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You’ll Have a Blast at This Unique Northern Wisconsin Winter Festival


When the temperature plummets, the people of the Northwoods don’t hibernate! Instead, we celebrate all that is wacky and wonderful about winter with festivals like Conover’s Northwoods Blizzard Blast.

Conover, in northeastern Vilas County, delights visitors and residents each year with this one-of-a-kind festival featuring many whimsical and entertaining winter activities. Now in its seventh year, in addition to the main festival date of Saturday, February 15, there will be exciting new Blast-Off events in the weeks ahead to add a whole new level of fun and anticipation.

Flap Jack Blast at Gateway Lodge – January 11

The first Blast-Off event, hosted by the Land O’ Lakes Chamber of Commerce, will take place this weekend! Come to Gateway Lodge in Land O’ Lakes on Saturday, January 11, from 7 to 11 a.m., for a bountiful breakfast for $10. You can purchase tickets at the door or purchase them in advance at Gateway Lodge; Lanny’s Fireside in Conover; or Land O’ Lakes, Phelps, and Conover Chambers of Commerce.

Blizzard Splash – January 25

Witness firefighters testing their gear and their fortitude as they brave the icy North Twin Lake, at Great Escape Bar in Phelps, to see who can float the longest in their cold-water survival gear. Other festivities include area fire departments vying for the tastiest entry in the Firehouse Chili Cook-Off, an auction of firefighters’ offerings, and a hot chocolate bar. Activities will start at 2 and culminate at 5:30 p.m. with a memorial lantern launch. For more details, contact the Phelps Chamber of Commerce at 715-545-3800.

Cornhole Tourney – February 1

Conover Fire & Rescue will host a tournament of the popular bag-toss game at the Conover Community Center gym on Saturday, February 1. Players can register for a $25 donation. The tournament—made complete by tempting food and beverages available on-site—begins at noon.

Northwoods Blizzard Blast – February 15

Now for the main event! The 7th Annual Northwoods Blizzard Blast will be held on Saturday, February 15, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Conover Community Center. The entertaining events will delight both your competitive streak and your sense of humor. Kids’ events will include the Dogsled Dash, Chilly Charlie’s Carnival, pony rides, and face painting—just to name a few. And festival-goers of all ages will enjoy recliner races, ice bowling, slap shot hockey, and giant ski races. Bring your friends, strap into a pair of 18-foot-long skis, and give it a try!

But the fun doesn’t stop there. Witness Northwoods firefighters facing off against one another in firefighting skills competitions. You can learn fun new skills at this festival, too, as there will be archery and snowshoe instruction and demos.

And what Northwoods winter festival would be complete without a horse-drawn sleigh ride?

Pick up gifts for your loved ones or treat yourself to jewelry, accessories, foodie gifts, and other handcrafted items at the Artisan Bazaar in the community center. Sip hot cocoa and savor a warming meal to complete the day.

Proceeds from the Northwoods Blizzard Blast support the fire and EMS departments of the local communities of Conover, Phelps, and Land O’ Lakes. For more information, visit northwoodsblizzardblast.com, call 715-547-8120, or check the event’s Facebook page.

Dining and Lodging After the Festival

After all the chilled fun at Northwoods Blizzard Blast, you’ll have your pick of delectable dining options in Conover and the surrounding area. If filet mignon or roast duck at a cozy table would be just the ticket, enjoy a meal at Lanny’s Fireside in Conover. Then head back to your lodging accommodations to get a great night’s sleep. There are many comfortable and picturesque resorts and lodges in the area, including the historic Gateway Lodge in nearby Land O’ Lakes. Be sure to wake up bright and early the next morning to glide through the forest along the on-site snowmobile trails before hitting the road.

Featured image from facebook.com/northwoodsblizzardblast.

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