Mark your calendar for the 2018 Icebox Days Winter Festival!
January 17-21, 2018
Icebox Days - International Falls, MN
Welcome to the wacky winter festival known as Icebox Days – an annual celebration staged in what the world knows as the “Icebox of the Nation.” That trademarked moniker, given to us by Collier’s magazine decades ago, harbors plenty of implications but one thing is for sure - it keeps the media inquiring and has put us on the global map.
Events through the years have been covered by CBS, NBC and ABC networks and others. Icebox Days has also been featured on The Travel Channel, The Weather Channel, MSNBC, Lifetime and dozens of national and international publications. A few years ago, Emmy Award-winning television journalist JuJu Chang visited with her son and producer, resulting in an International Falls feature on the ABC program “Nightline.”
Yet there’s still a lot more you need to know about us. Our people live here because they love the area and are inhabited with an affection for nature illustrated in joyous winter activity and winter resiliency.
Sure – we celebrate winter with our wacky and wonderful winter festival. But here’s another thing: International Falls is beautiful in four distinct seasons – breathtakingly pristine winters melt into heavenly summers, and glorious autumns. In the meantime, Icebox Days is packed full of fun and zany games for all people, including frozen turkey bowling; the locally invented “smoosh” races; moonlight skiing in Voyageurs National Park; the infamous “Gizzard” runs and much more (as you will see in this schedule).
Be sure to catch the exhilarating FIREWORKS under the winter sky at 6 p.m. Saturday near Smokey Bear Park. Then you can warm up at the Beach Party at the VFW.
2018 Icebox Days are coordinated by the International Falls Area Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the City of International Falls, generous sponsors and dozens of volunteers. You are warmly welcomed to the Icebox of the Nation for the 38th amazing year of Icebox Days and Freeze Yer Gizzard Blizzard Run.
Thank you to our 2018 Icebox Days sponsors!
Silver Plus Partners
Friend's Garbage Service
Pelland Swenson & Associates
Property Development & Construction LLC
North Border Financial Services
America's Best Value Inn & Suites
Bergstrom Wood Product
Border Bar & Pizza Parlor
Border State Bank
Chocolate Moose Restaurant
Lucachick Architecture Inc.
North Star Electric Coop.
Northern Lumber Yard
Northern Reliable Insurance Agency
Patty's It's a Girl Thing
Rainy River Veterinarian
Solutions Insurance Agency
State Farm Insurance - Charles Casanova
Trails End Chapter - MDHA
Washcke Family GM Center
America's Coldest Town Lives for 'Icebox Days'
2018 Official Events
Official Icebox Events Calendar
Wednesday, January 17, 2018
9:00 PM: Bar Olympics at Viking Bar. Test your skills at beer pong, flip cup and speed quarters. Teams of 2 pay a $20 entry fee for each team. Prizes awarded! Signed disclaimer agreements required. Call Viking Bar to register at 218-283-4000.
Thursday, January 18, 2018
6:00 PM: Wing Eating Contest at Viking Bar. Test your wing eating skills. All ages are welcome to participate. Each contestant will receive 12 wings. The first one to finish their wings wins! $6 entry fee. First place $75, second place $50, third place $25. Signed disclaimer agreements required. Call Viking Bar to register, 218-283-4000.
7:00 PM: Family Movie Night at Backus Community Center! $2 per person, popcorn available. Children under 10 must be accompanied by an adult. Contact Backus for more info, 218-285-7225 or go online at www.backusab.org.
Friday, January 19, 2018
5:00 PM to 7:30 PM: Freeze Yer Gizzard Blizzard Run Headquarters Open at Backus Community Center. Pick up your race packet for the 5K or 10K, or register. Registration fee is $45. Call the Chamber for more info, 218-283-9400.
5:00 PM to 7:30 PM: Community Wellness Expo at the Backus Community Center, on stage. Back by popular demand! Come explore the various booths offering good info, freebies and products. For more information contact FallsCWAC@gmail.com or Facebook Community Wellness Action Council.
6:00 PM to 7:30 PM: Moonlight Snowshoe Hike in Voyageurs National Park. Meet at the Rainy Lake Visitors Center to join a park ranger for a snowshoe walk in the northwoods. Enjoy the night sky, crisp air, and snowy winterland. Snowshoes provided, or bring your own. Cozy up to a campfire and sip hot cocoa following the trek. Sponsored by Voyageurs National Park. Contact Miranda Challeen for info, 218-286-5258.
