ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

No place like ‘Gnome Sweet Gnome’: Nisswa Winter Jubilee celebrates 50th anniversary

“Gnome Sweet Gnome” is the theme for this year’s Nisswa Winter Jubilee starting Friday, Feb. 18. The three-day event includes activities such as snow sculpting, a medallion hunt, a parade, smoosh racing, a wood-splitting contest, a fishing derby and more.

Teams of four people attached to pairs of planks race around a course.
Team MinneWegians outpaces Team Lorraine's Gang in "smoosh" races during a previous Nisswa Winter Jubilee. Smoosh races consist of teams of four attached to pairs of planks racing around a course.
Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch
We are part of The Trust Project.

NISSWA — Old Man Winter just got a whole lot shorter.

“Gnome Sweet Gnome” is the theme for the 50th annual Nisswa Winter Jubilee, which begins Friday, Feb. 18, in Nisswa and ends Sunday.

“I actually put it out on our Facebook page and just said, ‘OK, peeps, come up with something,’” said Tina Foster, co-chair of the event. “Well — hands down — it was ‘Gnome Sweet Gnome.’”

Nisswa Winter Jubilee 2022 buttons
Buttons for the 2022 Nisswa Winter Jubilee feature this year's "Gnome Sweet Gnome" theme.
Contributed / Tina Foster

The snow sculptures and parade float creators will attempt to include the gnome theme in their works, according to Foster.

“We just have different competitions going on,” Foster said of the Nisswa Winter Jubilee. “The wood-splitting competition is great fun to watch.”

ADVERTISEMENT

The jubilee attracts between 3,000 to 5,000 people to Nisswa depending on the weather, according to co-chair Terry Wallin, and the event annually coincides with Presidents Day weekend.

The Nissfits band.
The Nissfits band will perform Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022, at the Nisswa Winter Jubilee.
Contributed

“There are specials going on around town with all of our local restaurants — they all support us really well,” Foster said Thursday.

The family-friendly event includes activities such as snow sculptures, a medallion hunt, a firefighters' fishing derby and more during the three days.

“We've got storytime over at the bookstore, a little parade — not real long, probably last half an hour at the most, which is fine in these temperatures — but it just celebrates our little community,” Foster said.

Four people on a pair of skis in a race.
Four people on a pair of skis race in a competition in a previous Nisswa Winter Jubilee.
Contributed / Tina Foster

Smoosh racing may be an activity a lot of people have not heard of, but it will take place on the second day of the Nisswa Winter Jubilee.

“What we started a couple of years ago and was just getting off the ground — but didn't happen last year — was our smoosh racing,” Foster said. “If you think of cross-country skis, but there are four people on one set of skis and they have to work together to race.”

People can register at 12:30 p.m. Saturday inside the Ye Old Pickle Factory on Murray Road for the unusual smoosh racing.

Well — hands down — it was ‘Gnome Sweet Gnome.’
— Tina Foster

“It's hilarious because it takes a lot of coordinated effort and teamwork to make those things work, so there's lots of tipping over and lots of laughing, of course, going on,” Foster said. “It's a super fun event and we're getting that going back again this year.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Saturday’s beanbag tournament from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. returns to the Nisswa American Legion on Main Street.

“The beanbag tournament — everybody pays in and all the money is paid back out to whoever wins — that's always very well-attended, so you’ve got to get there early and get your name on the list for that,” Foster said.

A woman throws her hands up in the air at the Nisswa American Legion bean bag tourney that is part of the Nisswa Winter Jubilee.
A woman throws her hands up in the air at the Nisswa American Legion bean bag tourney that is part of the Nisswa Winter Jubilee.
Contributed / Tina Foster

Children’s activities include face painting, balloon animals, crafts and coloring at a “mini-Jubilee” from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at Woods to Water Real Estate on Murray Road.

“Our Black Bear 4-H Club gets together and provides the manpower, if you will, to do a little what they call ‘mini-Jubilee’ for the little kids,” Foster said of the all-volunteer event.

A girl attempts to make an animal out of balloons at a previous Nisswa Winter Jubilee.
Contributed / Tina Foster

The north boundary for the medallion hunt will include the Nisswa American Legion property south to the roundabout. The west boundary will be Nisswa Lake Park (access under the bridge) and the east boundary will be Church Street.

The medallion will not be hidden on private property, nor on the grounds of the Nisswa History Center and Museum, which includes the historic Pioneer Village.

Finders of the medallion should take it to the Pickle and ask for Terry Wallin or Tina Foster to claim the $100 prize from MK Auto Body.

