Annual event highlights Minnesotan traditions

Luminary Loppet combines ice and community


Adam Johnson

The 2018 Luminary Loppet takes place Feb. 3 on the frozen Lake of the Isles in Minneapolis.

Marta Hill and Isabel Kjaer

As junior Anika Hanson prepares to attend her tenth Luminary Loppet, she said she looks forward to the lights, excitement and overall vibe of the night.

“It’s really fun to have the whole lake light up, and it’s always a fun night because everyone is excited to be outside, and everyone has a good energy,” Hanson said.

According to freshman Claire Bargman, the event brings builds community as strangers bond over lights and chilly temperatures.

“I think it’s really fun because it’s just something that embodies a spirit,” Bargman. “You walk around a lake when it‘s really cold out, and there are a lot of lights and a bunch of activities and everybody’s being nice to each other.”

Bargman said she is looking forward to seeing the flamethrowers perform because their act is always interesting.

“I really like the flamethrowers because everybody’s huddled around in a circle, and it’s also really warm because there’s fire there. It’s just really fun,” Bargman said. “The way that they do it is really entertaining because they’re professionals. They’ll throw it and then they swallow fire and breathe it out.”

According to Hanson, the Luminary Loppet spurs interest for nordic skiing and, particularly with the incoming football fans, it demonstrates the Twin Cities’ many attractions.

“It’s a huge event that gets lots of people excited to try nordic skiing and for the city, especially with the Super Bowl, I think it is great timing because there are lots of people here for the Super Bowl, and it’s another event to show off the city,” Hanson said.

Bargman said the Luminary Loppet has a very positive environment and is a state-specific wintertime event.

“I think it’s a Minnesotan thing to do. Everybody just helping each other out, it’s just a bunch of Minnesotaactivities. I think it’s really fun because everybody gives off a really happy, good vibe,” Bargman said.

According to Hanson, many families make this event a yearly custom, which encourages others to join the festivities.

“I think it is a tradition for lots of people to go every year, and I think it is a unique thing that lots of other cities don’t have, so more and more people hear about it and want to come experience it,” Hanson said.

The Luminary Loppet is at 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Feb. 3 at Lake of the Isles. There is a $20 entry fee for youth (16 and younger) and $40 fee for adults. There are limited spots left. For more information, visit the Loppet Foundation.