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Bemidji to celebrate Brrrrmidji Polar Daze; new events added

Several new events have been added to the fun planned for the 2010 Brrrrmidji Polar Daze celebration.

While the festival will span more than a week, the bulk of events will be on Saturday, Jan. 16, at the Lake Bemidji waterfront and throughout town.

One new event this year is "Hanson's Grill-MN Nice on Ice," a play about Bemidji and ice-fishing.

The play, presented by Mask and Rose Women's Theater Cooperative, will be performed Jan. 16-17 on the ice of Lake Bemidji under a tent.

"How fantastic is that?" said Melissa Hoover, special events coordinator with the Bemidji Area Chamber of Commerce. "A play written about Bemidji and ice-fishing, and it's going to be performed right there on the lake."

"Hansen's Grill" will be performed in a heated tent behind Paul and Babe.

"That play is going to be great," Hoover said.

Also new this year is a Frozen Chozen Rail Jam at Buena Vista Ski Area. The competition is open to downhill snowboarders and skiers.

The Rail Jam begins at noon Saturday. It will feature a rail jam format, which means tricks are done off of features such as rails and boxes instead of traditional ramps and jumps.

The Headwaters Science Center also is expanding its participation in the celebration. It, again, will offer star gazing Saturday evening, but will first offer Snow Candle Making Saturday afternoon.

Both the candle making and star gazing will be offered for free on the ice behind Paul and Babe. Participants will help make a snow city featuring snow candle igloos. As the sky gets dark, the snow city will be lit by candles placed in the snow igloos and participants will gaze at the stars.

"This year we have great new community participation," Hoover said of the new events. "It's really fun to see the community enthusiasm."

Returning events

Polar Daze will officially kick off at noon with the second annual Beaver Pride Hardwater Classic on Lake Bemidji.

The Boy Scouts' Build-Your-Own Sled Derby will be at 1 p.m. outside of the Tourist Information Center.

At 2 p.m., the annual Jaycees Polar Plunge - in which individuals or small groups jump through a hole in the ice and into the freezing waters of Lake Bemidji - will be conducted right off the shore behind Paul and Babe.

Festival continues

While the Saturday, Jan. 16, events kick off Polar Daze, the fun continues for more than one week.

The Peace Walk, planned in honor of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., will being at 3 p.m. The walk follows a route from Paul and Babe to the American Indian Resource Center on the Bemidji State University campus.

The annual Taste of Northern Minnesota event will be Jan. 21 in a new location at the New City Ballroom. Tickets are available at the Tourist Information Center.

The Montebello NiteSki will be at 7 p.m. Jan. 22.

On Jan. 23, the SLEDS Vintage Snowmobile Racing Association will hold the Bemidji Classic Vintage Snowmobile Race and Swap Meet on Lake Irving.

Polar Daze culminates Jan. 23-30 with the National Junior Curling Championships .