Some like it frozen

You have to admiT – it’s kind of amusing that the thing making Winona (and the rest of Minnesota) famous right now is the fact that we can survive. In case you haven’t heard, it’s been a little cool in these parts lately. OK, that’s kind of a lie. Saying it’s been “a little cool” is like saying a Bengal tiger is a little kitty, or Charles Manson is a little crazy. It’s been freakishly cold – the kind of frigidity that makes your lungs to collapse when you breathe in and makes you cry bitter tears, which promptly freeze your eyes shut.

Yeah, I know, great sell job. But hear me out~

First, I’d just like to point out that Winona is like the Miami of Minnesota – down here in the Southeastern corner we have the undisputed warmest climate in the state. On especially cold winter days, that fact warms our hearts just a little.

And the reality is that, with the exception of the occasional hellish polar vortex, winters in Winona are mild (when compared to the rest of Minnesota, not, say, Tampa). We have rocking trails and a big, frozen river to play on, and though I know it sounds incomprehensible to people from warmer climates, people here actually enjoy being outdoors in the winter. As my Swedish grandmother born and raised in Minnesota would say, there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing. Ha.

But let’s face it – 15 degrees below zero isn’t ideal for outdoor fun. However, if you only know one thing about Winona, know this: We are exceptionally good at finding ways to entertain ourselves. Winter is no exception. Cold? So what. Throw up a big tent on the levee, fill it with some heaters, music all day, food and a little beer and a lot of hot chocolate – and let ‘er rip. Here’s what the one in December looked like, complete with Santa and some caroling:


We laugh in the face of cold weather and turn it into awesomeness.You have a chance to get in on some of that coming up very soon…

Of course, I am talking about the Frozen River Film Festival from January 22nd to the 26th. If you think you’re not a “film festival type,” I’m here to tell you you’re wrong. The festival does feature a lineup of some 40 documentaries – some so big they’ve been to gigantic film festivals around the world. The films span every genre, from animated shorts for children to current event topics for big people. Films that are touching, funny, provocative, and just plain entertaining roll for four glorious days here, but that’s not all. Music, food, and people selling their wares, workshops, stuff for kids – it all creates such a rich experience at an event that embraces winter in Winona, celebrates it. Come embrace it with us — I’m going to help you do it for free.

That’s right folks – it’s a blog contest! I’m going to give away two bundles of tickets – each with six tickets in it – that can be used for any of the films (or film sets if the films are shorts), presentations or workshops at the Frozen River Film Festival. Each bundle is a $48 value – and they are so, so easy to win.

Here’s how you enter: Look at the list of 2014 films at, and post in the comments section on this blog any one film you’d like to see. I will draw two winners on Friday, January 17, at noon, and I’ll announce them through this blog and Facebook. You can enter once a day. You can even enter the same film once a day, but I promise, there is more than one film you’ll want to see.

I’ll go first – I want to see The Fabulous Ice Age, because it’s a story about Minnesota and the polar vortex. I’m kidding – it’s about ice skaters, but it sounds interesting. Your turn – go!

Frozen, but oh so pretty...
Frozen, but oh so pretty…







25 thoughts on “Some like it frozen

  1. Mary Nelson says:

    Blood Brother. I spent a few short weeks in India and have been fascinated by the culture and spirit of the people ever since. I love the idea of a young man finding meaning in his life by his interactions with the Aids afflicted orphanage there.

  2. Liz Wilson says:

    Fifty Lakes One Island
    George Desort (49 Minutes)
    It’s about Isle Royal which is interesting and close to home.

  3. Kristin Troska says:

    I have always wanted to explore Isle Royale. I would love love to see the film Fifty Lakes One Island.

  4. R says:

    Seriously? Pick one? Can’t do it! ;)) I would like to see ALL the films but these would be first I suppose: Flutter, Fracknation, 100 Fires, Scavenger, Running Blind, SoLa, Jaipur Mahoti, and the one about Charlie Parr. Oh and the Twilight of the Mississippi and Uranium Drive-In…yeah, OK, I’m just re-typing the list in a different order…..

  5. [email protected] says:

    Great bunch of comments folks – and I agree – all those films look superb!

    As I promised, I have drawn 2 winners who will each receive a bundle of six passes to the Frozen River Film Festival. I used my very official drawing method: I printed and cut up all the comments, then crumpled them all up and put them in a wine bag I had in my office (LOL – you can’t make this stuff up).

    Our winners are:

    Sara M – who would like to see Meeting Charlie Parr
    (woot woot – congratulations Sara, but you need to send me your last name so I can get the tickets to you – [email protected])

    Antony Prodzinski – who would like to see Paradise Found!

    Winners – contact me at that email address and I will arrange to have your tickets left for you to pick up early next week.

    Congratulations to both of our winners and THANK YOU to everyone for playing 🙂

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