Let's Hear It for the Loppet

If there’s one thing Minnesotans love, it’s outdoor festivals. Freezing rain, snow, ice, wind chills that rival the Arctic Circle: none of this will stop us from leaving our cozy couches, piling on the wool layers, and embracing the wintry wonderland that is our state for almost half the year. In fact, these conditions are welcomed (well, maybe not the freezing rain part)—especially when we’re preparing for the largest urban cross-country ski festival in the contiguous United States.

Todd Buchanan

The Loppet Cross-Country Ski Festival this weekend is not just for the experienced skier. A total of 13 activities will be held throughout the two-day event for everyone in the family—even Fido. Some highlighted events include a snow-sculpture contest, a youth ski SuperCarnival, competitive and non-competitive ski races for all ages, and a nighttime illuminated ski course around Lake of the Isles.

The main event, the City of Lakes Loppet, will have more than 1,200 skiers racing 33 kilometers. If you want to catch the race, finishers are predicted to be arriving in Uptown (on Hennepin between Lake and 31st Streets) on Saturday between 11:30 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. Past winners include Duluth-born Olympic athlete Carolyn Bramante and 2010 Winter Olympian Caitlin Gregg.

Need more reasons to attend?

  • There will be dogs—skijor anyone?
  • Local meteorologists are predicting temps of 20-degrees—above zero!—plus an appearance by Mr. Sun. If he can make it, surely you can, too.
  • Chances to play the ever-popular Scandinaivan game Kubb.
  • Live music and dancing in Calhoun Square.
  • Surly Beer Garden. Enough said.

11th Annual City of Lakes Loppet Cross Country Ski Festival
Saturday, February 2, and Sunday, February 3
1301 Theodore Wirth Pkwy., Mpls.
612-604-5330, loppet.org