Snoflinga winter festival returns Jan. 21-23

By Robin Jordan

Snoflinga, Montana’s winter festival will return to Butte this year from January 21 through January 23.

The free community-sponsored festival showcases the fun side of winter with activities geared for all ages. The goal of the festival is to allow members of the public to try and participate in a variety of different winter sports and encourage people to enjoy the many recreational opportunities available in the Butte area.

Participation in most events is free and free equipment rentals are offered for most events. Some events, such as races, require registration in advance. Please check the website snoflinga.org for complete details.

The festival begins Friday, Jan. 21 from noon to 5 p.m. with a Snoflinga Ice Carving Demonstration, sponsored by 5518 Designs at the High Altitude Speed Skating Center, 34 Olympic Way. An interactive ice carving, done by Butte’s Absolute Zero Ice Design, will be created and be on display for weeks to come.

Also on Jan. 21, the Snoflinga opening ceremony will be held at Butte’s High Altitude Skating Center from 5 to 9 p.m. Free ice skate rentals will be available for all ages on a first come first serve basis as well as a bonfire, music, and concession food.

On Saturday, Jan. 22, a Snoflinga Oula class, conducted by Joyfit406, will take place from 9 to 10 a.m. at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 225 W. Park St. Oula merges high-intensity cardio with easy-to-follow choreography, mindfulness practices and a culture of inclusivity—all to an energetic pop soundtrack.

Saturday’s events also include the Frosty 5K Run/Walk from 9 to 10:30 a.m., beginning and ending at the Original Mine Yard, 443 N. Main St.

A skate marathon and Olympic-style races will take place Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the High Altitude Skating Center, 34 Olympic Way. Olympic-style races will begin at 9 a.m. and the start of 10K, 25K and 50K marathons is 10:30 a.m. Awards will be given to the top male and female finisher in each marathon plus the winner in each age category.

Free cross-country skiing instruction will be offered Saturday from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Saturday at 9:30 a.m. at Homestake Lodge, 530 Upper Rader Creek. A second session of cross-country skiing will begin at 1 p.m. A free session of Nordic skate-skiing will also take place Saturday at the lodge from 9:30 to 11 a.m.

Snoflinga Kids Day will take place Saturday from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at Stodden Park.

Snowshoe tours at Homestake Lodge begin Saturday at 1 p.m.

A free session of curling instruction will take place Saturday from 1:45 to 3:45 p.m. at the Butte Community Ice Center, 1700 Wall St.

The Snoflinga Southwest Montana Polar Plunge will take place from 2 to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Mountain Con Mine Yard. The plunge supports Special Olympics Montana athletes and teams in Butte, Anaconda, Dillon and Deer Lodge regions.

On Sunday, Jan. 23, a fat bike virtual race will be held on a marked course at the Big Butte Open Space Recreation Area from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Also on Sunday, a one-hour course on avalanche fundamentals will be offered from 11 a.m. to noon at Homestake Lodge. Class size is limited, and participants should preregister online.

Sunday from 12:30 to 2 p.m. at the Butte Community Ice Center, the public is invited for free ice skating and hockey at the rink.

Sponsors of Snoflinga 2022 include Opportunity Bank, Clearwater Credit Union, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana and Northwestern Energy.