Gotta love those Minnesota winters ... snuggling up by a roaring fire, snowshoeing through the tundra, drinking hot chocolate, burning a 24-foot wooden shark.
Wait, what was that?
That would be the highlight of Fire Fest 2020, a new celebration of winter being hosted at Glensheen Mansion in Duluth on Saturday, Feb. 15.
It will be held between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m., with guests treated to more than 30 bonfires and fire pits, warm comfort food, hot drinks – both alcohol and non-alcoholic – and will culminate with the burning of a 24-foot-long wooden shark on the shores of Lake Superior.
As Glensheen is at pains to point out, 24-foot is the size of the shark from Steven Spielberg's "Jaws."
The burning will come at the end of a "FIRE Parade" starting at the historic mansion's ticket house, with those attending advised to grab a drink, before marching to the shore through the estate.
At the shore guests will make a toast to Clark, the name given to the shark, which will then be set alight by the "2020 Glensheen Viceroy of Fire."
Glensheen director Dan Hartman says that of the several new events launched in recent years, none of them have taken advantage of the winter like Fire Fest.
"For those of us who work at Glensheen, we think that winter is one of the more beautiful times of the year. Few things are better than snowshoeing the estate, when you can walk directly under the stone arch bridge and take in views only possible in the winter because of the fallen leaves."
"Then… we get to go inside and warm up by a fire. We at Glensheen, believe what Minnesotans really enjoy about winter is enjoying the outdoors for a period of time and then coming inside to warm up, especially by a fire."
As well as the shark burning, there will be fire dancers, a s'mores station, a hot cocoa bar, "flaming" drinks concocted by Vikre Distillery, a blacksmith demonstration and snowshoeing tours.
Tickets cost $10 when bought in advance here, otherwise it's $15 on the day. You also get entry included when you buy a $18 guided tour of the mansion on Feb. 15. It's free for those aged 15 and younger.
You can find more information about the event here.