South Dakotans, accustomed as they are to easy living in their tropical clime, wouldn’t last five minutes in a real North Dakotan winter. But hardy Fargoans and Moorheadians rejoice when the temperature dips low enough to freeze mercury. That’s when they celebrate Frostival!

Frostival was originally a two day celebration. The good people behind the festival soon realized that six weeks are far better than a measly weekend, as they give greater opportunity to enjoy all that the Fargo-Moorhead area has to offer. (It also prevented one poorly timed blizzard from shutting the whole thing down.)

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This year’s Frostival spans January 13th through February 27th. The big fête is all about celebrating wintertime with outdoor events, concerts, and family-friendly activities across Fargo, West Fargo, and Moorhead. It is heartening to witness three such vastly different municipalities all share in the same fun!

If we printed all the events Frostival covers in a single edition of Shop.Dine.Live., we would almost instantly get destroyed by lawsuits brought by people who threw out their backs trying to lift it. That’s why we selected a few, choice events to detail here. To see all Frostival has to offer please visit

Cardboard Sled Races

January 23rd

A Frostival tradition! Kids and adults employ engineering skills that would put MIT grads to shame as they create their own flimsy cardboard sleds. Some sleds might look like boats. Others might look like M1 Abrams tanks. A few more might serve as admirable demonstrations of the virtue of simplicity, being little more than Home Depot boxes fortified by duct tape. It’s free to race, but online registration is required.

Moorhead Frostival Kick-Off

January 29th

Ice was once believed to be only useful for preserving foods, chilling drinks, and skating on. But those clever ducks at Harold’s on Main discovered what is arguably the greatest application for ice to date. They make a bar out of it! Kids can enjoy crafts and games, while adults get to restore feeling to their fingertips with the aid of special cocktails.

Frozen Fortress

January 30th

Join in a day of fun at the Hjemkomst Center! Last year’s events included cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, “snowga,” and marshmallow roasting. (There would have been reverse dog sled racing too if not for it being so blistering cold that it could have frozen the poor dogs’ paw pads clean off.) In nearby Viking Ship Park you can marvel at the entries to the snow sculpture competition. From mere blocks of snow the Fargo-Moorhead area’s most inspired artists hew massive, ephemeral things of beauty – a true testament to humanity’s indomitable will to create. Last year the students of Moorhead High School made Moorhead Spud, their school mascot!

Youth Pond Hockey Day

February 6th

Long before the rise of luxurious indoor arenas, kids braved the elements to play hockey outdoors. It made them stronger. We need more of that these days, so affix some skates to your sprout’s feet and watch as they only barely manage to stand on the ice or score multiple hat tricks depending on their athletic ability. If the hockey games at Lindenwood Park don’t satisfy your lust for competition, head on over to MB Johnson Park for the kickball tournament. Man, that Voit must sting real good in the cold!

Coffee & Cocoa Crawl

February 13th

Explore Downtown Fargo the right way – with cups of coffee and cocoa waiting at you at 20 different shopping destinations throughout the city! If you don’t register for this event and join in the fun, then you must live forever without your own special edition Frostival Coffee & Cocoa Crawl mug.

Cold Cinema

February 19th

It’s the most appropriate name for an event ever conceived. Join fellow cinephiles at Broadway Square to watch a family-friendly movie in the great outdoors. (Hopefully it’s not Lawrence of Arabia.)

Uniquely Fargo: Color Clash

January 23rd

Register online, put on your war face, and prepare to square off against other delightful people in a massive Hunger Games themed snowball fight! I have not personally read the Hunger Games books, but I assume eating the snowballs is still frowned upon in this melee.

Youth Ice Fishing Derby

February 27th

The mighty pike. The iridescent rainbow trout. The cunning largemouth bass. The perch. All of these fish thought they were safe from the temptation of jigs when South Woodhaven Pond froze over, but the Frostival youth ice fishing derby will prove otherwise. A great way to introduce your kid to a cherished Midwestern pastime!


By David Scheller