MORE ARTICLES BY FRANK LEE
Chris Koza is a Minneapolis musician, composer and performer whose influences range from finger-picking folk guitar to fuse-busting prog rock. Koza will perform at 7 p.m. June 29, outside on the south lawn of the Brainerd campus of Central Lakes College.

“And then, on Sunday, a really fun event is an all-star Jubilee jam,” Foster said. “And we have lots of musicians in this area … and everybody that wants to play can come and they just put their name on the list.”

ADVERTISEMENT

For more information about the Nisswa Winter Jubilee, call 218-330-5461, email nisswajubilee@gmail.com or follow the event on Facebook at www.facebook.com/NisswaWinterJubilee .

Nisswa Winter Jubilee schedule

Friday, Feb. 18:

  • 3-5 p.m.: Music trivia and BOGO beers, Big Axe Brewing.
  • 3-6 p.m.: Fish Friday and pull your price drinks, Main Street Ale House.
  • 4-8 p.m.: Dinner special, Nisswa American Legion.
  • 4:30 p.m.: Meat raffle, Nisswa American Legion.
  • 5-10 p.m.: Free appetizer with purchase of a large pizza, Rafferty's Pizza.
  • 5-10 p.m.: Barbecue rib dinner, Big Axe Brewing.
  • 6-8 p.m.: GunApalooza gun raffle, Nisswa American Legion.
  • 6:30 p.m.: Blue Eyes Karaoke, Nisswa American Legion.
  • 8 p.m.-midnight: Live music with King's Ransom, the Pickle.

Saturday, Feb. 19

  • All day: Medallion hunt with clues released at 9 a.m. at Main Street Ale House, noon at Rafferty's Pizza and 3 p.m. at Big Axe Brewing.
  • 10 a.m.-noon: Face painting, balloon animals and crafts hosted by the Black Bear 4-H Club at Woods to Water Real Estate.
  • 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m.: Bloody mary bar, Nisswa American Legion; kitchen will be open 11 a.m to 8 p.m. serving pulled pork sandwiches.
  • 11 a.m.: Parade lineup begins. Registration forms are online on Facebook or at the Pickle.
  • 11 a.m.-1 p.m.: Snow sculpture judging featuring “best of” category for kids 16 and under, and for adults. Sign up for snow piles at Triangle.
  • Noon: Nisswa Winter Jubilee Parade featuring grand marshal Tom Wetrosky.
  • 12:30 p.m.: Storytime, "Paul Bunyan," Turtle Town Books and Gifts.
  • 12:30 p.m.: Register for smoosh racing inside the Pickle patio doors.
  • 1 p.m.: Register for the wood-splitting contest in the Pickle parking lot.
  • 1-3 p.m.: Nisswaschlagen at the Pickle.
  • 2-6 p.m.: Registration and beanbag tourney, Nisswa American Legion.
  • 2-4 p.m.: Beer poke, fires and free s'mores, Big Axe Brewing patio.
  • 4:30 p.m.: Meat raffle, Nisswa American Legion.
  • 5-10 p.m.: Free appetizer with purchase of a large pizza, Rafferty's Pizza.
  • 5-10 p.m.: Barbecue rib dinner, Big Axe Brewing.
  • 6:30 p.m.: Live music, Nisswa American Legion.
  • 8 p.m.-midnight: Live music featuring the Nissfits, the Pickle.

Sunday, Feb. 20

  • 10 a.m.-3 p.m.: Sunday brunch, Main Street Ale House.
  • 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m.: Bloody mary bar, Nisswa American Legion; kitchen will be open 11 a.m to 7 p.m.
  • Noon-2 p.m.: Nisswa Fire Department's Ice Fishing Derby on Nisswa Lake; $5 per hole.
  • 1 p.m.: Cribbage tourney, Big Axe Brewing.
  • 3:30 p.m.: Bar bingo, Nisswa American Legion.
  • 4-8 p.m.: Live music featuring the Nisswa All-Star Jam Session, the Pickle.

FRANK LEE may be reached at 218-855-5863 or at frank.lee@brainerddispatch.com . Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/DispatchFL .

I cover arts and entertainment, and write feature stories, for the Brainerd Dispatch newspaper. As a professional journalist with years of experience, I have won awards for my fact-based reporting. And my articles have also appeared in other publications, including USA Today. 📰
What to read next
Long Lake Township Board Chairman Dave Johnson asked the county to take a closer look at Thompson Road, otherwise known as County Road 148, in a bid to increase safety on that roadway and others within the township boundaries.
Driving drunk was responsible for 41% of traffic deaths over July 4th weekend in 2020
Nine alumni gathered in front of their former elementary school on Tuesday, June 28. They shared memories from their childhoods and reminisced one last time before the building is demolished this summer.
The Minnesota State Patrol responded to the crash at 7:19 a.m. near Walker.