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Ice Fest requires devoted group of volunteers

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Our Pequot Lakes Chamber office, part of the Brainerd Lakes Chamber, is busy planning this year’s Ice Fest in Breezy Point. These types of events don’t just happen. It takes a devoted, enthusiastic group of volunteers to pull off an event that draws more than 3,500 people to Pelican Lake.

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Ice Fest started in 1995 as an opportunity to promote the Breezy Point community in the winter. Etta Steffen, the Breezy Point city clerk at that time who was diagnosed with bone cancer in her early 40s, was the energy behind the first event and it is still hosted in her honor.

Ice Fest at Breezy Point serves as one of the busiest winter days for businesses in Breezy Point. An event of this size could not be possible without a group of dedicated volunteers and financial contributions from our sponsors.

Our committee chairs, Justin Wallin of Pine Peaks in Breezy Point and Michael Wallin of Pelican Square, have been on board for about three years. The Pequot Lakes Chamber office with direction from the committee chairs organizes the overall event while other organizations take part in pieces of the event.

The Radar Run portion of the event is organized by the Pequot Lakes Brush Pilots, Greg and Cheri Seils and Dave Guenther. This is no doubt the hit of Ice Fest as it draws in contestants from all over the snowmobile circuit. Last year the fastest time was 162 mph. It is a rush just watching someone go that fast!

The Pequot Lakes/Breezy Point Lions Club organizes the World Championship Ice Auger competition, which has been going on for about 11 years. This competition has seven different categories that include kids, women, hand augers and the power modified.

These men who participate in the power modified competition spend summers in their garages rebuilding small engines to power these machines. Last year, one of these participants went through about 15 inches of ice three times in eight seconds!

The high school hockey team’s organization is also a huge help when it comes to this event, providing the on-ice concession stands and helping with the 4-on-4 pond hockey event.

These are some of the volunteers who make this event happen and just a few of the things you can enjoy when you attend Ice Fest in Breezy Point on Saturday, Jan. 4.

Visit Pequotlakes.com for all event details. Contact Jenna Crawford at 218-568-8911 or stop in at our office if you are interested in getting involved with the chamber and these community events.

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