Mark your calendar for the 2021 Icebox Days Winter Festival!
January 14-17, 2021
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.
2020 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 40th amazing year of Icebox Days and Freeze Yer Gizzard Blizzard Run.
Thank you to our 2020 Icebox Days sponsors!
Silver Plus PartnersCity Cab Service Center
Forestland Sales & ServiceMinnesota Energy ResourcesRainy Lake Medical Center
Friend's Garbage Service
Lucachick Architecture, Inc.
Pelland Swenson & Associates
America's Best Value Inn & Suites
Border Bar & Pizza Parlor
Border State Bank
Greentech Manufacturing, Inc.
Island View Realty
Northern Lumber Yard
Northern Reliable Insurance Agency
Rainy River Veterinary Hospital
Sammy's Pizza Restaurant & Tavern
America's Coldest Town Lives for 'Icebox Days'
2020 Official Icebox Days Schedule of Events
Thursday, January 16, 2020
Icebox Scavenger Hunt – The hunt begins January 16th with the first clue posted on the City Government of International Falls Facebook page. Additional hints and details will be posted on that city page throughout Icebox Days 2020. Up to 25 prizes of $20 in Chamber Dollars will be awarded (1 prize awarded per team or individual). Sponsored by the International Falls Recreation Commission. For more, contact Mayor Harley Droba at 218-244-2036 or firstname.lastname@example.org
10:30 AM: Icebox Story Time at the International Falls Library is 30 minutes of stories and more about polar bears and penguins and followed by about 30 minutes of free play. Is cabin fever getting you down? Come to the library at 740 4th Street! For more information, call 218-283-8051 or visit www.internationalfallslibrary.us.
6:00 PM: History on Tap presents Legends of the Lake at Loony’s Brew in Ranier. Mermaid "tails", lost gold, sunken statues, island guardians & bodies lost to the depths of Rainy herself. Come listen to these stories & more! Featuring Mike Williams, Byrne Johnson, and Ashley LaVigne. For more details, contact Ashley LaVigne, Koochiching County Museums at 218-283-4316.
7:00 PM: Icebox Shuffleboard Tournament at Viking Bar & Lounge. Team registration starts at 6PM. This is for ages 21+. Prizes awarded. Signed event waiver required. For more information, call the Viking Bar & Lounge at 281-283-4000.
7:00 PM to 9:00 PM: RLMC Foundation Bingo Night at VFW 2948 Post & Grill. Join the Rainy Lake Medical Center (RLMC) Foundation for a fun night of bingo, drawings & amazing prizes! All proceeds will assist the RLMC Foundation’s efforts to support our hometown hospital. Must be 18 or older to play. For more, contact the VFW at 218-283-8777.
Friday, January 17, 2020
5:00 PM to 7:30 PM: Freeze Yer Gizzard Blizzard Run Registration & Packet Pick-up at FYGBR Headquarters in Backus Community Center (dining room.) Pick up your race packet for the 5K or 10K. Single race registration is $35 or both races for $55. For more details, call the Chamber at 218-283-9400.
5:00 PM to 7:30 PM: Community Wellness Expo at Backus Community Center, on stage. Back by popular demand! Come explore the various booths offering good info, freebies & products. For more details, contact FallsCWAC@gmail.com or Facebook Community Wellness Action Council.
5:00 PM to 7:30 PM: History of Icebox Days: The First 40 Years of Icebox Days exhibit at Backus Community Center. For more details, contact Ashley LaVigne, Koochiching County Museums at 218-283-4316.
7:00 PM to 8:30 PM: Nightlight Snowshoe Hike in Voyageurs National Park. Discover the wonder of the night during an evening snowshoe hike at the Rainy Lake Visitor’s Center. Come join us for a self-guided hike with beautiful luminaries to light your way. Bring your own snowshoes or borrow a pair from the Visitor Center for free. Bring a flashlight or headlamp. Recommended for all ages. Sponsored by Voyageurs National Park Association. For details, call the Rainy Lake Visitor Center at 218-286-5258.
7:00 PM: Icebox Bargo at Viking Bar & Lounge. Like playing Bingo? Then you’ll love BARGO! It's bar bingo! Games are played every 10 minutes. Must be present by 8pm to play for the blackout jackpot at 9pm. Ages 21+. For more details, call the Viking Bar & Lounge at 281-283-4000.
