Time for Winter Fest in North Branch

Annual festival Feb. 5-9 offers full slate of events including popular Medallion Hunt; clues will be posted soon

Celebrate the cold season with North Branch Area Chamber of Commerce and its 14th annual Winter Fest.

Festivities begin Wednesday, Feb. 5, and conclude Sunday, Feb. 9. Those who purchase official Winter Fest buttons are entered into a drawing for a $50 Shopko gift card.

On Wednesday, grab your bowling shoes, friends and family for the SnoBowl event at JJ’s Bowl & Lounge. Check-in begins at 2:30 p.m., followed by bowling at 3 p.m. The event is hosted by Lake State Credit Union.

Solve the mystery and win a nice prize in North Branch County Market’s Medallion Hunt. The directions seem easy: Buy a Winter Fest button, find the medallion and win $300 with a registered button. The first clue will be posted Wednesday, Feb. 5. Follow-up clues will be posted daily by 10 a.m. until the prize is found. Clues will be online at www.NorthBranchChamber.com. The Post Review also will be posting clues at www.ecmpostreview.com.

On Friday, Feb. 7, find warmth at the Winterfest Gala event at American Legion Post 85. Happy hour is 5:30-7 p.m., and the meal begins at 7 p.m. This event is hosted by the North Branch Rotary Club.

Winter Fest concludes Sunday, Feb. 9, with more food and fun for the entire family. Build your own omelet at the S.A.L. omelet breakfast 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at American Legion Post 85. The breakfast is hosted by Sons of the American Legion.

Then, check out “S’more Fun” Sliding with Frosty from 1-4 p.m. at Stacy Lion’s Park in Stacy. Hot chocolate and cookies are compliments of North Branch Veterinary Hospital.


Big events on 

Saturday, Feb. 8

Snowmobile enthusiasts won’t want to miss the Vintage Snowmobile Expo & Ride, which is set from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at JJ’s Bowl & Lounge. Trophies will be presented at 1:15 p.m. The event is hosted by the North Branch Sno-Drifters & Sno-Baron’s snowmobile clubs.

For those looking for a race, the annual Freeze Your Bunz 5K on the Sunrise Prairie Trail begins with registration at 10 a.m., followed by the race at 10:30 a.m. This event is hosted by the Viking Blue Line Club.

One of the big events is Olympic Fun with Games in Central Park from 1-4 p.m. Kids of all ages are invited to read with NBA Community Education; play turkey bowling and Giant Jenga; join a scavenger hunt; and give snowman building and smooshing a try. The Team Smooshing event will take place at 2 p.m. Offered will be game prizes, hot chocolate and cookies compliments of Andersen Corporation, Lake Area Bank, Fairview Pharmacy North Branch and Fairview Clinic North Branch.

Also at Central Park, watch ice turn into art with the popular ice sculpting demonstration at 10 a.m. The interactive ice sculptures are hosted by many local and area businesses.

The Chili Show Down, with “Healthiest Chili” Contest, is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at JJ’s Bowl & Lounge. Awards will be presented at 1:30 p.m. This event is hosted by Fairview Lakes Medical Center and Fairview Physical Therapy North Branch.

Skate with one of your favorite wintry characters at the Family Ice Skate with Frosty event. It starts at 1 p.m. and will be held at the Municipal Skating Rink. Hot chocolate and cookies are compliments of Minnco Credit Union.

Take a break from the cold and find Scrapbook and Hobby Day from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the North Branch Area High School Commons. The activity, hosted by North Branch ECFE, includes meals, workspace and prizes.

For Medallion Hunt clues, schedule of events and reservation forms, go to www.NorthBranchChamber.com.

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