Knickerbocker Ice Festival

knickerbocker ice festival

Are you getting cabin fever with this long winter? Be sure to get to Lake Mills for the annual Knickerbocker Ice Festival, scheduled for Saturday, February 1. You will be able to enjoy ice sculptures around downtown Lake Mills, Iceberg Open Golf Tournament and Ice Fisheree on Rock Lake, games and activities in the park, and a chili cook-off at Carp’s Landing.

The weekend kicks off with the Knickerbocker Team Trivia Contest at 7pm on Friday evening, January 31, at the City Hall Community Center. Up to 15 teams will compete for the famed Brain Trophy and cash prizes. Food will be provided by Grille Girl Joey Mattson throughout the evening. Click for a full listing of events – print out and carry it with you that weekend! From restaurant and shop specials to locations and times of the events, it has all of the information you need! Main Street Menu 2014

The Ice Fisheree will begin at 6am and continue until 5pm.  The Wrap-Up Party takes place at 6pm at Sportsman’s Pub – winners will be announced and cash and prizes handed out.

Ice carvers will invade downtown Lake Mills beginning at 9am, and will be working on their carvings all day. There is a record-breaking number of ice sculptures planned for 2014 – 19 in all! They will be placed all over the downtown district, and everyone is looking forward to the creativity that goes into each and every one of the sculptures.

The Rock Lake Improvement Association will host Rock Lake Under Ice from 9:30am-12:30pm at Bartel’s Beach. Rock Lake Under Ice includes several fun and informative activities related to the lake, including diving safety, ice fishing, informative displays on winter animals and plants, and more! Brave participants can wear a special dry suit, get in the water, and be taught by a trained ice diver how to get out of the water!

The Iceberg Open Golf Tournament registration begins at 9am at TT’s Time Out. Tee times at Bartel’s Beach are scheduled for 10am and 11:30am. Golfers bring one club, and the balls are supplied. It’s a great way to enjoy an activity normally reserved for the warmer weather – on a frozen white lake instead of a lush green course! If you already know your team composition, and want to pre-register for the event, you can stop in at TT’s Time Out any time prior to Knickerbocker Saturday to fill out the registration form. Tina is ready for you!

Carp’s Landing Restaurant will host the annual Fire & Ice Chili Cook-Off from 1-3pm. Contestants compete for cash prizes in two chili categories – red and “other.” Judging will be done by the event goers who pay a flat fee of $5 to sample each chili and rate their favorites. The chili in each category with the most votes will win that category. Carp’s will follow up the Chili Cook-Off with live music later in the day.

Commons Park is the setting for lots of outdoor activities this year. Enjoy Winter Sports in the Park from 10am-12pm. You can try out snowshoes, skis, make a snowman, and much more. From 11am-1pm, the Optimist Club of Lake Mills will host an Ice Skating Party at the picturesque skating rink in the park. Included in those festivities are games, hot dogs and hot chocolate. And be sure to stay for the Family Knickerbocker Park Games, which begin at 1pm. Enjoy the Snow Ball Eating Contest, the Fish Toss and the IdiderDAD race (weather-permitting). Competitors in the Snow Ball Eating Contest will be eating snow (vanilla ice cream). The Frozen Fish Toss will be like an old-fashioned egg toss, with teams of two tossing the fish back and forth across an ever-widening space. Drop the fish and you are… disqualified!  The IdiderDAD race will harness Dads to sleds, with a kid of their choice on board.

After all of the activities are over, be sure to take some time to shop the wonderful stores in downtown Lake Mills, and rest your feet a while in one of our outstanding restaurants and watering holes. We have MANY, all within a few blocks of each other in beautiful downtown Lake Mills!  The downtown restaurants and shops have Knickerbocker specials all day long. A “menu” of specials and a list of the day’s events can be found at

When you have exhausted all that downtown Lake Mills has to offer, don’t forget the great restaurants and shops beyond the downtown district – many of them are sponsors of this event!


Katie was the Executive Director of the Lake Mills Main Street Program from 2011 to 2019 and was the Secretary for the Jefferson County Tourism Council. In 2019, she retired to explore a new fashion degree and travel throughout the world. Katie was also a writer and contributed a great deal of copy for our website and printed guide. She was a great asset to our organization and we'll miss her!


Sprouting Acres contest winner June 2022


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