Frigid temps not enough to keep people from Frosty Bobber Winter Carnival

Grand Forks Herald

Jason Whitesock of Grand Forks doesn’t like running in cold weather.

But the volunteer was willing to stand in it for two hours Saturday morning for the Red River Runners Frozen Feat race, one of several outdoor events that drew hundreds downtown and on the ice.

“I’m just volunteering and making sure traffic goes into the right direction,” he said. “I like to help out with groups like this.”

Several kids prepared extravagant cardboard sleds for a downhill race during the Frosty Bobber Winter Carnival, which featured a fishing tournament on the Red Lake River, a chili feed, Snoga—snow yoga—and other activities in East Grand Forks.

The carnival, backed by sponsors such as Greater Grand Forks Young Professionals and Cabela’s, re-emerged this year after ending in 2006 because of planning and financial constraints. It ran once in 2009.

Tim Lindquist, a Young Professionals member and event co-chair, said he wanted to bring it back. About 18 months ago, he and a friend wanted to give people something fun to do in the winter, he said.

“We walked down memory lane and remembered the Frosty Bobber, and it was like, ‘Man, that was a fun thing. What happened to it?'” he said. “We brought it to the Young Professionals asking for their help and they said yes.”

Alley Alive, a downtown food and music event, was also supposed to be held Saturday, too, but was postponed due to weather, Young Professionals Executive Director Corey Mock said. The event will instead be held May 6.

“They’re going to unveil a pretty cool project,” he said. “They decided to team up and do a larger, more spring-related art event that ties in the alley and some other Young Professional-related activities.”

Downtown activities

Icy cold temperatures hovering near zero didn’t deter people from the outdoor events.

A man dressed as the Frosty Bobber wandered around the sledding area behind Cabela’s as parents snapped photos of their children’s cardboard creations, which included a mini Red Pepper building, a Sweethearts candy box and a colorfully decorated motorhome. A horse-drawn sleigh also circled the parking lot.

Ahead of the fishing tournament, chili bubbled in pots alongside stacks of styrofoam bowls and cans of crushed tomatoes in a small white tent set up in Cabela’s parking lot.

Keith Cumming of Warroad, Minn., referred to by some chili-eaters as “the Single Guy,” peered into a pot. He was called to serve up his no-bean chili because of his involvement in cook-offs at Cats Incredible fishing tournaments, he said. He’s won the People’s Choice Award for the past three years.

So, what’s the secret ingredient?

“I can’t say that,” he said. “No good chili chef would ever tell you the secret ingredient.”

In downtown Grand Forks, Amanda Heisserer crossed the finish line for the 5K Frozen Feat race. This marked her fourth year participating in the race, she said, adding “this is probably the coldest one I’ve done.”

David Dahlgren, a Special Olympics athlete who has run in the Wild Hog marathon before, happily finished his first winter race with his glasses covered in ice and fog. He was among several runners who had frosty mustaches.

Trisha Lewis, a Support Systems staff member who works with people who have disabilities, said the race is good conditioning for him as he prepares for an upcoming basketball tournament.

“I can get good exercise and see my friends,” he said.