Frostbite organizers talk about what’s new with celebration

Monticello’s Frostbite Challenge returns for its fourth annual run of frosty fun this coming weekend, and this year’s event features an expanded schedule of events.

The annual community celebration event schedule includes a fishing contest on Pelican Lake with prizes, a pond hockey tournament, a vintage snowmobile show and swap meet, snow golfing, the medallion hunt and more.

“There have been many changes this year,” said Frostbite Challenge Chairman Ryan Hurrle. “We have also gained momentum, thanks to our sponsors, and have added a large snowmobile event which has a three-quarter mile demo track for new manufactured equipment including snowmobiles, ATVs, side-by-sides and 120cc snowmobiles for the kids. The snowmobile event has attracted many new sponsors. All the events are kid-friendly We are expecting a large turnout.”

Vintage Snowmobile Show and Swap Chairman Chad Paumen said the event has been moved to an open field next to Moon Motors and along Interstate 94.

“We will be having a free drawing that has some wonderful prizes like a Polaris snowmobile, a one week winter get away and so many more prizes,” Paumen said. “For the kids we will have free kids snowmobiles rides and a large truck on tracks to ride. And if you are into vintage snowmobiles, you can bring your vintage sleds and enter them into the show to win awards and cash prizes. You can also go on the vintage ride and enjoy the day riding with other enthusiasts.”

This is the second year that the Monticello Chamber of Commerce & Industry has partnered with the Monticello Lions Club and St. Cloud-based Simply Outdoor Experiences to help run the popular fishing contest on Pelican Lake.

“We are running the kids area before the contest begins and then during the actual fishing contest, we will be drilling all the holes,weighing all the fish,and assisting contestants with any questions they may have,” said Woody Sankey, Simply Outdoor Experiences executive director. “We work with local groups to create positive outdoor experiences by providing equipment and assistance.”

Anderson said Sankey brings experience and compassion to events such as the Frostbite Challenge. “He speaks the language of participants and helps keep the crowd involved and interested in what is going on,” she said. “He’s there first thing in the morning encouraging young anglers and stays until the afternoon.”
Hurrle and Paumen said overall, increased sponsorship support is one reason the Monticello Chamber and the Frostbite Challenge Committee has been able to expand this year’s slate of events. “Events like this bring communities together,” Hurrle said, adding: “By electing to sponsor this type of event, businesses show they really care about their local community. When so many people come together, it produces a great opportunity for our local businesses to be seen.”

While the continued support of local businesses is crucial to the event’s success, Marcy Anderson, Monticello Chamber of Industry & Commerce executive director said that expanded sponsorships from outside the immediate community have taken planning for this year’s Frostbite Challenge a whole new level.

“With their added support, we have been able to expand the snowmobile show and run to include the swap meet, add vendors with various products, including food and beverages and a heated tent to take the edge off if the cold weather doesn’t let up. If the temperature is less than pleasant either day, the show will go on, “ she said, adding, “The Frostbite Challenge would not be what it is today without local sponsors and it certainly would not grow without their generosity.”

Anderson agreed. “The committee that makes the Frostbite Challenge possible is made up of local business owners and service organizations who all have a common goal,” she said. “We want to put Monticello on the map as a winter destination and make this a successful community event for all ages to enjoy.”

Wes Olson, Monticello Lions Club board member and Frostbite Challenge Committee member, said the 2014 Frostbite committee has significantly ramped up the event from last year,

“It should be a good show,” Olson said. “We have been asked to open a Frostbite Beer garden at the Snowmobile event this year. The vintage snowmobile show, demo rides and the swap meet will bring many people into Monticello. The Monticello Lions see the efforts of the chamber to make the fishing tournament an annual success as a positive thing for the community. It give us an opportunity to step away from what is typical,” Olson added.

One Frostbite Challenge medallion clue will released each day this week on the Monticello Times website (www.monticellotimes.com) and on the Frostbite Challenge website. (www.frostbitechallene.org) The first clue has been posted online.

The medallion hunt grant prize includes a 30-inch HDTV, TDS Telecom blanket and hat. The person who finds the medallion will get a print and online picture and story published in the Monticello Times.

Everyone who registers on the Frostbite Challenge website for an extra clue will also be eligible to win a gift basket valued at $150. For updated Monticello Frostbite Challenge 2014 information, please call the Monticello Chamber at 763-295-2700 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. or visit www.frostbitechallenge.org.

Contact Tim Hennagir at tim.hennagir@ecm-inc.com

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