Baby it’s Cold Outside

Stadiums winter covered with snow

In case you didn’t hear, there is a football game coming this week. For many people it is the culmination of a great season with a fabulous finale and a bittersweet moment; for others it is a “Thank God it’s over” moment. Whichever camp you are in, the excitement is palpable. I never really do a “super bowl” centered blog. I mention it is taking place and I include a personal favorite event of mine, Wing Bowl in Philadelphia. But that’s about it. Maybe next year I will do one that has statistics like the wedding industry one from a few weeks ago. It might be interesting to know how many hot dogs are eaten at the Super Bowl, or maybe not. I won’t be sure until I get the facts.

This week I noticed that one of the overwhelming themes running through all of the talk about the upcoming game has been the weather. It occurred to me that even though I wasn’t going to be centering on the game taking place this week, I could focus on the weather. Not the forecast so much as the fact that weather impacts events of every kind. A few years ago, in 2011, when I did a showcase of outdoor winter events, there were quite a few canceled due to a lack of snow. Not even was there no snow, it was impossible to make snow because in many places it was just too mild for it to freeze.

What a difference a few years makes. It’s the opposite this year as I see a few events canceled because of the abundance of snow and the dangerous cold weather we are experiencing. Isn’t that just like life, feast or famine, too much or too little? It can be very hard to keep up with it all. But event promoters are a hardy bunch. There will be plenty of people willing to brave the elements to set up, organize, manage and clean up some events this week. All in what can only be categorized as some of the coldest weather in the US since weather records have been taking place.

I know you guys are a brave bunch and will not let a little cold weather stop you. You are not afraid to be as cold as the ice sculptures, as frozen as the skating rinks and as solid as the snow blocks; you love events. To share the joy and spread it around be sure to grab everyone with a hat, scarf, gloves and boots and head on over to an outdoor event this week near you. And remember that if you get too cold it’s ok. Somewhere there is most likely a fire and a hot cup of cocoa on the other side of the snow bank. And when you get home, you can watch the Super Bowl!

Super Bowl: Denver Broncos vs Seattle Seahawks

Feb 02, 2014

Metlife Stadium East Rutherford, NJ 07073

The culmination of a hard fought NFL season. It comes down to two teams that make the trip to play for the National Championship of the National Football League. This contest is between the NFC Champion team and the AFC Champion team.
65,000 Attendees

Laskiainen Finnish Sliding Festival

Feb 01, 2014 – Feb 02, 2014

Loon Lake Community Center Aurora, MN 55705

Since 1938, the tradition of Laskiainen is hundreds of years old and was first celebrated by pagans to mark the end of winter, also vipukelkka or whipsled, skating, variety show, craft demonstrations and food.
5,000 Attendees

Lake George Winter Carnival

Feb 01, 2014 – Feb 02, 2014

Shepard Park Lake George, NY 12845

Opening ceremony, dog pulls, outhouse races, kite flying demonstrations, encampment of the 1700’s, chicken wing cook off, longest drive contest, moonlight ATV ride. Children’s activities, hockey shoot-out, snowmobile sleigh rides, ice skating. Held every weekend in February. Activities vary on different weekends. Check event website for exact schedule.

Buena Vista Logging Day

Feb 01, 2014

Buena Vista Ski Area Bemidji, MN 56601

Since 1985, old time logging demonstrations, induction of lumberjacks into the hall of fame, sleigh rides, live entertainment and lumberjack contest. All you can eat flapjack meals in blacksmith shop 8am-3pm.
1,000 Attendees

Wing Bowl

Jan 31, 2014

Wells Fargo Center Philadelphia, PA 19148

Since 1993. Started from an on-air remark about the Buffalo Bills inability to win a Super Bowl, maybe they should try a “Wing Bowl” and suddenly an event is born. The first Wing Bowl was 2 contestants and less than 150 people in attendance. Now the event fills every seat in the Wells Fargo by 5am. Over 25 contestants compete for the Liberty Bell trophy in what can only be called a “spectacle of gastronomic proportions”. There is a preview parade of the competitors and their “Wingettes” Contestants are chosen based on an eating stunt prior to the event on the local sports radio station morning show which hosts the event.
25,000 Attendees

Iola Winter Carnival

Feb 01, 2014 – Feb 02, 2014

Iola-Scandinavia High School Iola, WI 54945

Since 1961, the festival features an ice carving sculpture contest, Norwegian Supper featuring Lutefisk, meatballs, Norwegian Pastries. Craft Show and Dinner at Iola-Scandinavia High School. Ski Jumping.
4,500 Attendees

Hanford Mill Ice Harvest

Feb 01, 2014

Hanford Mills Museum East Meredith, NY 13757

A day of hands-on history and winter fun. What crop is best harvested in the middle of winter? For the answer, come to the Ice Harvest at Hanford Mills Museum. The day provides a hands-on history lesson—and a day of winter fun. Before there was refrigeration, ice was harvest to preserve agricultural products and to keep food cold in the warmer months. Visitors can walk out on the frozen mill pond and help cut blocks of ice using vintage ice saws. The ice will then be hauled by a horse-drawn sled, and packed in a traditional ice house. The ice harvested at the event will be used to make ice cream at the Hanford Mills Museum Independence Day Celebration. The Ice Harvest Festival also features horse-drawn sleigh rides, a hot soup buffet, hockey on the Mill Pond with the SUNY Oneonta Hockey Team, ice fishing demonstrations by the Dave Brandt Chapter of Trout Unlimited, bonfires, films showing ice harvests in the 1930s, traditional candy-making in the Hanford House, outdoor kids’ activities led by Oneonta World of Learning (11 am – 1 pm), the Haudenosaunee game “Snow Snake” and lots of great food. The Hot Soup Buffet is a favorite way for visitors to warm up during Ice Harvest. Soup is donated by area restaurants.
1,000 Attendees

Dowagiac Ice Time

Feb 01, 2014

Central Business District Dowagiac, MI 49047

Dowagiac Ice Time takes the chill off winter as the Victorian central business district is filled with glistening works of art. Culinary chefs carve 400- pound ice blocks into such intricate sculptures as life-size ballerinas, skiers and bicyclists.Watch timber and wood carvers. Gather ‘round the campfire and indulge yourself with warm and chocolaty S’mores. Enjoy our smokin’ good BBQ or sample southwestern Michigan’s spiciest chili during the professional cook-off. Be sure to arrive early for the Winter Hibernation Sale. Shopkeepers, who open their doors before dawn, award deep discounts to patrons still dressed in their warm jammies.

Bennington Winter Festival and Penguin Plunge

Feb 01, 2014

Downtown Bennington Bennington, VT 05201

Ice sculpture contest, penguin plunge, chili contest, wagon rides, food, pet winter fashion show, children’s story hour and activities.

Knickerbocker Ice Festival

Jan 31, 2014 – Feb 01, 2014

Commons Park Lake Mills, WI 53551

This festival includes something for everyone. A Team Trivia Contest on Friday night starts off the weekend. On Saturday, watch ice carvers create sculptures in front of many downtown businesses or participate in the fisheree and ice golf tournament on Rock Lake. Have a great chili recipe? Prove it at the Fire and Ice Chili Cook- off. And join the fun in Commons Park where kids and adults compete in the Sno Ball eating contest, IdiderDAD Race and Frozen Fish Toss (yes, they are real fish!).

Maria can be reached directly at or @eventcrazy on Twitter or  visit her website at
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