Ham Lake Snowbowl gets under way this weekend

Ice covered Ham Lake will be bustling with activity as the seventh annual Snowbowl gets under way this weekend.

A variety of activities are planned for winter enthusiasts and those interested in spending an afternoon on Ham Lake.

Theodore Rick of Minneapolis packs in more snow on the eye of the Buddha snow sculpture he and his father James created at the 2012 Ham Lake Snowbowl at Ham Lake Park. File photo by Eric Hagen

Theodore Rick of Minneapolis packs in more snow on the eye of the Buddha snow sculpture he and his father James created at the 2012 Ham Lake Snowbowl at Ham Lake Park. File photo by Eric Hagen

The snow sculpture contest begins Friday, Feb. 8 at noon. Spectators are invited to watch the sculptors and enjoy shelter in the heated tent Friday evening.

Events Saturday, Feb. 9 kick off with the men’s broomball tournament held on Ham Lake from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. A co-rec broomball tournament will be held at Majestic Oaks Golf Club from 5 to 11 p.m.

Anglers can participate in the ice fishing tournament, which is held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Adult tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the event. Tickets for children under 12 are $10.

Prizes include an ice auger and fish locator as well as many other items.

Other events during the Snowbowl include free kids’ games, sled dog rides, helicopter rides (weather permitting), a vintage snowmobile expo and skijoring and sled dog races.

There will be also a heated hospitality tent and business expo. Food and beverages are available on site.

New this year is the Arctic Challenge, a family 5K run/walk obstacle course. Registration is at 9 a.m. with the first wave of runners departing at 11:30 a.m. The registration fee is $10 and includes a free gift.

According to Chris Mickman, one of the event organizers, there will be several obstacles for both adults and children, with the course traversing across the lake and through the trails throughout Ham Lake Park.

“It’s a great event for people looking for an opportunity to get off their couches and have fun with their families,” Mickman said about the Snowbowl.

Admission to the Snowbowl is a $3 Snowbowl button, which is available on the lake and at Ham Lake businesses. The button was designed by Christian Champion.

Purchase of the button also includes a free guess on the date the metal sculpture will break through the ice. The winner guessing the correct date will win a $500 prize.

Ham Lake Park is located a half-mile east of Highway 65 on 153rd Avenue. Parking is available on site with shuttles bringing visitors on the lake.

For more information, visit www.hamlakecc.org/snowbowl.html.

Kelly Johnson is at kelly.johnson@ecm-inc.com

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