A fresh blanket of snow on the ground has set the stage for Valley City State University’s newly-formed Winter Sports Club to hold their first annual Winter Fun Fest this weekend.
Those who have been itching to get out in the fluffy stuff can dust off their cross country skis, snowshoes and ice skates to take part in ski races, hikes, snow sculpting, broomball and snow soccer.
Although weather conditions haven’t been ideal for the club’s first winter season, faculty advisor Philip Deger said the Fun Fest will be a good way to kick off the club’s first big event.
“It wasn’t a great start to the winter, but things are looking good for the weekend,” he said. “Ten days ago we had no snow, but now all of our events should be able to happen. There’s a really good partnership between the school and the community, and everyone is welcome to attend.”
Deger said the club has around a dozen student members who share an interest in making the most of sometimes-dreary winter months.
“It’s a student organization that we started last fall,” he said. “I had mentioned to some students that at a former school we had a ski club, and they brainstormed the idea because there’s a lot of things you can do here in the wintertime.”
The festival kicks off on Friday with a free movie night with a film about the biggest nordic ski race in North America, the American Birkebeiner, held annually in Wisconsin.
“For those who are going through movie theater withdrawals, you can come to the Student Center and get your fix,” Deger said.
A road trip to a curling event in Fargo is planned for Saturday, with a carpool leaving the Student Center at 4 p.m., to watch a curling match and get lessons out on the ice.
A full schedule of Winter Fun Fest events appears in the community calendar on page 2 of today’s Times-Record. Participants are asked to bring their own gear - skis, snowshoes, sleds and brooms - as the club is relatively low-budget and cannot provide extras.
“It’s a small event, we just want people to meet other people and have some fun,” Deger said. “We wanted this first event to be smaller and centralized, not like the Olympics, where you’re spread out over 50 miles.”