We rarely feature annual events in 111 Places guidebooks. But sometimes we make an exception for events that are truly wondrous – like the Luminary Loppet, which is featured in 111 Places in the Twin Cities That You Must Not Miss.
The Luminary Loppet takes place this Saturday night, February 3, 2018, happily coinciding with the festivities of Super Bowl LII!
According to Alora Jones of the Loppet Foundation, "The City of Lakes Loppet is an annual winter festival that celebrates the best of winter fun in Minneapolis! Incorporating everything from cross-country skiing to fat biking to skijoring, the City of Lakes Loppet Festival has something for winter sports enthusiasts of all kinds."
So what is a "loppet"? It's basically an event where skiers and winter enthusiasts gather along particular ski circuits. In this case, it's a night-time winter festival along a trail lit by thousands of luminaries, lanterns made from paper bags with candles on the inside. You can ski, snowshoe, hike, or travel the trail of lights in almost any way you'd like. Along the route are works of art and performances to enjoy: the Ice Pyramid, Fire Dancers, the Enchanted Forest, Ice-Cropolis, Ice-Henge, and Ice-ster Island. Cocoa and treats keep everyone warm and happy, as will a free Surly Beer at the Loppet’s REI Luminary Party.
As Author Elizabeth Foy Larsen writes in 111 Places in the Twin Cities, "It's a scene so whimsical you'll feel like you've landed in a fairy tale... truly a stunning reminder of the magic that can happen in cold and dark places."
So no matter which team you're rooting for on Sunday, everyone can agree that the Luminary Loppet is the place to be the night before! Learn more at cityoflakesloppet.com.
Many thanks to Photographer Steve Kotvis for providing photos of the Loppet for the guidebook. Find more of his beautiful images at stevekotvisphoto.com.