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Three Wintry Local Events to Keep You Chillin’

Ski jumping at Silver Mine Hill.
Ski jumping at Silver Mine Hill.

If you plan to spend this winter hibernating at home, think again! Wintermission, a wintertime collaborative effort led by the Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce, the City of Eau Claire, the Eau Claire City-County Health Department, Downtown Eau Claire Inc., Visit Eau Claire, UW-Eau Claire, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., and the City of Altoona, encourages you to get outside and have some fun during the coldest months of the year. Check out these outdoor recreation events highlighted by Wintermission that are bound to be “snow” much fun. For more information about Wintermission, visit www.facebook.com/wintermissioneauclaire.


Feb. 19-21: Silver Mine & Flying Eagles Invitationals

Jump headfirst into the season with two notable ski jumping events in Eau Claire: the 135th annual Silver Mine Invitational and the 89th annual Flying Eagles Invitational. The first official jumps will be made from the Flying Eagles’ new 55-meter jump on Mount Washington on Saturday, Feb. 20. On Sunday, Feb. 21, the day will begin with the U.S. Cup Nordic Combined Race at Silver Mine Hill, followed by two rounds of competition on the 90-meter ski jump at 2pm. Spectators will be able to watch the high-flying action from their vehicles. Because of the pandemic, details are still being finalized, so visit flyingeaglesskiclub.org and silvermineski.com for updates.

Feb. 6: Jig’s Up Ice Fishing Contest at Lake Wissota

If you’re fishing to get outside, check out the annual Jig’s Up Ice Fishing Contest from 7am-2pm on Saturday, Feb. 6, on Lake Wissota outside Chippewa Falls. This year, compete for more than $80,000 in cash and prizes, including a two-year lease on a 2021 Ford F150 XLT Super Crew truck drawn from all registered fish tickets. Prizes are awarded by weight to the top 20 fish and every 10th place thereafter to 480th place, then 481st through 500th, so even catching a little fish is a big deal! Participants can register one fish per ticket, with each ticket costing $25. You can snag tickets at jigsup.org.

Feb. 20: Polar Plunge at Pinehurst

Instead of jumping into frigid water this winter, supporters are invited to sled or snowshoe the slopes at Eau Claire’s Pinehurst Park as a part of this year’s Polar Plunge. The fundraising event, which supports the athletes of Special Olympics Wisconsin, will run from 10am-2pm on Saturday, Feb. 20. Bring your own sled or tube, or borrow snowshoes for free at Pinehurst Park, and get ready to hit the hills! Register ahead of time at bit.ly/34TaLN3, and find out how you can raise donations and get cool swag, ranging from T-shirts to winter hats to hoodies. Organizers encourage paying with checks or credit cards rather than cash, and guests must register online one week ahead of the event to receive a T-shirt. Check out more info at polarplungewi.org.