TWIN LAKES – TWINterfest returns even bigger and better for a second year here on Feb. 4.
Twin Lakes will be the site for a jam-packed day of activities starting bright and early at 8 a.m.
Organizer Bill Stephenson says the support given by the community for the event has been second-to-none.
“Last year, we put together this event in a matter of weeks, and people were willing to help financially and put in a tremendous amount of time behind the scenes to make it happen,” Stephenson said. “There are far too many to mention, but I will say that this small community at the lake is absolutely amazing.
“This year, the support continues to grow and is what makes it so enjoyable to be a part of.”
An ice fishing tournament that runs until 5 p.m. begins the day; with a pancake breakfast starting at 8:30 a.m. From there, an ATV-UTV poker run will be held along with ice oval races, a fun run and walk, tobogganing, ice skating, broomball and many more winter-related activities.
Food will be available throughout the event and fireworks will finish off the night with live music and a bonfire beginning at 6:45 p.m.
“The best thing about this event is it allows families to get outside and enjoy winter activities for little to no cost,” Stephenson said. “And all the money raised is donated to charity. The Twin Lakes Bible Camp built an amazing facility around family activities that is the cornerstone of this event.
“Everything is free to watch and all activities at the Bible Camp are available for a $5 donation.”
All of this initially came together through gatherings at Twin Lakes in front of Stephenson’s house.
“We had an icehouse out in front and a few of us on occasion would gather to fish,” he said. “That evolved into having a small fire, music, food, more friends, a bigger fire, more friends and eventually into a planned day every year. That evolved into a large brush fire on the lake four years ago. A close friend came up with the name TWINterfest, which became the official name of the event.
“Last year, we were casually talking about our gathering with a group of friends including Mike Murphy, the owner of Traditions at the ‘Lil Store. It’s closed during the winter, but he said he would be willing to open it for one day if we wanted to build the festival. Having a commercial establishment was one of two requirements in my mind of building a successful festival at Twin Lakes, with the support of the Twin Lakes Bible Camp being the other.
“Once we had those in place, we began building after the extremely successful model of the Winter Games in Okoboji.”
Both Stephenson and Murphy are Fort Dodge natives and graduates of Fort Dodge Senior High School.
More information on TWINterfest and a complete list of events can be found on Facebook by searching TWINterfest or at twinterfest.org.