Bye-bye, winter blues: FLake Festival kicks off this weekend

Third-annual celebration features plenty of fresh events

FR_FlakeFestClint Riese
News Editor

The third time can be a charm, but also the time when a novelty wears off.

Given the slate of new events scheduled for the third-annual FLake Festival, which begins this weekend, complacency will be no concern.

“In the past, last year, we had a lot of the days during the week covered, but this year, it’s a full week of activities,” said Forest Lake Area Chamber of Commerce President Colleen Eddy.

To be precise, Forest Lake’s newest winter tradition now includes nine full days of family fun.

It all gets going this Saturday, Feb. 16. The medallion hunt begins at 8 a.m. Look for the clues to be posted daily at and Once again, the prize will be worth $500 to a treasure hunter with a FLake Festival button. As always, any Forest Lake park is fair game, save for Fenway and Lakeside Memorial.

“I usually start getting phone calls in the beginning of February from people who are interested in the medallion hunt,” said Eddy. “So there is a really good, positive vibe.”

The first new event of the festival is the American Legion Post 225 mini-golf pub crawl set for this Saturday afternoon. Registration starts at noon at the Legion, and golfing begins at 1 p.m. at five local watering holes.

School is out on Monday, and youth will have plenty of ways to participate in FLake Festival. Besides searching for the medallion, they can check out a free 10 a.m. showing of “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs” at the Lake 5 Theater or take part in a kendama tournament at TradeWins Sports. Registration starts at noon, and local kendama celebrity Matt “Sweets” Jorgensen is scheduled to be in attendance.

Tuesday brings a healthy recipe exchange sponsored by Lakewoods Chiropractic. The event starts at 6:30 p.m. at Stella’s on 97.

Pick the brains of city workers and elected officials during a Coffee Chatter set for 7:45 a.m. next Wednesday at city hall.

On Thursday at 5 p.m., ladies can get free massages and tour Timeless Elements Med Spa and Laser Center.

Next Friday brings the drawing for the winning button number, to be held at Vannelli’s by the Lake at 6 p.m. The winner will get $200. Numbered buttons can be bought at Timeless Elements, TradeWins, the Legion, Rapid Press, Burger King, Culver’s, The Hair Shop, OSI Physical Therapy, Lake Area BankVannelli’s by the Lake and city hall. Instead of a raffle ticket, buyers will get a card full of specials at the aforementioned businesses.

The Legion will provide entertainment that night in the form of a Redneck Roundup party starting at 7:30 p.m.

The festival’s biggest day is centered in Lakeside Memorial Park next Saturday, Feb. 23. The Rotary Club’s fourth-annual Winter Plunge will draw hundreds to the lake from noon to 3 p.m. Register at

A pond hockey tournament starts at 8 a.m., featuring an eight-team bracket. Contact Corey Roberts at 464-2134 or [email protected] for more information. New to the event this year is a one-day format and a warming tent.

An ice carver from Ice Occasions will give live demonstrations starting at 11 a.m.

Down Broadway, the Ranger drumline will host a chili feed at the Legion from noon to 3 p.m.

After a busy weekend, locals can refuel with a breakfast at the Legion from 9 a.m. to noon next Sunday. It is a fundraiser for the local Beyond the Yellow Ribbon chapter, and features an all-you-can-eat menu for $7.

It’s been a harsh winter, and Eddy expects people to be ready for some outdoor recreation.

“People should get out of the house and stop hibernating,” she said. “Get out and enjoy what Forest Lake has to offer. That’s really the whole concept of FLake Festival: by February, we’re all tired of being inside.”