FARGO — After an unseasonably warm first half of January, temperatures will drop a bit this week — and for Frostival organizers, the frigid dip couldn’t come at a better time.
The annual midwinter celebration of outdoor activities and entertainment started last week, but kicks into gear this week with a full slate of events.
While the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has prompted many people to spend more time in their homes, organizers say Frostival offers safe, socially distanced options for fun.
“It’s a really great time to remind people in our community how great it can be to be outside, even in winter,” says Jessica Korynta, event specialist with the Fargo Parks District.
Fargo, West Fargo and Moorhead's park districts have partnered with the Fargo-Moorhead Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Downtown Community Partnership on the annual wintry celebration.
“With everyone staying home so much, it’s really important this year to give people things to do and places to go,” says Dannielle Melquist, director of marketing at the FMCVB.
She says organizers are following coronavirus guidelines of both states and asking people to stay home if they show signs of being sick and wear masks, even if events are outdoors.
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Frostival runs through Feb. 27 and some activities that last the duration of the fest started last week, like the scavenger hunt to be done at your leisure, or the Silver Snowflake Search in West Fargo. There’s also a virtual tour of Fargo’s Island Park and a Moorhead Adopt-a-Hydrant selfie project.
This week starts some of the more popular events, like Cardboard Sled Races from 10:20-11:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 23, at Mickelson Sledding Hill in Fargo. Participants will craft their own sleds out of old boxes for a smooth ride down the hill.
The Lights in West Fargo is a new attraction and its event, Movie on Ice, is so popular, many sessions have already filled to capacity of 50. Skaters can partake in an open skate or warm up by a fire while “Frozen 2” shows on a big screen from 1-7 p.m. Saturday.
Action-seekers can register in the “Hunger Games”-themed snowball fight called Uniquely Fargo: Color Clash scheduled for 3-4 p.m. Saturday at Rheault Farm in Fargo.
For a more peaceful experience in nature, the Winter Birding Festival, from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at Fargo's Forest River Park, will help participants get more in touch with natural surroundings.
Future Frostival highlights will include the Frozen Fortress on Jan. 30 at Viking Park, near the Hjemkomst Center in Moorhead. The event includes the popular Snow Sculpture Competition, Snowga and Dance Attack.
The Candlelight Trail Walk from 5-8 p.m. at Viking Park allows an opportunity to try your hand — or your feet — at cross-country skiing or snowshoeing, with rentals available.
Youth Pond Hockey Day returns Feb. 6 at Lindenwood Park in Fargo.
The Kickball Tournament will be held at MB Johnson Park in Moorhead on Feb. 6. A week later, the north Moorhead park will host Winter Trails Day in the morning and afternoon and Winter Overnight Camping later.
For more information and a full schedule of events, visit www.frostival.com.