By Holly Neumann
The 61st annual Iola Winter Carnival is set to take place Friday to Sunday, Feb. 3–5, at various locations throughout the community.
The event opens Feb. 3 with the eighth annual Iola Snow Bully Fat Tire Bike Race at 6 p.m. at the Iola Winter Sports Club grounds, located at E398 County Trunk MM.
“The Snow Bully is a great kickoff to the winter carnival weekend,” said race director Scott Cole. “It attracts a different group of winter sports enthusiast to Iola that is not always into Nordic skiing, snowshoeing or ski jumping.”
Contact Cole at 715-340-3683 for more information.
A full day of events are scheduled for Feb. 4, starting with an ice sculpting contest from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Chet Krause Legacy Park.
Everyone is welcome and participants do not have to be an experienced sculptor.
Enter the contest by emailing [email protected] or sending a text message to 715-281-2872.
Cash prizes or Iola-Scandinavia Chamber of Commerce Chamber Bucks will be awarded for first , second and third place.
Spectators are encouraged to watch the carvers while enjoying complimentary hot chocolate and cookies.
A free children’s ice fishing contest for ages 17 and under will take place on Lake Iola. Registration will begin at 9:30 a.m. at the Olson Park shelter, followed by the contest from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“The fisheree allows families to go out and try their luck on Lake Iola for chances at catching a trophy fish and/or dinner for that night,” organizer Tracey Ambacher said.
Prizes and awards will follow. Awards for the largest bluegill, crappie, perch, bass and northern pike will be given. All other prizes are general door prizes to be handed out with no purchase necessary. There will also be a 50/50 raffle.
All first-place winners will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a $200 taxidermy certificate from Mayes Taxidermy Studio of Stevens Point.
Other prizes include a Mathews bow, Frabill pop-up ice shanty, underwater camera, tip-ups, rods and reels and more.
Hot dogs, cheese curds, chips and hot chocolate are free to all children, while parents are asked for a donation.
At 1 p.m. spectators can stop at the Iola Winter Sports Club grounds to watch the unique sport of skijoring.
This event will be followed by the crowning of the Queen of Snows at 3 p.m. Candidates are Mackenzie Woyak, Chloe Timdal, Malea Tessen and Rebecca Woiak.
The weekend events will conclude Feb. 5 with the Central Ski Jumping Championship at noon at the Iola Winter Sports Club grounds. Admission is $5 and concessions will be available for purchase.
An award ceremony will follow the competition and the club’s cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails will be open all weekend.
Visit www.iolawintersportsclub.com for more information.
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By Holly Neumann