Thin ice concerns event organizers in Clear Lake

Jack Race being pushed to early February, while decision on status of Color the Wind kite festival expected later this month

Posted: Jan. 9, 2019 9:50 PM

CLEAR LAKE, Iowa - It's bone chilling cold right now, but in recent weeks, we've watched as Mother Nature started reclaiming her right to breathe, be seen and melt the ice on Clear Lake. And that's throwing some lake-top events into limbo.

The Jack Race, which would've been held January 19th-20th, has been postponed to February 8th-9th due to the lack of sturdy ice on the south shore of the lake. The Color the Wind Kite Festival, which is held by the seawall, is still scheduled for February 16th, but organizers may be looking at having to adjust as well, as they're inspecting ice conditions regularly.

Larry Day has organized the event since the beginning nearly 20 years ago, and has worked dilligently for months to set everything up. Logistically, moving the event to a different part of the lake is not an option.

"We have gone to different locations in the lake previously a few times, but the event has grown to the size that it needs to be in the downtown area. That is the premiere area."

If it does have to be adjusted, it could have some impact on local businesses, as the event draws in thousands of people every year.

"The restaurants up town, the gas stations, the motels in the community and the bed and breakfasts, I think are pretty full right now. So it's very disappointing to them, but also very disappointing for us because we start preparing for this event in September."

The Jack Race has been postponed a few times, but never been cancelled in its 10-year history, while Color the Wind has only been cancelled twice due to unfavorable ice conditions. A decision about this year's event should be made around the end of this month, Day adds.

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