Mark your calendar for the 2018 Wacky Winter Icebox Days 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. The Icebox and winter festival have 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, it’s the FYGB Runners Reception and Beach Party again at Border Bar & Pizza Parlor.
2017 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 37th amazing year of Icebox Days and Freeze Yer Gizzard Blizzard Run.
Thank you to our generous 2017 Icebox Days partners!
Packaging Corporation of America
TruStar Federal Credit Union
Backus Community Center
Rainy River Community College
Essentia Health - International Falls Clinic
KGHS/KSDM Radio Station
North Star Publishing/The Journal
Silver Plus Partners
Stewart's Super One
Forestland Sales & Service
Rainy Lake Medical Center
America's Best Value Inn & Suites
Bergstrom Wood Products
Border Bar & Pizza Parlor
Border State Bank
Chocolate Moose Restaurant
Edward Jones - Shane Talley Advisor
Eleven 71 Boutique
Good Samaritan Society
Innovative Office Solutions - Doug Biggin
Miner's County Market
North Border Financial
Northern Waters Realty
North Star Electric Cooperative
Property Development & Construction
Rainy Lake Houseboats
Sears & Northland Sales and Service
Solutions Insurance Agencies
State Farm Insurance - Charles Casanova Agent
Waschke Family GM Center
America's Coldest Town Lives for 'Icebox Days'
2017 Official Events
Check back for 2018 Schedule
Wednesday January 18, 2017
11:00 AM: Minnesota Twins Kick Off Icebox Days! KGHS-KSDM Radio is pleased to announce the Twins Winter Caravan will be making a stop in International Falls to help us kick off Icebox Days. Meet behind Falls High School, by the baseball field, to watch the FHS boys’ baseball team, girls’ softball team, boys’ bowling team and the RRCC men’s baseball team compete against the Twins in a couple classic Icebox Days events. Representing the MN Twins: Eduardo Escobar (shortstop), Hector Santiago (pitcher), Jack Morris (member of the famed 1991 team), Cory Provus (voice of the MN Twins), and TC Bear. Hot chocolate and cookies will be served.
Dairy Queen Celebrates the Blizzard Run: D.Q. Grill & Chill will be naming a DQ Blizzard in honor of the Blizzard Run. New Blizzard combinations will be offered at the DQ between January 14 and January 20. Customers may sample the combinations and vote for their favorite. The winning Blizzard will be announced Friday, January 20. Call the DQ for more info, 218-283-3428.
Snow Sculptures: Area fourth grade snow sculptures will be delighting locals and visitors with a display of sculptures in Smokey Bear Park. Have you seen other sculptures around town? The Chamber thanks Judy Kielczewski, a creative force, for her frozen handiwork displayed at various locations.
7:00 PM: Dairyland Donkey Basketball at Falls High School. New rodeo stars will be born during the wild and crazy “Donkey Basketball Show” at the FHS gym. It’s basketball played on real, live donkeys. Many local players will be riding, so come out and see someone you know try to ride a donkey and play basketball at the same time. All proceeds go toward the FHS 2017 seniors’ class trip. Advance tickets $7, At the door, $10. Come early for Taco in a Bag, 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM. Call Lois Fogelberg for more info, 218-244-5283.
Thursday January 19, 2017
6:00 PM: Wing Eating Contest at Viking Bar. Test your wing eating skills. Each contestant will receive 12 wings. The first one to finish their wings wins. $5 entry fee. First place $75, second place $50, third place $25. Call Viking Bar to register, 218-283-4000.
7:00 PM: Redneck Trivia at the Viking Bar. Are you redneck enough? Five rounds of trivia with 10 questions each. Each round, a winner will be determined by most questions correctly answered. Free beverage for each round won. Call Viking Bar for more info, 218-283-4000.
Friday January 20, 2017
4:30 PM to 6:30 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.
4:30 PM: Icebox Days Pasta Dinner at the Backus Community Center. $9 at the door, includes pasta with sauce, salad, dinner roll and cookie. Beer garden. Contact Backus for more information, 218-285-7225.
5:00 PM to 8:00 PM: Freeze Yer Gizzard Blizzard Run Headquarters Open at the Backus Community Center. Pick up your race packet for the 5K or 10K, or register. Registration fee after December 31 is $45. Call the Chamber for more info, 218-283-9400.
6:00 PM to 7:30 PM: Moonlight Snowshoe Hike in Voyageurs National Park. Meet at the Rainy Lake Visitors Center at 6:00 PM. 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. Disclaimer agreements required. Contact Tawnya Schoewe for more info, 218-283-6670.
7:30 PM: Blind Joe Concert & E-Sharp Harp Blues Band Concert at the Backus Community Center. Tickets are $12 for adults, $6 for students, $25 for family, and Pre-K free. Contact the Backus Community Center for more information, 218-285-7225.
