Lake Mills’ Knickerbocker Ice Festival returns |

Legendary Lake Mills is hosting its annual Knickerbocker Ice Festival the first weekend of February on Feb. 3-4.

The official coronation ceremony begins at 11 am Feb 4, at TT’s Timeout in Lake Mills.

Whether or not there will actually be ice on Rock Lake for the ice festival depends on the weather.

Brian Huser, owner of Bait Box on the Rock Tackle Box in Fort Atkinson, monitors local ice fishing conditions as part of his business. While local conditions on Rock Lake Tuesday were borderline unsafe — some anglers had reported ice less than six inches thick in some locations — forecast cooler weather could be good news for most activities on the lake, including the festival.

“Toward the end of the week, we’re supposed to have temps in the upper freezing and lows in the upper teens to twenties,” he said. “We should make more ice than we lose.”

Organizers are ready in any event.

“We have a Plan B for Ice Softball and Ice Golf,” Legendary Lake Mills Executive Director Raina Severson said. “If the weather conditions are unsafe, and there is not enough ice, activities will be moved to a local park.”

Live ice carvings, Knickerbocker coronation, a snowball eating contest, a skating party, and much more will take place during the Knickerbocker Ice Festival.

“The Knickerbocker Ice Festival is no doubt a special community event that brings community members and visitors alike to our special community,” Severson said.

The Knickerbocker Ice Festival is a Lake Mills community event named after a company that harvested ice from the Rock Lake in the early 1900’s, she said.

There will be outdoor and indoor activities available throughout the weekend.

“Please join us for a weekend of small-town celebration and fun for the whole family,” Severson said.

Candle Lit Hike at Korth Park (6 — 7:30 pm)

Location: Korth County Park, W8390 Korth Lane

Information: Enjoy snowshoeing in a whole new light. After your hike, relax next to the fire pit. Adult and youth size snowshoes will be provided by the Lake Mills Recreation Department free of charge, first come first serve. Complementary hot beverages will be provided by Fort HealthCare. This event is a partnership between Jefferson County WI Parks, Fort HealthCare, and the Lake Mills Recreation Department — WI.

Sponsor: Forest Landscaping and Construction.

Knickerbocker Ice Festival Team (7 pm)

Location: Pyramid Event Venue

Cost: $10 per player, pay at the door

Prizes: Traveling Trophy and cash of $100, $75, $50

Rules: No more than 8 on a team and no phones allowed.

Join for a night of trivia, laughs and friendly competition. This is a fundraiser for Legendary Lake Mills: Chamber Main Street Organization.

Tyranena Euchre Tournament (7 — 10 pm)

Location: The Fharmacy Public House, 203 N. Main St.

Kick off the 2023 Knickerbocker Ice Festival with a Euchre Tournament at Tyranena’s. The Farmacy Public House. The first 36 people to register can play. No partners necessary; Players will rotate tables and teammates.

There’s no fee to enter with cash prizes to the winners. Register for a free ticket at Eventbrite to secure your spot. Must be 21 to play and attend.

Sponsor: Tyranena Brewing Co

Ice Softball on Rock Lake (check in at 8:30 am, play ends before sunset)

Location: Play begins at Bartel’s Beach, 210 S. Ferry Drive (North); Team Captains check-in at 8:30 am at Sunshine Brewing.

Cost: $10 per person (9 — 12 players per team)

Slide across the ice onto the home plate. Get a team together and register online. If you can’t get an entire team together, email and see if there are any other teamless players.

Sponsor: Sunshine Brewing Co

Legendary Ice Bar (Available on Saturday)

Location: Enter ice near Bartel’s Beach; 210 S. Ferry Drive

Cost: Retail for beverages, free to check out

Knickerbocker Royalty Coronation (11 am)

Location: Coronation begins at TT’s Time Out, 107 S Main St.

Each year at the Knickerbocker Ice Festival, Lake Mills Royalty is chosen to be crowned and recognized for the day. This year The Watson Family of the former Watson Ace Hardware has been chosen as 2023 Knickerbocker Royalty!

During the Watsons’ time in Lake Mills, Watson Ace Hardware hosted multiple community fundraisers with all of the money going straight back to local organizations.

Brian Watson also spent time on committees and as a member of many local organizations. He served on the board of the Lake Mills Main Street Program and the former Lake Mills Chamber of Commerce as well as serving on the board and as President for both the Lake Mills Rotary Club and Lake Mills Area Community Foundation.

Sponsor: Bank of Lake Mills

Optimist Skating Party (11 — 1 pm)

Location: Commons Park, 100 N. Main St.

Information: The Lake Mills Optimists and Junior Optimists invite you to the Optimists’ Annual Ice Skating Party in Commons Park. Children should bring their ice skates (or boots) to join in the fun & games. Challenge prizes and light refreshments will be provided. Each child will receive a coupon for a free hot dog from Doyle’s Dogs.

Sponsors: The Lake Mills’ Optimist Club & Doyle’s Dogs

Son’s of the American Legion Chili Warm-Up (11-2 pm)

Location: American Legion Post 67, 129 S. Main St.

Cost: $4 per bowl, cash only

Information: Proceeds benefit area veterans. To go or eat in. Call 920-342-2683 for curbside.

Sponsors: Sons of the American Legion

Knickerbocker Ice Wine Release (noon — 8 pm)

Location: Lewis Station Winery, 217 N. Main St. (also available at Stable Rock Winery & Distillery in Jefferson)

Cost: Retail, $25 per bottle

The Knickerbocker Ice Wine is made with the Riesling grape and has notes of honey, peach, sweet citrus and marmalade. This wine is released in February of every year during the Knickerbocker ice festival.

Sponsor: Lewis Station Winery

Family games: Snowball eating contest,IdiderDAD and Fish Toss (Begins at 1 pm)

Location: Commons Park, 100 N. Main St.

Kids and adults compete in the Snowball Eating Contest (how fast can you eat a ball of fro-yo?, The IdiderDAD (an obstacle course completed while towing a child in a sled) and Fish Toss (literally throwing frozen fish). Winners by age group.

Sponsors: Lake Mills Recreation Department & ReMax Shine Realty

The Hub Cafe Fat Tire Ride (starts at 2 pm)

Location: Begins at The Hub Cafe & Sport, 128 E. Madison St.

Information: Bring your fat tire bike and journey across the frozen lake.

Sponsor: The Hub Cafe Pub and Velveteen Lounge

Knickerbocker winter ale release (throughout Saturday)

Location: Sunshine Brewing Company, 121 S. Main St.

Annual release of this seasonal beer

Sponsor: Sunshine Brewing Company