BY: RACHEL SMITH
I get it, I really do. Clear Lake is a tourist lake town. Thus, a vast number of people think we become a desolate shell of the thriving, summer version of ourselves during the winter.
Seems logical. I mean, it's simple… the lake is our main attraction and during the winter it’s frozen. The boats are put away, the outside patios are covered in snow, the beaches and lakefront properties are cleared of anything resembling ‘summer fun.’
Except we’ve done this funny little thing, here in Clear Lake. We decided the fun shouldn’t stop just because it’s cold outside and the sun now sets at a ridiculous early hour. No, instead our frigid months are packed full of wintertime fun.
We kick things off with Christmas by the Lake. It’s a fun-filled family weekend including horse-drawn carriage rides, a craft show, s’mores, a visit to see Santa and much, much more. On top of it all – and the reason this event has won awards, people – is a lighted parade and then fireworks.
Boom. Merry Christmas... Clear Lake style.
And while most tourist lake towns might give up after the New Year, Clear Lake is just getting warmed up. The end of January brings the Jack Race, a weekend filled with family friendly snowmobile fun (say that three times really fast!). Then, there’s the party of all parties in Clear Lake; the reason we’ve hit the map over the years of music history. So girls, dust off your saddle shoes and poodle skirts. Be sure to Clorox that white t-shirt, boys, so it’s a bright, shiny white, because the Winter Dance Party is coming to the Surf Ballroom. It’s an amazing weekend celebrating some of the greatest rock ‘n roll icons of all time, including our own three fallen stars: Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and the Big Bopper.
Whew… time for a breather then, right? Nope! February starts off with the Yellow Bass Bonanza. It’s the mother of all ice fishing tournaments in the Midwest. It brings in hordes of people vying for thousands of prizes by sitting in a tiny shack on the frozen lake while they lower a line into the water.
We then close out the month of February hosting the Color the Wind Festival. Not only is it the Midwest’s largest and most colorful winter kite festival, but it’s the trifecta of F’s. What is that, you ask? Well, the trifecta of F’s is three-fold: It’s Free. It’s Fun. And there’s Food.
Best day ever.
So there you have it, folks. The way Clear Lake rolls right on through those pesky winter months is by packing in as much fun as possible. And this doesn’t even include all the bonus activities. I mean, our restaurants are phenomenal, our option for craft beer is the best around, and there’s always something happening at the Surf. When all else fails, you can hit up Lake Theatre to see the latest cinema blockbuster, or duck into the amazing shops along Main Street.
And before we know it the days will get longer, the ice will melt, and our beloved tourist lake town will be buzzing once again with summer activities.
Because we live in the best place ever.