January 27, 2011 at 8:46 a.m.

Celebration of the Lakes is here, please join us on the lake for some good fun!

Celebration of the Lakes is here, please join us on the lake for some good fun!
Celebration of the Lakes is here, please join us on the lake for some good fun!

Don't look now, but the Celebration of the Lakes is this weekend. It seems like yesterday when we were talking about Shafer Days. The Celebration of the Lakes is the beginning of our area's yearly celebrations, and has quickly become one of everyone's favorite. The weather forecast on Monday looked good on all accounts, but as of today, the forecast looks somewhat gloomy. The only reason I speak of this is to show you just how much a weather forecast means nothing. In other words, if the weatherman says things don't look so swell, bet on it that we will have a great weekend.

Now the Celebration. In case you did not happen to catch the tab we put in your Search shopper last weekend, I will fill you in on some of the goings on this weekend. The Historical Society is sponsoring an old time movie on Friday night. For only 25 cents, you and your family can watch a family movie while eating popcorn. The movie starts at 6:30 p.m. at the Chisago Lake Lutheran Church in Center City.

On Saturday the events really shift into high gear. Beginning with a hot air balloon launch scheduled at 7:45 a.m. - make sure that you bring your camera, the morning launch makes for some spectacular photos. At 10 a.m., there is a 5K run/walk that begins and ends at Central Bank. Kitty Kat snowmobile races will also begin at 10. Over on South Lindstrom Lake they will be racing Gran Prix cars on the ice.

New to the Celebration of the Lakes this year is a Tribute to the Troops Frozen Freedom Rally. These good folks are raising money for the troops. They have done this before in the summer and have had great turnouts.

As always, there will be outdoor games for kids next to the warming tent. Your kids can win prizes while trying to beat their friends at various games. At noon dress your kids up in their favorite character costume and enter them in the kiddie parade.

Also at noon, are the ever popular snowmobile drag races. You must register prior to racing your sled by 11 a.m.

Saturday will have dog sled rides, helicopter rides and Belgian horse hay rides. A great way to take in the scenery without having to work at it. Make sure to bring your skates along, because there is a huge ice rink for everyone to skate on.

At 3:30 Saturday, fingers crossed, their will be a second balloon launch. I really hope they take off this year, because this is the time that the most people are attending. Two years ago they took off on Saturday afternoon and their were hundreds and hundreds of people there watching. It was a spectacular sight to see.

Sunday begins much like Saturday with a balloon launch at 7:45 a.m. Please bring you cameras folks, we would love to use your photos in the Press and possibly in next year's Celebration of the Lakes circular.

Instead of Kitty Kat races, there will be the kids pro ice snowmobile state championship. This should be pretty neat, because the state's best drivers will be there competing for the title.

If you are looking for a little cash, why not get your friends and look for the missing medallion. The clues will be posted in the warming tent beginning at 10 a.m. with a grand prize of $100 for the lucky finders.

Sunday will play host to a golf tournament to be held on the lake. They are looking for teams of four to play nine holes of frozen golf. Please call Jill at 651-257-1483 to register.

Also on Sunday, the Chisago Lakes Lions Club will be hosting its annual fishing contest on North center Lake. All the holes are pre-drilled so all you need is a pole and bait. They always have great prizes and everyone has a wonderful time.

The radar runs will go all day on Sunday, so if you are into snowmobiles that go the speed of light, you will be in Heaven. Here is something the kids will love. The Saints Baseball team mascot Mudonna will be making an appearance at the Radar Run on Sunday from Noon to 1pm. Stop by and get a photo of Mudonna with your child.

So there you have it, virtually something happening all weekend long. Remember that there are a lot of great eating establishments in the area offering Celebration of the Lakes specials.

I have some sad news about this year's celebration. Apparently an over zealous health inspector from our great state has decided to make an example out of the Celebration of the Lakes. They have put the kabash on this year's chili cook-off. The guidelines they have laid down make it virtually impossible to hold the cook-off. I can't for the life of me remember someone getting sick from the chili cook-off in years past nor have I heard of an inspector ruining other cooking contests, but maybe they have. Either way, I apologize to all the people that love to try the different and great chilis that our locals have come up with.

I hope you have heard about the local high school coaches who are raising money for cancer research. They're calling it "Coaches for Cancer" and have raised a ton of money so far. On February 4 at the Wildcat girls basketball game and on February 10 at the boys basketball game, Coaches for Cancer is teaming up for another great cause. They are holding a "Pink Out Night" to help raise money for cancer and for the family of fellow teacher Kim Hofmann who is battling cancer. For a mere $10, you can purchase a pink t-shirt to show your support for Kim and others fighting cancer. The whole goal is to reach $5,000 and if that goal is met, there will be pies in faces. Faces like coach Jangor, faces like Principal Dave Ertl and possibly more. If you are unable to attend either game, you can still purchase a t-shirt or make a donation, just contact the American cancer Society or Coach Jangor at the school.

Don't forget about the River Bank's diaper drive that runs through the end of January. The diapers benefit Baby Blanket which is located at St. Bridget of Sweden Catholic Church in Lindstrom. In addition to the collection of diapers, 100 percent of the RiverBucks proceeds (coffee drinks and fresh baked cookies) from the January contribution will go directly to the Diaper Drive. Diapers can be dropped off at the local River Banks in Chisago City or Wyoming. Don't forget to buy a coffee drink and cookie.

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