Photo collage of St. Croix Valley winter festivals and events

Winter in the St. Croix River Valley isn’t just about enduring the cold, it’s about reveling in it. So, pack your mittens, bundle up in your warmest coat, and prepare to be enchanted by the magic of these winter festivals. From whimsical parades to adrenaline-pumping races, there is something for every winter warrior. Come chase the wonder, create unforgettable memories, and discover that winter, in the heart of Wisconsin, is anything but a frozen wasteland. It’s a playground for the soul, ready to be explored!

In our November blog, we touched on some of the winter festivals happening in the St. Croix River Valley. There were too many to list there, so they get their own blog entry! Brace yourself for a whirlwind of frosty fun guaranteed to chase away the shivers and warm your heart with cheer.

  1. World Snow Sculpting Championships (January 17 – 21, 2024) Teams from around the world will travel to Stillwater, Minnesota to create amazing snow sculptures while competing for prize money and the title of the World Champion. For visitors, there is an indoor market and warming house, the World’s Coolest Block Party with a family-friendly DJ and fire shows, and a shopping passport with Stilly the Snowman. Start Minnesnowta Nice Day on January 21 with a pancake breakfast, photo ops with favorite sports and Minnesota mascots Goldy, Mudonna, Paul Bunyan and more.
  2. Luck Winter Carnival (February 8-10) Step into a storybook winter wonderland at the Luck, Wisconsin Winter Carnival. Winter Carnival is held the second weekend in February each year. The carnival kicks off with the Lighting of the Ice Castle and Flag Retirement Ceremony Thursday night. Friday night is Fireworks on Big Butternut Lake followed by the Royalty Pageant. Saturday activities include Bingo, Medallion Hunt, Torchlight Parade, and sales along Main Street.
  3. Balsam Lake WinterFest (February 3, 2024): Feel the adrenaline surge at WinterFest. Get behind the wheel in UTV races or 4×4 ice drag races, channel your inner Olympian with ice bowling and pond hockey or test your nerve in a bone-chilling cold-water plunge. For those seeking gentler thrills, warm up with delicious food, watch minnow races, or let your creative side loose at the kids’ games. Also that day is a 5k snowshoe race. More info and registration at
  4. Stillwater WinterFest (February 15 – 19, 2024) Winterfest is an annual community-wide celebration for all things winter in Stillwater. Fat Tire Bike Rally Eventgoers compete in fun activities, local shopping, live entertainment and pub and restaurant crawl. Most events are free of charge.
  5. Nordic Fest (March 1 – 2, 2024) Trap Rock Brewing in St. Croix Falls invites you to embrace winter at the first-ever Nordic Fest. Plans include a cross country ski 5k, fat bike race, snowshoe race, luminary hike, vendors, warm tents, fire pits, good food, a sauna village, live music, good beer and other lovely beverages.
  6. Glenna Farms Maple Fest (March 23 – 24, 2024) Enjoy free pancakes, a self-guided “sap-to-syrup” tour of the farm, an “old-time” cooking demo, horse-drawn hayrides through the sugarbush, drawings for maple products, and a petting zoo. The 2024 crop of pure maple syrup will be certified organic!

And let’s not forget ice fishing. Take advantage of Wisconsin State-Wide Free Fishing Weekend, January 20 – 21, 2024. Here are six contests near LakePlace where you will want to try your luck. Maps and tournament contact information is on our event calendar (see below).

  1. Bone Lake Ice Fishing Contest (January 27, 202410 am – 3 pm)
  2. St. Joseph Annual Ice Fishing Contest- Amery (January 28, 2024)
  3. Wanderoos Area Lions Club Ice Fishing Contest (February 3, 2024⋅9 am – 3 pm)
  4. Long Lake Ice Fishing Contest (February 10, 2024⋅9 am – 2 pm)
  5. Big Lake Ice Fishing Contest (February 17, 2024⋅10 am – 2 pm)
  6. Magner Lake Ice Fishing Contest (February 18, 2024⋅11 am – 4 pm)

Bonus Tip: All these events and more on our Google calendar at If there is something we missed, send us an email with the details at and we will add it.