WinterFest 2017 kickoff event

Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) - Rochester’s 2017 WinterFest made its arrival on the heels of a major snowstorm.

A kickoff event was held during Wednesday's storm and the first event is Thursday’s Deuces Wild Dueling Pianos at 125 Live.

WinterFest chairperson Lori Forstie says the annual event takes place during the first two weeks in February and includes a wide variety of activities. She says WinterFest is designed to promote wintertime activities while raising awareness and funds for events sponsored by nonprofit organizations in Olmsted County.

Forstie says this year’s WinterFest will include 27 events over the course of 18 days.

She says WinterFest 2016 was a huge success as it attracted over 9,000 attendees. The 450 volunteers at the events helped raise nearly $443,000.

WinterFest 2017 kickoff event

Returning popular events this year include the Polar Bear Plunge, Youth Ice Fishing Contest, Frozen Goose Run/Walk, Blizzard Ride, BaconFest and the Hearts & Diamonds Spectacular. New events include the Beat the Winter Blues Bash and Think & Do Free Family Day. Winterfest ends Feb. 12th.