7:00 PM: Open Mic Night at Loony’s Brew in Ranier. Calling all musicians! Instruments are available for use. Swing out to Loony’s for a sampling of their latest micro-brew, great music and fun. Ages 21+. For more details, call Loony’s Brew at 218-540-1001.
Saturday, January 18, 2020
7:30 AM to 11:00 AM: Icebox Days Pancake Breakfast at the Elks Lodge and organized by the Falls Education Foundation. Hot cakes, sausage, juice, and coffee. Free will offering. All proceeds go to the Falls Education Foundation. For more information, call Jenny Herman at 218-324-1151
8:00 AM to 9:30 AM: Freeze Yer Gizzard Blizzard Run Registration & Packet Pick-up at FYGBR Headquarters in Backus Community Center (dining room.) Pick up your race packet for the 5K or 10K. Single race registration is $35 or both races for $55. For more details, call the Chamber at 218-283-9400.
8:00 AM to 4:00 PM: History of Icebox Days: The First 40 Years of Icebox Days exhibit at Backus Community Center. For more details, contact Ashley LaVigne, Koochiching County Museums at 218-283-4316.
9:00 AM: 5K Freeze Yer Gizzard Blizzard Run begins at Backus Community Center. Start/finish line near Backus, on 9th Avenue. Look for signs. For more details, call the Chamber at 218-283-9400.
9:00 AM to 1:00 PM: Community Wellness Expo continues at Backus Community Center, on stage. Come explore the various booths offering good info, freebies and products. For more details, contact FallsCWAC@gmail.com or Facebook Community Wellness Action Council.
10:00 AM to 12:30 PM (approx.): FYGBR Runners’ Reception at Backus Community Center stage with food and a beer garden. Runners receive free drink and meal tickets in their race packets. Food tickets for non-runners available for $10. For more details, call the Chamber at 218-283-9400.
10:00 AM: 10K Freeze Yer Gizzard Blizzard Run begins at Backus Community Center. Start/finish line near Backus, on 9th Avenue. Look for signs. For details, call the Chamber at 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 always be on the ice. Participation fee is $75 per team, 8-teams maximum (100% payback). Adherence to rules and signed event waiver is required. Under 18 requires parent/guardian authorization. To register, contact the Ranier Muni at 218-286-3343.
11:30 AM (est.): Freeze Yer Gizzard Blizzard Run Awards Ceremony for 5K & 10K Races at Backus Community Center, stage. Runners’ reception continues simultaneously during awards. Must be present to receive award or win prizes. For more details, call the Chamber at 218-283-9400.
1:00 PM to 4:00 PM: Frostbite Falls Open Ice Golf Tournament at Thunderbird Lodge, Rainy Lake. PRE-REGISTRATION REQUIRED. Grab your hockey sticks, golf clubs, decorate your "cart", and come out for great food and drink specials for the 5th annual tournament! Prizes are awarded to golf winners and the "Best Sled" competition winner! Play nine ice holes with tennis balls on a course lined with Christmas trees. Teams of four, $125 per team. Registration starts at 11:00 AM. Shotgun start at 1:00 PM, course takes about 1.5 hours to complete. Putting “green” open all day. Signed event waiver required. For more, call Eric Johnson at 218-244-6506, or Thunderbird Lodge, 218-286-3151.
1:00 PM: Toilet Seat Toss outside Viking Bar & Lounge. All ages welcome. Test your toilet seat tossing skills. Those that toss a seat the furthest, win! Adult and Child winning prizes awarded. Seats provided by Viking Bar & Lounge. For more details, call the Viking Bar & Lounge at 281-283-4000.
1:00 PM to 2:30 PM: Frozen Turkey Bowling outside at Backus Community Center. Throw a frozen gobbler down icy bowling lanes and knock down as many bowling pins as possible. Event coordinated by United Country Voyage North – Shannon Arnold. Free of charge. Prizes awarded. For more details, call the Chamber at 218-283-9400.
2:00 PM: Kids Smoosh Races outside at Viking Bar & Lounge. For kids 14 & under. Form a team with two kids per set of smoosh boards. Boards will be provided. Sign up starts at 1:45PM. Prizes awarded! Signed event waivers required. For more information, call the Viking Bar & Lounge at 281-283-4000.
