Up North: Ski Fest Draws Hundreds to Lester Amity Chalet

Updated: March 11, 2020 11:38 PM

"My parents taught me how to ski when I was a toddler, and it's been a lifelong sport, and now that I'm a parent I'm hoping my daughter will catch the bug and want to ski for her life," said Stacey Jutila, a board member for the Duluth Cross Country Ski Club.


Following her passion, Jutila joined the Duluth Cross Country Ski Club. Now a board member, she helped organize the 15th annual Tour Duluth Ski Fest.

"It's really been a celebration of the whole ski season and really encouraging as many people to get out as possible," said Jutila. "We have a challenge for people to try to ski 50 kilometers today and they can do that throughout the day."

Skiers didn't have to trek 50K to enjoy the day. Fun seekers could race over jumps, down hills and through obstacles during the Kid's Carnival tucked away at Lester Amity Chalet.

"We live in St. Paul so we came to find more winter up north here in Duluth, [there] always seems to be something going on in all these great parks here," said skier Andrew Summersby. Summersby and his wife brought their young son with them to enjoy the Ski Fest

"It's really fun. There's food here and it's really kid friendly too which is nice," said youth skier Josie Ryan

Saturday was toasty as temperatures soared into the low 50's.

"The snow gets pretty soft. It can be hard then, but it's better than it being really icey," said Ryan. "Because when it's really icey you slip around a lot more," added her friend Tuuli Rova.

"We'll take whatever we can get in March," said Summersby.

When the fun starts to heat up it's important to come prepared. Water proof ski boots will do the trick and many were available to try for free at the event.

Ski Hut and Atomic held demos for free with new skis and boots. The Ski Fest continued in the evening with a dinner and sledding. Jutila expected over 150 kids at the carnival and over 200 people at the dinner, a solid turnout for the 15th annual event. 

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