Rosy Red Cheeks-2006

As we transition into the next season here in Victoria, Minnesota, we've had the singular opportunity to personally touch winter, walk on ice, and put rosy red into our cheeks. 

It all happens each year at the Victoria Ice Fishing Contest sponsored by the Victoria Fire Department.

There's some big fish in Stieger Lake.  Ryan Meinert of Victoria caught one of them.

Ryan's northern measured 27.5 inches in length and won second place as largest predator fish caught that Sunday afternoon, February 5th, 2006.

Terri Traen from KQRS 92 FM was hired by the Victoria Fire Department to help with promotion of the Ice Fishing Contest by talking about it beforehand on the radio.  "It's good advertising for us," said Victoria Fire Chief Tim Walsh.

Playing catch on the lake can be more active sport than ice fishing.  A white dog in the white snow can also be easier to spot than a gray fish in the gray water.

Seems a stogie was just right for the moment.

One of the heaviest vehicles allowed on the lake that afternoon was the trailer from which members of the Victoria Fire Department sold raffle tickets.

The Victoria Ice Fishing Contest was not the only featured event of the day.  The Super Bowl beckoned folks to their television sets later that afternoon.  This particular fan of the Minnesota Vikings was a visitor from Des Moines, Iowa.

Marvin Storms, retired member of the Victoria Fire Department and the Victoria Repair Shop, and his wife Marie spent a little time near one of the firepits that Marvin constructed out of water pressure tanks from the Leuthners, Victoria firefighters in the well drilling business.

Covered fish houses are only allowed outside the perimeter of an area stipulated by the Victoria Fire Department for the Contest -- unless the fish house is collapsible and not set up, as in this case.

Some Victoria friends and neighbors came in groups to the Ice Fishing Contest.  (Back, left to right):  Bill Forsyth, Tim Peterson, Jon Hokanson, Mike Winkelman.  Kids in the photograph are (l-r)  Jake Hokanson, TJ Hokanson, Darren Winkelman, and Natalie Winkelman.

"We like to support each other," said Mike Kelzer, member of the Waconia Fire Department.  Some of the Waconia firefighters who attended the Victoria Ice Fishing Contest included (front, l-r) Adam Weiland, Steve Wert, Randall Sorenson, and (back) Loren Anderson and that's Mike on the right.

Two school buses circled nonstop between several parking lots in downtown Victoria and the icy shores of Stieger Lake, carrying approximately 300 people to the Contest.  The ice on Stieger Lake measured 14 inches in most places, according to Chief Walsh.  Cars were not allowed on the lake.

The editor ate a big juicy hamburger with fried onions, a big juicy hotdog with pickle relish, ketchup, and mustard, and two large cups of hot chocolate.  When she was busy with food, husband Allan held her camera.  I bought those earmuffs in Alaska.  Would you believe they're mink?  They are!  The coat is nylon and polyester.  Notice the rosy red cheeks.

The End

Love, Sue