Butte's annual winter festival, Snöflinga, runs Thursday-Sunday, Jan. 18-21, with a host of events for all ages and skills planned throughout the area.
Have you ever wanted to ride your bike in the snow or curl like an Olympian? You can learn and participate in several winter activities throughout the weekend.
Now in its third year, Snöflinga, the Swedish word for snowflake, is free and features a weekend of ice skating, Nordic skiing, fun runs, sledding, luge, outdoor kids CrossFit, curling, a fat bike expo, ski and snowboard rail jam events, and more.
In addition, there will be live musical performances.
A list of events is listed here. Registration forms for individual events can be found online at snoflinga.weebly.com.
FRIDAY, JAN. 19
5 to 9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 19, at the Butte High Altitude Skating Center, 34 Olympic Way. Bjorn the Bear will be there. Featured will be opening remarks, special guest lighting of the bon fire, live music, concessions and face painting. Free skating available, with free skate rentals available for a first come, first served basis.
SATURDAY, JAN. 20
ELEMENTARY SKATE RACES
9:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 20, Butte High Altitude Skating Center. This ice skating competition among area elementary schools features kids grouped by grade level. First-, second-, and third-place trophies will be awarded to the top three schools. This meet is not limited to speed skaters. Any child who knows how to ice skate is welcome, since the primary objective is to have fun. School race registration forms can be picked up at the High Altitude Center Tuesdays and Thursdays 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., Fridays 6 to 9 p.m., weekends noon to 5 p.m., or on the day of the race by 9 a.m. Completed forms can be submitted at the High Altitude Center during the above specified times, or to Tina at email@example.com. Pre-registration is greatly appreciated. For more information, contact Tina at 406-490-5764 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A free shuttle bus will offer rides from the High Altitude Skating Center to Homestake Lodge on Saturday to alleviate parking problems. Shuttle will make two trips throughout the day. Homestake Lodge will open its trails all day for open skiing. Shuttle 1: Leaves 9 a.m. and return 12:30 p.m.; Shuttle 2: Leaves at noon; returns at 3 p.m.
NORDIC SKI LESSONS
Homestake Lodge, 530 Upper Rader Creek Road, 15 miles east of Butte. Equipment rental, coaching and instruction are provided by the Mile High Nordic Ski Club as well as Homestake Lodge completely free. Remember that parking is limited and a free shuttle is offered. Skate and classic options, Registration and $5 refundable deposit required.
Saturday, Jan. 20: Session 1: 10 to 11:30 a.m.
Session 2: 1 to 3 p.m.
KIDS ACTIVITY AFTERNOON
Noon to 3 p.m. Saturday. At the Mountain Con Mine, Foreman’s Park. Looking to take a quick break from all the action and spend some more time with the family? Build a snowman, ice skate, slide the luge, or enjoy some hot chocolate.
UGLY SWEATHER FUN RUN-WALK
This 5K winter foot race takes place Saturday on Butte's Top of the World trail system during the kids’ activity afternoon. Starting and ending at the Mountain Con mineyard and ending with a surprisingly fun Snöflinga-style finish. Registration required, prizes for ugliest sweaters. 5K starts at 11 a.m; and kids’ mile at noon. Registration fees are $10 (before Jan. 17) or $15 (same day registration). The 1 Mile Fun Run is free. Divisions are male, female and youth. Prizes will be awarded for the top three finishers in each division.
Snowshoe Treks start at 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 20, at Homestake Lodge. Registration is required. There is a refundable $5 fee upon arrival.
FAT BIKE RIDE
Noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 20 — Meet at the parking area at the head of Herman Gulch accessed via Roosevelt Drive. Hosted by the Highlands Cycling Club. Join a tour of the Bob Waggoner groomed trail route in Thompson Park. Experience smooth groomed single track just minutes from town. Stay warm with hot chocolate stops and a fire to warm up next to after the ride. Welcoming riders of all levels. Hot chocolate, the guided tour, and grooming provided by the Bike Butte movement/Highland’s Cycling Club. Participants must supply their own bike and helmet.
MINI-SLOPE STYLE COMPETITION
4 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Mountain Con Mineyard
Ski/Snowboard Competition with vendors, live music and bonfire. Our high-flying ski/snowboard comp is back with a new twist: less rails and more jumps. Competition is open to all ages — Pro division (18+) requires $10 entry fee for possible cash prize. Registration and waiver required. Skiers 18 and under must be accompanied by a parent. Registration fees are $10 (before Jan. 17) or $15 (same day registration). Divisions are male, female and youth. Prizes will be awarded for the top three finishers in each division.
3 to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Mountain Con mineyard. Learn maneuvers on snowboards, and other skills.
4 to 6 p.m. Saturday at Mountain Con mineyard/Foreman’s Park.
The Polar Plunge is an opportunity for individuals, clubs, organization and schools to support local Special Olympics Montana athletes by jumping into frigid and icy waters in the dead of a Montana winter. All you have to do to participate is raise $125 by registering at www.somt.org/plunge or by showing up that day with the funds raised. Plungers 18 and under need to raise $50 to jump into the icy waters.
NORDIC SKI LESSONS
Nordic Ski Lessons will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 20, at Homestake Lodge. Session 1 is from 10 to 11:30 a.m..; Session 2 is from 1 to 3 p.m.
Equipment rental, coaching and instruction are provided by the Mile High Nordic Ski Club, as well as Homestake Lodge, completely free. Remember that parking is limited and a free shuttle is being offered.
Registration required and there is a refundable $5 fee upon arrival.
SUNDAY, JAN. 21
9 a.m. to noon – Curling at the Butte Community Ice Center, 1700 Wall St. (Clark Park). This is your chance to learn the same game that has you glued to your television during every Olympics.
NORDIC SKI RACES
Homestake Hustle Skate and Classic Nordic Ski Races will take place Sunday, Jan. 21, at Homestake Lodge, about 15 miles east of Butte. All ages are welcome. The event includes races of 10K, 3K and 1K. The 10K begins at 9:30 a.m.; 1K and 3K youth races start at 11 a.m. Divisions include male (10K Classic, 10K Skate), Female (10K Classic, 10K Skate), and Youth (1K, 3K). Prizes will be given for the top three finishers in each division. Registration fees are $10 (before Jan. 17) or $15 (same day registration).
FAT BIKE WINTERCROSS/DEMO
Check Snöflinga website for location — Check-in at 1 p.m., with race and 1:30 p.m. The Fat Bike Cyclocross race will be a loop-style race where the participants do as many laps as possible in the allotted time. We will try to have a packed snow course that is 1-2 miles in length. The race is 30 minutes long, with as many laps as possible. All ages welcome and encouraged to participate. Registration fees are $10 (before Jan. 17) or $15 (same day registration). Divisions are male, female and youth. Prizes will be awarded for the top three finishers in each division. Bike expo starts after the race, and people can try riding the fat-tired bikes.
THURSDAY, JAN. 18, AND SUNDAY, JAN. 21
"Tight Loose" showings will be at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan 18, and 5 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 21, at 5516 Designs, 27 N. Main St. Admission is $10 each (kids under 10 free on Sunday). Since the dawn of time, everything that has lived and breathed on this planet has been subject to the whims of Mother Nature. The nature of an adventurer is inherently rogue; typically wild in character, subject to the fancy of their imagination. The film features nature’s rawest fury and deepest mysteries. These are the irreverent souls who pursue the edge. More information available at www.tetongravity.com/films/rogue-elements.