Weather Forecast


Winter events slated for Feb. 9

Community volunteers are hoping to light a spark behind an idea to develop a winter festival in New Richmond.

For the second year in a row, the annual Fire & Ice celebration and the Vitalympics will join forces to provide some winter fun for all ages.

This winter's version of the festivities will be from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9. The event will be held on and around the ice rink at the corner of Knowles Avenue and 11th Street (adjacent to Starr Elementary).

According to Christine Melby, founder of Messes and Masterpieces, which sponsors the Fire & Ice celebration, ice and snow activities will be offered to youngsters, teens and parents during the afternoon. Among the activities will be horse-drawn sled rides and more.

Plans are also in the works for a possible tent enclosure to be erected, so that families can get out of the cold. If the necessary financial backing comes for the tent, carnival games may be offered inside the heated space, she said.

The second annual Vitalympics will be held in conjunction with the Fire & Ice event.

Teams, made up of members 15 years and older, will compete in a variety of winter competitions throughout the afternoon. Teams will accumulate points and the top point getter will be presented with the Vitalympics trophy at the end.

The eight competitive events being planned are turkey bowling, smoosh-boarding, sled relay race, snow golf, Klondike race, Frisbee toss, broomball obstacle course, and snowshoe relay race.

There will be fire pits, music and concessions during the entire afternoon. Snowshoes and cross country skis will also be available for people to try out for free.

A snow kickball tournament is also planned for the day. A limit of six teams will be allowed to sign up during this first-ever tournament. If interested in participating, send an email to for details.

Organizers are also hoping to promote a "chili challenge" among local eating establishments that weekend. At least two restaurants have already expressed an interest in participating. More details will be available later.

Joe Kerlin, New Richmond parks and recreation director, said the Vitalympics and Fire & Ice are two components to a future week-long winter festival in the community. He said any organization or business is welcome to tag along and offer events or specials during the week or weekend of Feb. 9.

Kerlin said the hope is that the festivities will grow each year until New Richmond is abuzz with winter activity for an entire week.

Anyone wanting to help with the organization of the event is encouraged to call Melby at 651-308-2938.