Even with unseasonably warm temperatures recently, Minnesota winters can make it difficult for folks to get out of their houses.

Fortunately, the annual Carlton Winterfest will offer plenty of fun activities for people young and old to take advantage of Saturday, Feb. 8.

“We’ve always held Winterfest as a way to escape the winter blues,” said organizer and Carlton Community Education Director Daisy Rose. “There’s activities going on indoors for people who don’t want to be outside and there’s outdoors stuff going on for people who love to be outside in the winter. It’s a good variety that I feel encompasses everybody in the family.”

Festival-goers can take a chance to get out on the ice for some hockey at the Four Seasons Sports Complex at 10:15 a.m. or pick up something new to read at the Carlton Public Library book sale happening from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., but the big events don’t get started until noon.

The fourth annual “Mini Hook-and-Slice” begins at noon at the Four Seasons and “anything goes,” Rose said.

The game is like mini golf, Rose said, but people need to bring their own “club.” It can be a golf club, but brooms, bats, hockey sticks and tennis rackets have all been used in the past. Each of the 10 holes are sponsored by a different area business, Rose said.

Registration is $5 and the winner receives $100. Other prizes include gift certificates to other Carlton-area businesses.

Registration for the 24th annual chili cook-off starts at 1 p.m. and samples are available once judges get their tastes.

People warmed up during the 2019 Winterfest by sampling the tasty creations of local cooks in the chili cook-off. (Pine Journal file photo)
People warmed up during the 2019 Winterfest by sampling the tasty creations of local cooks in the chili cook-off. (Pine Journal file photo)

The evening offers an array of options as well, starting with a candlelight snowshoe, hike or ski on luminary-lit trails from 6-9 p.m. at Jay Cooke State Park.

At 7 p.m., the Carlton Fire Department will host bingo in the Carlton High School gym. Rose said the event has regularly drawn more than 400 people over the past few years.

For more information and a complete schedule, go to carltonchamber.com/winterfest.

Carlton Winterfest schedule:

  • 10:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Open hockey

  • 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Book sale at the Carlton Public Library

  • Noon to 3 p.m. Mini Hook-and-Slice

  • 12:40-2:30 p.m. Indoor open family skate

  • 1-3 p.m. Kids activities: Zoomobile, face painting, games and free books.

  • 1 p.m. Chili cook-off registration.

  • 1:30 p.m. 24th annual chili cook-off.

  • 6-9 p.m. Candlelight event at Jay Cooke State Park.

  • 7 p.m. Carlton Fire Department bingo at Carlton High School.

  • 9 p.m. Live music at Carlton VFW and Third Base Bar

*All events are at the Four Seasons Sports Complex unless otherwise noted.