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It's time for the Jaycees' extravaganza

It’s the final countdown for the Brainerd Jaycees’ annual $150,000 Ice Fishing Extravaganza. The event is scheduled to begin Saturday morning on Gull Lake’s Hole-in-the-Day Bay, north of Brainerd, off Highway 371.

Traffic was already getting heavy Friday on Highway 371, as anglers began arriving to get settled before the event that has been dubbed the largest charitable ice fishing event in the world, as the event has attracted national attention over the past 23 years.

Volunteers were drilling holes Friday as the final preparation for the event on the 250-acre event area.

The Jaycees held its kick-off party Friday night at Grand View Lodge Gull Lake Center and volunteers were expected to be out on Gull Lake by 4-5 a.m. Saturday.

The contest site will open to public at 8 a.m. Saturday, with the contest running from 12-3 p.m.

Tickets are $45 and are available on the ice on the day of the event.

More than 10,000 anglers will compete for more than $150,000 in prizes. There are 150 prizes including a new Ford or GMC truck, Arctic Cat all-terrain vehicles, Ice Castle fish houses to a number of other ice fishing related prizes. Not one prize is less than $250 in value.

All proceeds are donated to area non-profit organizations with the Confidence Learning Center—an outdoor center for persons with developmental disabilities, being the primary beneficiary.

The Brainerd Jaycees are a community and leadership development organization for men and women ages 18-40. Founded in 1939 the organization has grown to more than 130 members in the Brainerd lakes area. Members of the Brainerd chapter donate more than 20,000 hours and $250,000 to area charities and causes each year.

JENNIFER STOCKINGER, staff writer, may be reached at or 855-5851. Follow on Twitter at