2:30 PM: Adult Smoosh Races outside Viking Bar & Lounge. Crazy fun! Form a team of four people per set of smoosh boards and be at the Viking Bar & Lounge by 2:15 PM for sign up. Open to people age 15 and older. $100 in Chamber Dollars to the winning team! Signed event waiver required. For more details, call the Viking Bar & Lounge at 281-283-4000.
2:30 PM to 4:00 PM: Chili Challenge at Backus Community Center. If you have an award winning chili recipe, contact Backus to enter the Chili Challenge! Public is invited to eat and judge the recipes! Cost is $6 and includes chili, cornbread, toppings and beverage. For more details contact Backus at 218-285-7225 or visit http://www.backusab.org.
3:00 PM: Icebox Dodgeball Tournament in Ranier on corner of Main & Spruce (old Woody’s lot.) “If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball!” Corral a team of 5-8 players; minimum 3 females. Limited to 8 teams, cost is $60 per team. Adherence to rules & signed waiver agreements required. 21+ to play. Hosted by Cantilever, Loony’s Brew, and Rainy Lake Grill. Register at email@example.com.
3:00 PM to 4:30 PM: Frostbite Falls Open Longest Drive Competition at Thunderbird Lodge, Rainy Lake. Longest drive competition off the docks at Thunderbird Lodge immediately after the Ice Golf Tournament. Bring your drivers, hockey sticks, etc. Two shots for $5. Chances are unlimited! You don’t have to be in the golf tournament to participate. Purchase tickets to play at the event. For more, visit www.frostbitefallsopen.com or call Eric Johnson at 218-244-6506.
4:00 PM: Icebox Dart Tournament at Border Bar & Pizza. $5 entry fee with 300% payback! Sign up at 3:00 PM. Must be 21 years of age or older to play. Signed event waiver required. DJ entertainment that evening. For more, contact Bob Rostie at 218-283-9919.
6:00 PM: Fireworks at Smokey Bear Park. Gather along 3rd Street to watch fireworks against the dark winter sky. Provided by City of International Falls and the Fire Department.
7:00 PM: Evening Entertainment: For Ages 21+. Contact individual establishment for details.
- Open Mic for All Musicians at Loony’s Brew in Ranier: 218-540-1001
- DJ Music at Border Bar & Pizza: 218-283-9919
- DJ Music at Ranier Municipal Liquor Store: 218-286-3343
- Music at Viking Bar & Lounge: 218-283-4000
Sunday, January 19, 2020
8:00 AM: Icebox Figure Skating Competition at Bronco Arena hosted by International Falls Figure Skating Club. Come out and watch skaters in the 9th annual competition that promotes a fun, introductory, competitive experience for the beginning skating competitor. Skaters will compete in Elements, Free Skate, Showcase, Interpretive, and Team Events all day at the arena. Breeze in and show your support. FREE Admission. For more, visit www.iffsc.org.
11:00 AM to 4:00 PM: Frostbite Falls Open Golf Course – Free Play at Thunderbird Lodge, Rainy Lake. If you missed the tournament on Saturday, you can still try out the course! Course is available for open play and takes about 1.5 hours to complete. Signed event waiver required, sign up at the bar. For more, contact Eric Johnson at 218-244-6506 or Thunderbird Lodge at 218-286-3151.
12:00 PM to 2:00 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, 11:45 AM at Loony’s. Signed event waiver required, parent/guardian signatures required for anyone under 18. For more info, contact Loony’s Brew at 218-540-1001.
12:00 PM: Icebox Cribbage Tournament at Ranier Muni. C’mon down & test your cribbage skills against borderland’s best. Noon-ish start, 5-round format; entry fee will depend on total number of participants, prizes awarded. Contact Jenn 218-283-3343 at the Ranier Muni for details.
1:00 PM to 4:00 PM: Hot Dog Roast at 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 temperature drops below 0°F, the event will be postponed to a later date. Contact Steve Johnson for more at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1:30 PM: Icebox Bridge Tournament at First Lutheran Church, doors open at 1:00pm. Everyone is welcome to participate. Bring a partner. Chamber Dollars awarded as prizes. Contact Byrne & Carole Johnson for more at 218-286-5225.
5:00 PM: Annual Figure Skating Exhibition at Bronco Arena. Following the 9th Annual Ice Box Competition, watch skaters from International Falls Figure Skating Club as they test out their competitive programs before their competition in Moorhead in February. Wish them luck and enjoy an evening of figure skating. FREE Admission. For more, visit www.iffsc.org.