6:30 PM to 8:30 PM: Social Yoga for Runners at Replenish Yoga & Wellness in Backus Community Center, Third Floor. Enjoy a gentle yoga practice specifically for runners the night before the FYGBR! A great way to socialize and loosen up for the run! $20 for non-runners, $10 for registered FYGB runners. Contact Replenish Yoga & Wellness on Facebook or email email@example.com for info.
7:00 PM: Bargo at the Viking Bar. Like playing Bingo? Then you’ll love BARGO! It's bar bingo! Receive a free card with drink purchase. Games are played every 10 minutes. Must be present by 8pm to play for the blackout jackpot at 9pm. Call the Viking Bar for more info, 281-283-4000.
9:00 PM: Lucky Dogs at Loony’s Brew in Ranier. Enjoy live music from this singer songwriter trio from Big Falls. Contact Kayla for info, 218-540-1001.
10:00 PM: Can Crushing Contest at the Viking Bar. Contestants will be given a crusher and cans. Whoever crushes the most in one minute wins $50. Call the Viking Bar for more info, 281-283-4000.
Saturday, January 20, 2018
7:30 AM to 11:00 AM: Icebox Days Pancake Breakfast at the Elk’s Lodge organized by the Falls Education Foundation. Hot cakes, sausage, juice and coffee – for a free will offering. All proceeds go to the Falls Education Foundation. Contact Mary Bigler for more info, 218-286-3102.
8:00 AM to 9:30 AM: Freeze Yer Gizzard Blizzard Run Registration & Packet Pick-up at the Backus Community Center. Pick up your race packet for the 5K or 10K, or register for the race. Registration fee is $45. Call the Chamber for more info, 281-283-9400.
9:00 AM: 5K Freeze Yer Gizzard Blizzard Run begins at the Backus Community Center. Start/finish line near Backus, on 9th Avenue. Look for signs. Contact the Chamber for more info, 218-283-9400.
9:00 AM to Noon: Cheering Contest, Freeze Yer Gizzard Blizzard Run. Cheer on the runners, 9:00 AM to Noon, along the course, and you and your group could win $100 in Chamber Dollars. Call the Chamber office for more info and to register, 218-283-9400.
9:00 AM to 1:00 PM: Community Wellness Expo continues at the Backus Community Center, on stage. For more information contact FallsCWAC@gmail.com or Facebook Community Wellness Action Council.
9:00AM to Sun Noon: Boy Scouts Winter Camping at Smokey Bear Park. Come learn about cold weather camping as the Boy Scouts set up for an overnight camp out at Smokey Bear Park. A heat tent will also be available.
9:30 AM to 1:00 PM (approx.): FYGBR Runners’ Reception at the Backus Community Center stage with food and a beer garden. Runners get in free with presentation of ticket in race packets. $5 charged at the door for runners’ family/friends. Call the Chamber office for more info, 218-283-9400.
10:00 AM: 10K Freeze Yer Gizzard Blizzard Run begins at the Backus Community Center. Start/finish line near Backus, on 9th Avenue. Look for signs. Contact the Chamber for more info, 281-283-9400.
10:00 AM: Icebox Boot Hockey Tournament at the Ranier rink. Get a team of 10 friends together. Three males and two females must be on the ice at all times. $75 participation fee per team, 8-teams max., with 100% payback. First, Second and Third Places paid with Chamber Dollars. Adherence to rules and signed disclaimer agreements by participants are required. Contact Chad Korpi, 218-324-1172, firstname.lastname@example.org; or Jesse Belanger, 218-324-1299, email@example.com.
10:00 AM to 3:00 PM: Luminary Crafts at the Falls Public Library. A fun, indoor, all-ages event in the Library’s Junior Room for those who like crafts! Make a Luminary on a Stick to use at the Icebox Days Fireworks! Free. Contact Diane Adams for more info, 218-283-8051.
11:30 AM (est.): Freeze Yer Gizzard Blizzard Run Awards Ceremony for 5K and 10K Races at the Backus Community Center stage. Runners’ reception continues simultaneously during awards. Must be present to receive award or win prizes. Contact the Chamber for more info, 218-283-9400.
1:00 PM to 4:00 PM: Frostbite Open Golf Tournament at Thunderbird Lodge, Rainy Lake. Get out your golf clubs, or hockey sticks! Play nine ice holes with tennis balls on a course lined with Christmas trees. Teams of four, $25 per person. Registration starts at 11:00 AM. Shotgun start at 1:00 PM, course takes about 1.5 hours to complete. Longest drive competition is at 3:00 PM. Awards and prizes at 4:00 PM. Putting “green” is open all day. Signed disclaimer agreements required. Contact Eric Johnson for more info, 218-244-6506, or Thunderbird Lodge, 218-286-3151.
