This weekend, the Chillabration Celebration will call St. James home. Residents from all over the county and southern Minnesota have made their plans and will be taking part in the events planned for Feb. 22 through 24.
The weather is not a concern for Tabitha Johnson – the Chamber Director who has been involved in the planning of events.
“Unless the sheriff’s department closes all the roads down or it’s so blizzardy you can’t see in front of you, the Chillabration will take place,” said Johnson. “It’s going on in fair or foul weather.”
The snow may actually help the weekend’s events – especially the snow sculpture contest and sledding hill activities.
“Come and join in an event we can enjoy for years to come,” said Johnson. “And, thank you to all of the Chamber sponsors that have worked hard to make this event a reality.”
Here is what to expect:
First Annual Plunge
The first annual polar plunge will take place beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 23, with sign-in beginning at 9:30 a.m. The Chamber is expecting more than 50 people for the polar plunge including teams from the St. James area schools, Pioneer Bank, First National Bank, Nelson’s Furniture, Mayo Clinic in St. James, the Chamber of Commerce and more.
The plunge will be taking place in St. James Lake near Memorial Park. Fish houses will be provided and used as changing and warming rooms. Participants will be announced by Mark Johnson and are invited to come in costume and make the most out of winter in St. James.
The event is done to raise money for charity and help raise money for Chamber events. There is still time to sign up, just contact Tabitha at 507-375-3333 or stop by the St. James Chamber of Commerce office.
If you aren’t interested in jumping into the frigid St. James Lake waters, be sure to free up some time to watch as your teachers, bankers and community members take the plunge.
Ice Fishing Contest
The Ice Fishing contest is coming together with prizes coming in from sponsors and people making plans to participate. The top prize for the fishing contest will be a Vexilar Depth Finder, valued at more than $350. More than $700 of other prizes will be given out at the fishing contest. Prizes will be given for largest fish and door prizes will be handed out during the competition. Registration will begin at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, Feb 23, with the event kicking off at 12 p.m. The cost for registration is $10 per adult and $5 per child.
Page 2 of 3 - Food Stand
Food will be available in Memorial Park, and will be served by the Monster Band Members. There will also be an ATV possibly running from the food stand to the fishing contest, so hungry fishers can purchase something to eat.
On the menu are brats, soup-to-go, hot dogs, popcorn, nachos, hot cider and hot cocoa. Other food will also be available.
The food stand will be open from 10 a.m until 5 p.m.
Disc Golf and Sledding
Always available and always fun, disc golf and sledding will take place during the Chillabration Celebration.
The disc golf course will be open to anyone with a disc. Players can grasp a bit of summer and rebel against winter with their friends by playing a short round in Memorial Park.
“It will be a great time to get outside and shake off some of that cabin fever,” said Chamber Director Tabitha Johnson.
The sledding hill will be tended to from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday. Feb. 23. Sleds will not be provided, so bring one from home. If you are planning to stick around throughout the entire celebration, you can use your sled to tug around your kids or a cooler of drinks.
Interested in a little bit of bowling? Do you like food? Turkey bowling will be great for you!
Turkey bowling is based on ordinary bowling, only a frozen turkey replaces the bowling ball. The turkey is bowled down a smooth, ice surface at ten ordinary bowling pins.
The cost per adult team is $10, with three members per team. Each member will bowl three frames and the top scoring team will win three $25 gift cards to Paul’s Food Pride. Second place winners will receive $15 gift cards and third place will receive $5 gift cards.
Children are also invited to participate, for an entry fee of only $1. There will be two winners from the children’s age group (K-3 and 4-8) each winning a $5 gift card to Paul’s Food Pride.
This event will be taking place Saturday, Feb. 23, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Bean Bag Tournament
An open bean bag toss will be available Saturday, Feb. 23, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. before the 1 p.m. Bean Bag Tournament begins.
The entry fee for the bean bag tournament is set at $10 for a two person team.
Bean bag toss consists of throwing a bean bag at a large board in an attempt to get the bag in a hole, or on the board. You play against an opponent, and the game is scored by who gets more bags on or in the board. The first team to 21 points wins.
Page 3 of 3 - The tournament will be done in double-elimination style, with each match the best of three games. A team is eliminated from the tournament when they have lost three games.
The first place prize for the tournament is $50. Second place will receive $20.
Kickball will be played in Memorial park with a co-ed team of five men and five women. The team registration fee is $30 with the first prize being given to the winners of the tournament in the amount of $60. Second place will get $30.
The tournament will take place Saturday from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. on Feb. 23.
Snow Sculpture Contest
Like a sand sculpture contest during the summer, your success in a snow sculpture contest in the winter will depend on your ability to creatively woo the judges with your sculpture.
The snow storm rolling through the area will make the activity a little more fun – adding some tools and material for your team to work with.
Prizes will be given out, but have yet to be determined. The event is scheduled for 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 23.
Freeze your Caboose Run/Walk
The sixth annual Freeze your Caboose Run/Walk will be taking place again this year, as it has in the past. Runners will begin at the Hickory Inn and run around St. James Lake.
Last year more than 80 runners participated in the event with 50 joggers and 30 walkers. The crew is hoping with the added events, nore people will be willing to freeze their caboose this weekend and enjoy the scenic run around St. James Lake.
The event is taking place Sunday, Feb. 24. Registration will begin at 12:30 p.m. and registration fee is $20. That fee includes a long sleeve t-shirt, bottled water, and soup following the race.
The race begins for walkers at 1:45 p.m. and joggers at 2:15 p.m. and lasts as long as it takes to travel around St. James Lake.
The age groups are: Under 15, 16-18, 19-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60 and Over. There will be prizes for the top three male and female along with Carhartt stocking caps for all age group winners.