And so it came to be that a festival was born. And, repeated. And, threepeated.
This weekend was the third annual PeterFest, held at the Sandstone Ice Park. The ice park, an old quarry in Sandstone, MN, saw huge expansion this year, thanks in part to fundraising efforts such as rePeterFest, the Sandstone Ice Festival MCA raffle, and general donations from ice climbers. The park has become so important to the city, that they have also donated a healthy amount of money (and water) to the cause.
This year, the city especially wanted to see the lights behind the farmed ice again. So, lead ice farmers, Jeff Engel and Lynn Larson, along with others, installed 70+ ft long strands of lights on the newest wall to be farmed, the Stage Wall. The lights were connected to a timing system and set to turn on for 2 hrs per day, 5 days per week. Aside from being fun to climb on, city residents also make their way down to the park to delight in the beautiful display.
*Edit: The light display began during the 2012-2013 season as the brain child of local TV personality Dan Monskey from Life to the Max. Dan was actually the lead designer behind the light project this year, as well, contributing his artistic vision, money, and labor for us all to enjoy. Visit Dan’s film production website to see more of his work.
3PeterFest was a great success. Fun was had, friends reconnected, ice was climbed, food was consumed, and once again, the hearty camped out in subzero weather to keep the party going. In the morning, climbers flocked to town for hot breakfast at Amy’s Country Cafe, a must-do for any cold morning in Sandstone. Early estimates showed that 3PF raised over $500 in donations for future ice farming endeavors, continuing the tradition of “turning money into ice since 2013”.
Will there be a fourth PeterFest? The man at the center of it all was quick to say no. However, around the fire Saturday night, a new idea was born. PeterFest: the Alley Cat Race; an urban bike race with stops at ice that forms in the cities. Could this combination of Peter’s two loves bring his psych back for another year? Only time will tell.
My highlights from Saturday