10:00 PM: Can Crushing Contest at the Viking Bar. Contestants will be given a crusher and cans. Whoever crushes the most cans in one minute wins $50. Call the Viking Bar for more info, 218-283-4000.
Saturday January 21, 2017
7:00 AM to 10:30 AM: Icebox Days Pancake Breakfast at the Elk’s Lodge. Hot cakes, sausage, juice and coffee – free will offering. This event is organized by the Falls Education Foundation with all proceeds going to the Foundation. Contact Mary Bigler for more info, 218-286-3102.
8:00 AM to 9:30 AM: Freeze Yer Gizzard Blizzard Run Headquarters Open at the Backus Community Center. Pick up your race packet for the 5K or 10K, or register. Registration fee after December 31 is $45. Call the Chamber for more info, 218-283-9400.
9:30 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.
9:30 AM to Noon: Freeze Yer Gizzard Blizzard Run Cheering Contest. Cheer on the runners, 9:30 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.
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, with 100% payback, First, Second and Third Places paid with Chamber Dollars. Adherence to rules and disclaimer signed 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 2:00 PM: Community Wellness Expo continues at the Backus Community Center, on stage.
10:00 AM to 3:00 PM: Marshmallow Crafts at the Falls Public Library. A fun indoor event in the Library’s Junior Room for those who like crafts…and marshmallows! Perhaps you could make a marshmallow Olaf! Open to all ages. Free. Contact Diane Adams for more info, 218-283-8051.
10:30 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, 218-283-9400.
11:00 AM to (at least) 1:00 PM: Blizzard Runners’ Reception at the Backus Community Center stage. Food, beer garden. Runners get in free with presentation of ticket in race packets. Nominal fee charged at the door for runners’ family/friends.
12:00 PM: Icebox Dart Tournament at the Border Bar & Pizza Parlor. $5 entry fee, with 300% payback! Sign up at 11:00 AM. Contact Bob Rostie for more info, 218-283-9919.
12:00 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. Prizes. 1:00 PM start, and about 1.5 hours to complete. Long drive competition is at 3:00 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.
12:15 PM (estimated): Freeze Yer Gizzard Blizzard Run Awards Ceremony for both the 5k and 10K 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: Frozen Show Time at the Falls Public Library. After you have fun doing marshmallow crafts, enjoy watching the movie “Frozen” with family and friends. Enjoy hot chocolate and popcorn! Children under eight must be accompanied by an adult. Contact Diane Adams for more info, 218-283-8051.
1:00 PM: Toilet Seat Toss outside at 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. Signed disclaimer agreements required. 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. Signed disclaimer agreements required. Call Backus for more info, 218-285-7225.
1:00 PM to 2:30 PM: Chili Challenge at the Backus Community Center. Think you have an award winning chili recipe? Enter it into the Chili Challenge. Public is invited to eat and judge, $6 admission, includes chili, toppings and beverage. Pre-K eats free. Vote for your favorite chili. Prizes for 1st. 2nd and 3rd place. Contact Backus for more info, 218-285-7225.
2:30 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 2:15 PM. Every person gets a participation prize, $20 to the winner! Contact Chris Smith for more info, 218-324-0391.
3:00 PM: Adult Smoosh Races outside at the Viking Bar. Crazy fun. Form a team of four people per set of smoosh boards and be at the Viking Bar by 2:30 PM for sign up. Open to people age 15 and older. $100 in Chamber Dollars to the winning team! Contact Chris Smith for more info, 218-324-0391.
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 their impressive Fire Department.
6:00 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 to participate. Call the VFW for more info, 218-283-8777.
6:30 PM: Icebox Pub Crawl: Begins at the Border Bar and ends at the Beach Party at the VFW. Special, safe, group transportation that travels a circuit of local pubs for an evening of fun and specials. Limited seating. Make your reservation by calling the Chamber, 218-283-9400.
Sunday January 22, 2017
1:00 PM: Icebox Bridge Tournament at First Lutheran Church. 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.
1:00 PM to 3:00 PM: Canoe Races in Ranier, beginning at the Rainy Lake Grill and ending at Loony’s Brew. Canoes provided and instructions given at time of registration, 12:45 PM at the Rainy Lake Grill. Contact Paul Kavan for more info, 218-540-1001.
1:00 PM to 4:00 PM: Miniature Golf in Ranier, on the ice between the Ranier Boat Launch and Loony’s Brew docks. Bring your clubs and balls. Free. Contact Paul Kavan 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. Enjoy hot dogs and cocoa as you warm by a toasty bonfire. Contact Jeff Hardwig for more info, firstname.lastname@example.org.