1:00 PM: Toilet Seat Toss outside the Viking Bar. All ages welcome. Test your toilet seat tossing skills. Those that toss the seat the furthest, win! Winning child gets a certificate for $20 to Dairy Queen; winning adult receives a $25 certificate for the Viking Bar. Seats provided by the Viking Bar. Contact the Viking Bar for more info, 218-283-4000.
1:00 PM to 2:30 PM: Frozen Turkey Bowling outside at the Backus Community Center. Throw a frozen gobbler down icy bowling lanes and knock down as many bowling pins as possible. Event supervised by the FHS Student Council and National Honor Society. Free of charge. Prizes awarded. Call the Chamber for more info, 218-283-9400.
2:00 PM: Kids Smoosh Races outside at the Viking Bar. For kids 14 and under. Form a team with two kids per set of smoosh boards. Boards will be provided, along with hot treats! Sign up at 1:45 PM. Every person gets a participation prize, $20 to the winner! Signed disclaimer agreements required. Contact Chris Smith for more info, 218-324-0391.
2:30 PM: Adult Smoosh Races outside the Viking Bar. Crazy fun! Form a team of four people per set of smoosh boards and be at the Viking Bar by 2:15 PM for sign up. Open to people age 15 and older. $100 in Chamber Dollars to the winning team! Signed disclaimer agreements required. Contact Chris Smith for more info, 218-324-0391.
3:30 PM to 5:00 PM: Chili Challenge at Backus Community Center. If you have an award winning chili recipe, enter the Chili Challenge! Public is invited to eat and judge the recipes! $6 per person admission includes chili, toppings and beverage. Contact Backus for more info, 218-285-7225 or go online at www.backusab.org.
4:00 PM: Icebox Dart Tournament at the Border Bar & Pizza House. $5 entry fee, with 300% payback! Sign up at 3:00 PM. Contact Bob Rostie for more info, 218-283-9919.
5:45 PM: Luminary Walk from Falls Public Library to Smokey Bear Park. Those who made luminaries at the Falls Public Library today can walk together over to Smokey Bear Park for the Fireworks! Open to all ages. Free. Contact Diane Adams for more info, 218-283-8051.
6:00 PM: Fireworks in Smokey Bear Park. Gather along 3rd Street to watch the fireworks against the dark winter sky. Provided by the City of International Falls and the Fire Department.
7:30 PM to 11:00 PM: Beach Party at the VFW. It’s back! Get your “beachy attire” on and join in the fun. Music, dancing, beach games and prizes. Must be 21 or older to participate. Call the VFW for more info, 218-283-8777.
Sunday, January 21, 2018
9:00 AM to Noon: Boy Scouts Winter Camping in Smokey Bear Park continues until the campsite is disassembled at 12:00pm. Stop by to learn about cold weather camping from local Boy Scouts.
11:00 AM to 4:00 PM: Frostbite Falls Open Course at Thunderbird Lodge, Rainy Lake. If you missed the tournament on Saturday, you can still come out try the course! Course available for open play. Signed disclaimer agreements required. Contact Eric Johnson for more info, 218-244-6506, or Thunderbird Lodge, 218-286-3151.
1:00 PM to 3:00 PM: Canoe Races at Loony’s Brew in Ranier. Gather a team of 3 people to sign-up for this icy, fun competition! Canoes provided and instructions given at time of registration, 12:45 PM at Loony’s. Signed disclaimer agreements required. Contact Kayla for more info, 218-540-1001.
1:00 PM to 4:00 PM: Hot Dog Roast at the Tilson Creek Ski Trailhead on Highway 11 East with the Polar Polers Ski Club. Enjoy hot dogs and cocoa as you warm by a toasty bonfire. Fat tire bikes will also be available to try! If the temperature is below 0°F, the event will be postponed to a later date. Contact Steve Johnson for more info, firstname.lastname@example.org.
1:30 PM: Icebox Bridge Tournament at First Lutheran Church, doors open at 1:00pm. Everyone is welcome to participate. Folks should bring a partner. Chamber Dollars given as prizes. Contact Byrne & Carole Johnson for more info, 218-286-5225.
4:00 PM: End of Icebox Bonfire at Lonny’s Brew in Ranier. All are welcome. Contact Kayla for more info, 218-540-1001.