Polar explorer Ann Bancroft, left, visits with guests at the VinterSurvival camp in the Lilleskogen parking lot.
The part of winter worth waiting for started Saturday, Feb. 1 — just in time for Vinterfest, Scandia’s annual celebration of ice and snow. “Vinter” is Swedish for “winter,” and the city’s Swedish heritage was evident throughout the day.
The Pleasant Valley Cloggers from nearby Lindström (“America’s Little Sweden” and home of Karl Oskar Days) performed in the Community Center.
The ski/snowshoe trail started at Gammelgården (Swedish for “old small farm”), the museum that preserves Swedish immigrant history. It proceeded past the Elim cemetery, full of Scandinavian names, and passed through the park called Lilleskogen (Swedish for “little forest”).
At the Designs of Sweden store on Olinda Trail, owner Martin Hallkvist handed out cookies.
The festival was organized by members of the city’s Park and Recreation Committee, with Scandia/Marine Lions, Gammelgarden volunteers and city staff on hand to help out.
This year the Scanley Cup hockey tournament, sponsored by the Roberts Family Funeral Home of Forest Lake, took place on the hockey rink, and the figure skating rink was expanded to accommodate pleasure skaters. The tournament raised $1,000 for Scandia’s Leonard Wojtowicz Skating Park.
Polar explorer Ann Bancroft showed her tent, sled and a snow shelter at VinterSurvival Camp.
And the QuizPromenade, a traditional Swedish trivia game, tested visitors’ knowledge of winter weather, fish species and butterfly migration, among other things.
Sofie Wicklund and Quentin Ikuta, members of the Stillwater High School Nordic ski team, crossed Barton Johnson Park between quiz questions.
The Forest Lake team called “the Goons” took home the Scanley Cup by beating the Roberts Family Funeral Home team, 6-3. From left to right are Goons Andrew Johnson, Robbie McCollum, Matt Stendahl, Christian Fogerty, Adam Setten, Bob Downs, Clint Blum and Jake Kogler.
Park and Recreation Committee volunteer Pam Arnold, center, registered guests for the QuizPromenade inside the Välkommen Hus at Gammelgarden Museum. Quiz questions for adults, children and teams were posted on signs along the ski/snowshoe trail.
Lexi Smothers of Shafer tests a sled used by Bancroft, the first woman to cross both polar ice caps to reach the North and South poles.
Dennis Seefeldt, former Scandia mayor, and Carl Nordgren, who groomed the Vinterfest trail, helped visitors strap on skis or snowshoes at the Gammelgården gazebo. Nordgren is the father of Leif Nordgren, who will compete in the Winter Olympics for the U.S. biathlon team.
Lions President Tom Triplett and Scandia City Administrator Kristina Handt worked in the Lions food truck.
Alex Bildeau (left), past president of the Park and Recreation committee, donated firewood.
Designs of Sweden store owner Martin Hallkvist, in English but with a Swedish accent, provided refreshments.
The QuizPromenade started at Gammelgården Museum.
Elli Rodsjo, with friends, family and Newfoundland dog, hiked through Lilleskogen Saturday afternoon.