Some call it the “Olympics” of Snowkiting Competition, others call is cold and chilly and totally nuts. Regardless of what you name it, the result remains the same: this weekend at Lake Mille Lacs, Minnesota is gonna be fun.
The 10th Annual Mille Lacs Snow Kite Crossing is scheduled to take place from from February 28 – March 2 and will attract competitive and amatuer snowkiting athletes from around the world. There will be several events based out of Garrison, Minnesota every day during the event from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Over the past 10 years, the Kite Crossing has attracted some of the world’s best athletes to compete in a grueling 28 mile race across the frozen expanse of Lake Mille Lacs. As Minnesota’s premier snowkite event, the lake will come alive with kites with riders on Friday. Minnesota has the largest and most active snowkite community in the nation. The event is one of the most visually spectacular ones in the state.
Besides the two 14-mile Kite Crossing legs (out and back) which define this event, over 75 participants will also compete in a freestyle competition and shorter sprint races. Previous champions from around the country are expected to return to regain their titles.
The sport started in Minnesota in the 1980s, and the first Kite Crossing was in 1995 on Lake Mille Lacs, located in central Minnesota. Minneapolis-based event organizer Fleet8’s Michael Fox, after 20 years of windsurfing crossings on Lake Mille Lacs, had the idea to apply the crossing idea to snowkiting. Today it is the longest running snowkite event in the country, and the longest snowkite endurance race.
Sponsors of the Mille Lacs Kite Crossing include Red Bull, Lakawa Kiteboard Shop, Deerwood Bank Garrison, Slingshot Kites, Dynamik Kiteboarding, Garrison Community Club, Peace Coffee, Excelsior Brewing, Mille Lacs Messenger, Evergreene Jewelers, Cabrinha Kites, Kiteboarder Magazine, and Sociable Cider Werks.