Polar Fest

Detroit Lakes, MN 56501

History of Polar Fest

Polar Fest was started in 1996 by Erika Johnson, previous owner of Lakeside Tavern. She loved winter and wanted to see some sort of celebration of winter by the lake and outside her restaurant. Coincidentally, at the same time, Ron Zeman, former board member for Develop DL, heard about people jumping into a hole in the lake to raise money for an organization. He took that idea to the Boys & Girls Club and the "Polar Fest Plunge" was born.

Since then, Polar Fest has continued with the pinnacle event being the Polar Fest Plunge into

Little Detroit Lake but with a myriad of other activities ranging from golfing on the lake to presentations by polar explorers to dances in the sand. In 2008, fireworks on the last Saturday evening were added and that has become one of the highlights of the week-long winter celebration.

Polar Fest is held annually in mid-February with the plunge and fireworks on the Saturday night of President's Day weekend.

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