Ice safe for weekend’s Big Freeze events

Published 4:26 pm Thursday, February 17, 2011

Despite a big melt throughout Albert Lea this week, the ice remains is thick enough for The Big Freeze this weekend, according to organizers of the Big Freeze.

The Albert Lea Fire Department cut a hole in the ice on Thursday afternoon for the polar plunge, which is slated for 2 p.m. Saturday at the main tent by Frank Hall Park. The ice measured 18 inches thick. At last year’s event, the ice was 12 inches thick.

The big warm-up has caused only one event, the snowmobile radar runs, to be canceled. Albert Lea Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Susie Petersen said conditions were simply too slushy to plow the long run for that event.

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“Everything else is good to go,” she said. “Come out and enjoy. The weather is warm and slushy, but it’s a great time to be out there.”

The Big Freeze is slated for Friday through Sunday with a variety of outdoor activities at Frank Hall Park and Academy Park.

The forecast on Friday calls for mostly sunny skies with a high near 34 degrees. Saturday is predicted to bring partly sunny conditions with a high near 40 degrees. Snow and freezing rain is likely on Sunday with a high near 34 degrees.