Big crowd embraces winter at Ham Lake Snowbowl

Almost 2,000 people came out to the eighth annual Ham Lake Snowbowl last Saturday, Feb. 8, according to event chairperson Chris Mickman.

Activities included dog sled rides, a dog pulling competition, helicopter rides, kids games, a skating rink and a snow sculpture competition. Two Ham Lake men worked together to find the medallion and win the $500 prize.

Mickman said the sledding hill was covered with kids the whole day and everyone was really happy with how it turned out.

About 400 people took part in the ice fishing contest with one of the grand prizes being an ice auger, according to Mickman.

Only nine people signed up for the 5K run sponsored by Anytime Fitness of Ham Lake, but they were very enthusiastic. They did not just run 3.1 miles on snowy trails. They had to complete obstacles along the way such as running with logs for a short distance. One gentleman showed up about 10 minutes late, but just wanted to run for fun. He finished in the middle of the pack with a big smile on his face, drenched with sweat.

The 5K winner was Ruth Novack of Ham Lake, who proclaimed, “I haven’t won anything since 1978.” She only fell once and believes she finished the run in about 37 minutes. Nobody knew her exact time because it was not an officially timed race.

Crowds gathered in a large heated tent when they needed to warm up or when they wanted to see who was in the business expo.

“Everything went off without a hitch. Everyone had a good time,” Mickman said.

Adrianna Mendesh of Blaine (front) and her daughter Abby ran the 5K race. David White of Elk River worked with his father Durwin and his daughters Jessica, 10, and Natalie, 5, to create four different snow sculptures of minion characters from the movie "Despicable Me." Many snow sculptors showed off their talent at the Ham Lake Snowbowl. Deneena Hughes of Eden Prairie creates a snow sculpture of the character Elsa from the Disney movie “Frozen.” Sculptors who worked at the Winter Carnival in St. Paul were invited by the Ham Lake Snowbowl Committee to participate in the Ham Lake Snowbowl and local residents were also given blocks of snow to create works of art. The 5K runners take off from the starting line. The 5K runners did more than run. They had to complete a few obstacles such as carrying logs for a short distance, but they all had a great time. Pictured here are Kelly Roberts of Coon Rapids (left) and Brianna Justen of Ham Lake. Both are juniors at local high schools. Tony Glavan of Coon Rapids encourages his one-and-a-half-year-old Alaskan Malamute Bryson as he tries to pull 375 pounds to the finish line of the dog pull competition Dog sled rides were offered during the Ham Lake Snowbowl. Event chairperson Chris Mickman said the sledding hill was filled with kids all day. Shown here is Jared Ihnot, 8, of Ham Lake. About 400 people brought their ice fishing gear with them to the Ham Lake Snowbowl Feb. 8. Matthew Plankers, 8, of Ham Lake goes ice skating. Photos by Eric Hagen
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Deneena Hughes of Eden Prairie creates a snow sculpture of the character Elsa from the Disney movie “Frozen.” Sculptors who worked at the Winter Carnival in St. Paul were invited by the Ham Lake Snowbowl Committee to participate in the Ham Lake Snowbowl and local residents were also given blocks of snow to create works of art.

Eric Hagen is at [email protected]