So, when do we bring back the Winter Frolic?


I found this on the now-defunct Duluth Public Library Reference Blog. You think skijoring is fun? Try motorcycle skijoring on the lake ice.

The following quote is also from the DPL blog, with much more information here.

The first Duluth Winter Frolic was so popular that planning for the 1927 Frolic began in April of 1926. E.P. Kreimer was named chairman of the executive committee.

The 1927 Frolic actually kicked off on Sunday, Feb. 13, with a ski-jumping tournament and Olympic trials at the Chester Park ski slide. A crowd of 5,000 watched Duluthian Tommy Clark make a jump of 154 feet, the longest of the tournament.

The main event on Monday was the coronation of Winter Frolic Queen Helia Nauha, which took place in the ice palace which had been constructed in Lake Shore Park (now Leif Erikson Park), followed by the Coronation Ball at the Armory. On Tuesday night, the biggest event of the week took place. A parade including 6,000 people, more than 140 floats and decorated cars, 125 horses, and ten bands assembled at Superior Street and Second Avenue West and marched to Fifteenth Avenue East and London Road. An estimated 70,000 people lined the parade route. Additional parades took place on Wednesday (West Duluth Day) and Thursday (West End Day). Altogether, five parades were held during the week, in addition to numerous luncheons, dinners, hockey games, skating and skiing races, a baseball game on ice at Wheeler Field, Frolic balls, and a costume contest.

Speed Day races scheduled for Friday afternoon on the ice off Lake Shore Park were postponed until Saturday because of cold temperatures. On Saturday afternoon, a crowd estimated at 15,000 watched various racing events held on a half-mile track on the lake ice from Fifth Avenue East to Eleventh Avenue East. Harness-horse, skating, and motorcycle ski-joring races were held throughout the afternoon. The Frolic ended Saturday night with the Carnival Ball at the Armory.


This is the aforementioned ice palace in what is now Leif Erickson Park.



about 14 years ago

You got your Frolic right here:


about 14 years ago

But is the Two Harbors Frolic a Free-for-All Trotting Event?


about 14 years ago

More importantly, will the Two Harbors Frolic have Gladys Robinson vs. Mike Goodman?


about 14 years ago

Smoosh racing and boot hockey. What I like is the city actually building a sledding hill for the weekend. Imagine that in today's world. Around 1 p.m, it will be Chairman Rick Goutermount vs. Mayor Randy Bolen: It's being billed as "Two planks and some flanks, a smooshy humdinger in Two Harbors."


about 14 years ago

I believe the Winter Frolic will be well received and supported by TH.
Didn't Duluth have a sort of winter carnival for several years - in the western area of town - a day with a man-made sliding hill and skating at Memorial Park?


about 14 years ago

Heysme:  There was an annual winter festival with a volunteer-built sledding hill at Memorial Park in West Duluth in the 2000ish range.  I am drawing only on memory since I can't find a record of it anywhere online.  

Leif Ericson Park is now a profoundly UNDER used gem of a park.  Bayfront has it's fantastic uses, (as in Bentleyville, bluesfest,) but you can't beat the intimacy, natural amphitheater, and ecological grandeur of Leif Ericson for events with crowds of say, a couple hundred to a thousand.  I'd love to see this come back with Leif Ericson as a base and the lake as the playground.  It won't though.  Too many people whine about not enough parking.  As shallow as that sounds, its true.  Very generally speaking, people are obsessed with parking in this town.  If it's not free and with in a hundred yards, they're probably not coming.  

One other Leif Ericson blunder?  When the park was redone in the 80s-90s along with the freeway expansion, the decision makers at the time NEGLECTED to bring plumbing into the main green space of the park.  So the nearest public bathroom, is in the Rose Garden.  They saved a lot of money with that move, I'm sure, and they also probably avoided some controversy about where and how to build a bathroom/concession area among so many old-growth trees. But over the long term it was an unfortunate strategic decision.  

If anyone is interested, the Project for Public Spaces has lots of resources on how to design public spaces and to use events (like the Winter Fest that Barrett mentioned) to STRENGTHEN communities and improve quality of life, not to mention public health:


about 14 years ago

Our family has attended most of the Warmer by the Lake fests held at Bayfront. Maybe it could be upgraded to a Frolic.


about 14 years ago

This is really cool - I believe Duluth can revisit it's history in this kind of event . . .


about 14 years ago

That dog cart's hitched a little too close?

Jury's still out on another Winter Riot.

The Big E

about 14 years ago

I frolic at every opportunity as long as the snow lasts.

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