Monday, March 14, 2016

Phalen Freeze 2016 in Photos


Just a couple weeks ago, the air temperature was in the 40s, but Lake Phalen in St. Paul had still had 15 inches of ice. 

Tips Outdoors provided gear and guidance.
"We moved here from San Diego two years ago," said a mother of two girls who were peering down into a slushy hole in the ice.  "We've wanted to try ice fishing but there is so much to know and so much gear to get for just a single outing.  This is so great.  I'm sending pictures back to my family in California and they all think we're crazy!"

The Phalen Freeze brought ice fishing and so much more into arm's reach for the community.  Activities including snowshoeing, arts and crafts, bonfires with smores, and an audience-participation puppetry performance had people of all ages smiling. 

Left: Snow bowling was not as snowy as predicted, but just as fun. 
Right: Phalen Freeze volunteers warm up by a bonfire. 

Indoor activities were fun and educational.  Kids played "trucks" while their parents learned about responsible salt use in the winter.  People of all ages created crafts and paper/foil hats to be used during the puppet performance.
Members of Harding High Earth Club volunteered at the event, making props for the play, talking to the public about St. Paul Parks, Programs and more.

More members of the Harding High Earth Club wearing animal masks for the performance
of the Ojibwe story of Shingebiss. 

Left: Masks made by community members prior to the event were available for any visitor to use in the performance.  Right: St. Paul staff shows Freeze-goers how to use the GPS for geocaching.

Volunteers from Urban Roots and City of St. Paul Education and Outreach Intern
gather at one of the bonfires between tasks.
Left: Food truck, The Soup Coupe, was on hand to sell winter comfort food in a bowl to fest-goers.
Right: Harding High and Johnson High ROTC members built bonfires, cut firewood and hosted lawn games.
Young community members enjoy the warm winter day.
For the performance of Shingebiss, puppeteers used the ice as a stage.The double-decker boat house patio provided great viewing for the audience-participation portion of the show. Guests wore animal masks and waved "wind" streamers that were cued throughout the performance.

Left: Young audience members picked out masks to use at the performance. 
Right: The Phalen Boat House patio provided a great view of the show.

Top Left: In the Ojibwe story of Shingebiss, the brave duck who refused to be defeated by winter invites the Winter Maker into his home.  Top Right and Lower Left: Audience members of all ages participated in the play by making animal sounds and using animal puppets or streamers when cued by the narrator.  Lower Right: Shingebiss enters the ice to hunt for food despite all of Winter Maker's best efforts to drive him away.

Faith Krogstad, Education Coordinator for the City of St. Paul summed up the event with saying:

“The second annual Phalen Freeze Fest introduced many families to Phalen Regional Park and outdoor activities like ice fishing and snowshoeing. As the event was winding down, the moon rose over the lake and we heard great horned owls calling. Telling the Ojibwe legend of Shingebiss reminds us that nature is all around us, and it is important to get outside and enjoy it.

This event is only possible with the hard work of Saint Paul Parks and Recreation partners: Ramsey-Washington Metro Watershed District, Urban Roots, TIPS Outdoors Foundation, Wilderness Inquiry, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Polar Devils, JROTC, and the Saint Paul Public Library.”

Left: Clear skies and a nearly-full moon over ice fishing.  Top Right: The Ojibwe story of Shingebiss was told in storybook form along a lit path.  Lower Right: Community members meet while making smores over a bonfire.

Thank you to staff and volunteers that made this event such a success!

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