January 28, 2010 at 8:53 a.m.

Grab your parka, fishing poles, running shoes, camera, skates, and your golf clubs

Grab your parka, fishing poles, running shoes,  camera, skates, and your golf clubs
Grab your parka, fishing poles, running shoes, camera, skates, and your golf clubs

After such miserable weather last weekend, Mother Nature has rebounded nicely, and all signs point to a great weekend for the Celebration of the Lakes. Folks, I really hope you can make it out this year. I am not kidding when I say, this is one of the most enjoyable, laid back events you will ever attend in our area. It offers something for everyone.

The festivities kick off Friday night with a free old time movie in the historic Olde Antique Mall in Center City.

Saturday, set your alarms, because at 7:45 a.m., the first balloon launch of the celebration takes place. Usually, this is the one event that provides some of the most photogenic shots. So bring your camera!

Beginning at 10 a.m., you can race in a 5K, you can watch snowmobiles racing, you can either watch or play in a pond hockey tournament, and if you venture over to South Lindstrom Lake, you can watch Grand Prix car racing on the lake.

At 11:30, dress your kids up in costumes for the Polar Island Kiddie Parade. This year's theme is Old McDonald's farm.

As always, a huge warming tent has great food and beverages available. Next to the warming tent, you will find kids games at which your child will receive a prize for playing any of the eight games.

Remember when I wrote about playing golf on the lake? The golf tournament begins at 1 p.m. There are still spots available for your team. Call Jill at 257-1483 if you would like to play.

If you missed the balloon launch at 7:45, don't fret. There will be another launch at 3:30 p.m.

If you plan on driving your snowmobile to the celebration, you might want to be part of the torchlight parade at 4:30. Just make sure to be close to the warming tent.

Sunday the festivities get rolling with another balloon launch at 7:45 a.m. Make sure to hang around after that, because there is a fabulous vintage snowmobile display where you will see snowmobiles from the past, and some you have never seen.

This year there will be snowmobile and ATV races just west of the warming tent that start at 10 a.m.

Also at 10, the Medallion Hunt begins. Clues are posted hourly, and the prize for finding the medallion?  How does $100 sound?

The ever popular Radar Run also gets going Sunday at 10. Bring your snowmobile and see if it's faster than your friend's.

One of my favorite events is the Ice Fishing contest. The holes are pre-drilled and for a minimal cost, you can try for tons of prizes including some really great ones for largest fish. The fishing contest begins at 1 p.m. just north of the radar run on North Center Lake.

At 2 p.m. come back to the warming tent to try some fantastic chili, in the annual chili cook off. If you are a chili cook, please bring a crock pot full of your best chili and enter to win some cash prizes. The chili is available to the public, but I am warning you, get there early, because it gets devoured very quickly.

The chili winners, as well as the coloring contest winners will be announced at 3 p.m. in the warming tent. It is there, where the 2010 Community Ambassador will be announced.

If you would like a copy of the schedule of events, please stop in any of the local businesses and pick one up. If they are out, you can stop here at the Press and pick one up. I really hope to see you out there.

Were you one of those dejected Vikings fans like I was Sunday night? I consider myself a pretty loyal Viking fan, so I was really looking forward to the game. Sitting with my family, watching turnover after turnover, my mood soured considerably. I even went as far as moving by myself to another room, so I wouldn't upset the family. Soon the kids found me watching in the bedroom and soon after that the whole family was on the bed watching the game.

The turnovers just kept coming. Every time I was sure our purple were finally going back to the big game, they would squander it away with yet another turnover. The outcome? Loss. Loss, loss, loss.

As we were tucking the kids in for bed, my daughter could tell that I was disappointed in the purple loss. Then she turns to me and says "Dad, the Vikings did lose, but wasn't it fun just watching such an exciting game?"

When did kids get so darn smart?

I have some noteworthy projects that need your help. If you read this paper, you've heard of the Camp Ojiketa project on Big Green Lake. The Chisago Lakes Rotary has adopted a cabin and has been cleaning the cabin, building, and assembling bunk beds. Additionally they have need for a refrigerator, gas stove, kitchen table and chairs, wicker furniture, bathroom mirror, screen and exterior doors and a few more specific items. If you are remodeling, or have some household building materials that you can donate to the project, please give Bill a call before you toss anything usable. Bill can be reached at 651-402-5429.

Unless you have been in a remote ice fishing cabin lately, without communication, you probably have heard about Feed My Starving Children. Lately, it has been associated with the Haiti disaster. On Sunday, February 21, the Chisago Lakes Rotary volunteers will be among 10,000 volunteers working on assembly lines to pack 2 million meals. The Rotary has a 2 hour time slot from 4:30-6:30 p.m. and is looking for volunteers. If you are coordinating a youth service project, or just want to help, please call John at 651-257-7634. The location for the event is Eagle Brook Church, in Lino Lakes.


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