board and volunteers have been busy putting all the final details together and we are ready to bring back some time-honored favorite events.” The Snow-Sculpting Symposium, Ely ArtWalk, snowshoe hikes with the Listening Point Foundation, and Great Nordic Beardfest are all returning this year, she said. A full schedule and more information can be found online at www.elywinterfestival.com, and a brochure will be available later this month at many local businesses.
The festival’s signature snow-sculpting event was limited to just a handful of snow blocks in Whiteside Park last year and limited to local artists. “We have a number of snow-sculpting teams from Minnesota, the upper Midwest, Germany, and Argentina making their way to Ely,” Vega said. “Whiteside Park will be full of visitors flocking to see the snow sculptures as they take shape.” The amateur snow-sculpting contest will also return this year. Amateur individuals, families, and groups will carve their creations from Jan. 31 to Feb. 5 with judging and prizes awarded that Saturday afternoon.
The Great Nordic Beardfest will also return this year and will be conducted at two venues over two days, at the Boathouse Brewpub and Restaurant and at Ely’s Historic State Theater, on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 4-5. Check out their website at www.greatnordicbeardfest.com for more information and to register.
Snowshoe hike tours out to Sigurd Olson’s historic Listening Point will be available through the ten days of the festival. “Limited slots are available, so sign up soon,” Vega said.
The windows of many downtown Ely businesses will be turned into a walking art gallery as the Ely ArtWalk returns for local artists to display their best works.
“We are in need of volunteers in a number of areas, especially in the making of the luminarias,” Vega said. “To lend us your time and talents, email firstname.lastname@example.org.”
The Ely Winter Festival is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund. This activity is also made possible by a grant from the Donald G. Gardner Humanities Trust. “The Ely Winter Festival would like to thank Veterans on the Lake, Raven Words Press, Twin Metals Minnesota, Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness, Grand Ely Lodge, and Ely Family Dental for their generous support,” said Vega.
For more information, contact Shauna Vega at 218-365-SNOW or Shauna@elywinterfestival.com.
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