A deep freeze may be moving in, but West Fargoans don't have to let that keep them inside when the city's annual winter celebration kicks off this weekend.
Frostival will be held at the POW/MIA Plaza on Sheyenne Street from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18.
"It's a social event highlighting the fact you can be active all year around," West Fargo Parks event and communications specialist Katie Ettish said. "Also, it utilizes the space that doesn't always get used in the winter."
The Frostival event follows the tradition of West Fargo's annual Winter Days. The park district held Winter Days until joining Fargo, Moorhead and the Convention and Visitors Bureau to celebrate Frostival in all three cities.
Park district Executive Director Barb Erbstoesser said this year Frostival will not be a few days but instead will last six weeks through February. Each city — West Fargo, Fargo and Moorhead — will celebrate in succession rather than at the same time.
It will allow the cities to reschedule events in the event of extreme cold rather than having to cancel them, and it gives each city the opportunity to showcase its own winter activities.
The extreme cold is something Ettish is keeping an eye on. With weather forecasts estimating a high around just 1 degree, Ettish said Saturday's Frostival event could be postponed until the following week, Saturday, Jan. 25.
For the first time, West Fargo Park District and West Fargo Events — the nonprofit that manages events at the POW/MIA Plaza, West Fargo Sports Arena and soon-to-be built Lights and Sheyenne 32 plaza — will partner to host the event at the plaza.
Ettish said the unique event will feature a sled parade, hot cocoa cook-off, music, open skate, a fire pit, and games of Hammerschlagen, a traditional German game of hammers and nails.
Also, Triple Ax, the popular ax throwing venue, will have a mobile unit on Sheyenne Street to offer three quick tension-releasing throws.
Ice sculptures that were created in late December remain at the POW/MIA Plaza as well as art by local artist that will be transferred from community to community throughout the Frostival celebration.
A volleyball tournament will be held at Rustad Recreation Center on Saturday, Jan. 18. On Monday, the park district is hosting mascots from teams and organizations around the metro to Rustad Recreation Center, where there will be open gym and turf and inflatables for the younger children from 1 to 3 p.m. Monday's event is free and open to the public, Ettish said.
Thursday, the annual senior luncheon will be held by the park district, followed by music and bingo.
"The infamous snowflake search is back again and will be printed in the Pioneer," Ettish said.
The park district will offer clues for residents to use to find snowflakes that are hidden around West Fargo and can lead to prizes valued at more than $600. A crossword puzzle and coloring contest for kids preschool to second grade will also be posted online.
Ettish said if the event must be postponed, the park district will post the announcement on its social media page and the West Fargo Pioneer will notify the public.