Snowbowl gets the go-ahead from sheriff

by Eric Hagen
Staff Writer

The Anoka County Sheriff’s Office has issued a permit for the Ham Lake Snowbowl to take place this weekend, although no vehicles will be allowed on the lake’s surface, according to Cmdr. Paul Sommer.

The lack of snow this winter has been a challenge for the Ham Lake Snowbowl organizers, but the event and most of the activities are still on for tomorrow (Saturday, Feb. 11). About 120 cubic yards of snow was purchased to make the snow sculpting, dog sled pull and dog sled rides possible. File photo by Eric Hagen

Snowbowl Committee chairperson Chris Mickman said almost all the same fun activities people enjoyed in previous years will be available this year. The challenge this year has not been the ice thickness of Ham Lake, but the lack of snow.

Over 100 people signed up for the dog sled and skijoring races, but the Snowbowl Committee had to cancel this event because there was not enough snow to even be able to race on the frozen lake. The committee purchased 120 cubic yards of snow from two locations for several hundred dollars just to make the snow sculpture, dog sled pull and dog sled rides possible, according to Mickman.

A check last week found eight to 10 inches of ice thickness for Ham Lake, Sommer said.

He said this is enough for people and some snowmobiles and ATVs. Sommer said there will be further tests done this week to see if the ice thickness has changed.

Mickman said there will still be the 40- by 80-foot heated tent with the business expo on the lake. At this point, helicopter rides are still part of the event, according to Mickman.

The public is invited to come out today (Friday, Feb. 10) to see snow sculptors at work from approximately noon to 11 p.m. A DJ will stop by to play music from about 6 to 10 p.m. Refreshments will be provided.

The Snowbowl festivities tomorrow (Saturday, Feb. 11) begin and end with an 11-hour broomball tournament from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Saturday (Feb. 11) schedule

• 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.: Broomball tournament

• 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Snow golf

• 10:30 2:30 p.m.: Helicopter rides (weather permitting)

• 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Sled dog rides

• 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Ice fishing contest

• Noon: Dog pull competition

• 12:30 p.m.: Vintage snowmobile expo

• 2:30 p.m.: Snow sculpture judging

• 2:45 p.m.: Final awards presentation

Eric Hagen is at [email protected]