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Pine Island celebrates ‘WinterFest’ in a new way

PINE ISLAND, Minn. (FOX47) — Residents of Pine Island celebrated their annual WinterFest Saturday in a new way because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Instead of hosting a big event with dozens of group activities, people participated in a self-serve fashion.

Activities included skiing on groomed trails at the Pine Island Golf Course, ice skating, and a scavenger hunt.

Dozens of kids raced down a hill in homemade cardboard sleds that looked like boats, space ships, and cartoon characters.

Organizers of the event say despite a hard year for many, Pine Island remains stronger than ever.

“The Pine Island community is very welcoming,” Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Kelly Leibold said. “It’s because of the volunteers in the community that we are able put on events like WinterFest. You can tell that every single community member is invested and dedicated to the city.”

Saturday night, trails will be lined with luminaries courtesy of Pine Island high school student volunteers.

“It’s just good that we were even able to do something small scale for WinterFest,” Pine Island Image Committee volunteer Nancy Bergren said. “We’ve done this for maybe seven or eight years. And of course, the one big thing that impeded the full blown event was COVID. But nonetheless, We wanted to do something small. So it still gives folks a chance to enjoy the great outdoors of Minnesota.”

The city is planning events for the spring.

Megan Zemple

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