Colossal carousel: Little Falls family makes world's largest spinning ice disc
At the next dinner party, remember this bit of trivia: the record for the world's largest ice carousel belongs to a family from Little Falls. For the Zwillings, however, the feat is anything but trivial. The diameter of the massive disc of ice--c...
At the next dinner party, remember this bit of trivia: the record for the world's largest ice carousel belongs to a family from Little Falls.
For the Zwillings, however, the feat is anything but trivial. The diameter of the massive disc of ice-carved out by chainsaws and rigged to spin with the use of trolling motors-exceeded the length of a football field by a long shot and is longer than the Foshay Tower in Minneapolis is tall.
Measuring in at 154.3 meters, or 506.2 feet across, the carousel built by Chuck Zwilling and others on Green Prairie Fish Lake north of Little Falls demolished the previous record of 427 feet, accomplished by residents of Sinclair, Maine, earlier this year. It was the main draw of a weekend festival brimming with planned wintertime activities-hockey, curling, speedskating, figure skating, Nordic skiing and igloo building, among others-all in the name of feeding hungry children.
"It took 49 minutes to get all the way, one full rotation, the first time we spun around," said Becca Ruegemer, one of the volunteers at the weekend event.
The second annual Sunny Zwilling Memorial Ice Carousel Extravaganza, or I.C.E. Fest, was a two-day event Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 12-13, raising money and awareness for Flyer Pride Pack, the weekend backpack food program for at-risk students in the Little Falls School District.
The Flyer Pride Pack program seeks to ensure children in need have balanced, nutritious food they need to learn and grow. The program serves Lindbergh Elementary and Kennedy Elementary of Little Falls and Dr. S. G. Knight Elementary of Randall.
The concept is simple: children at risk of weekend hunger receive a bag of food that is child-friendly, nutritious, nonperishable, and easy to prepare and eat. The packs include two breakfast items, two lunch items, three entrees, two snacks, and fruit, according to the district's website.
According to the nonprofit Feeding America, an estimated 3,310 people in Morrison County are considered "food insecure." Of those, 68 percent do not meet the threshold to be eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. Food insecurity refers to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's measure of "lack of access, at times, to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members and limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate foods," Feeding America states on its website.
At an estimated cost of $5.25 per bag and 38 weeks of school, $200 is needed to cover the cost of one child receiving food through the program. With 60 eligible children, the program requires $12,000 for one school year-and that's the amount of money the Zwillings set out to raise through donations with their free festival.
Although not recognized by Guinness World Records, ice carousel records are kept by the World Ice Carousel Association. Zwilling previously held the record last winter at 367.4 feet, before those in Maine and a group in Lohja, Finland, built bigger ones.
For more photos, go to https://bit.ly/2CutUWD .