Event Updates

Event & Course Updates for the City of Lakes Loppet Winter Festival

City of Lakes Loppet Winter Festival event and course updates, should any be necessary, will be posted here. Check back frequently for the most up to date information. The last possible event update for races will be made by 6:30am on race morning.

This year, we encourage anyone participating in a point-to-point event to try out our new semi-virtual race options. This option allows you to virtually submit your self-reported time after completing the official City of Lakes Loppet course on your own time between Monday, February 1 – Friday, February 5. This is the best option for those looking to maintain maximum social distancing.

The courses will be well-marked, we will send you a Google map, and a .gpx course map file for you to upload to your smart device. Past that, participants are responsible for knowing where to go.

We want to give you the full race experience, and that is only possible by having you complete the whole course. However, that means Classic/Skate Ski Puoli and Classic/Skate Ski Loppet participants who choose the hybrid option will have four un-manned road crossings without snow, as we cannot close the roads for 7 continuous days. Please remove your skis, use caution, and look both ways before crossing the road in each of these areas.

Everyone must be off the snowmaking trails by 10pm, so our groomers can do their magic before the next day. All races finish on the snowmaking trails, so do not start your event at a time when you can not finish by then.

Loppet is a Scandinavian term which translates roughly to “adventure over uncertain terrain.”

Most years, for the Loppet Foundation, that means planning events to accommodate uncertain snow and weather conditions. This year, in the shadow of COVID-19, the term takes on a whole new meaning. We, like you, do not know what the future will bring. However, we do know that our staff and volunteers will work with diligence, creativity, and commitment to ensure a great event despite the current global situation. The information below will continue to be updated as it becomes available.

Event Updates

After much deliberation, we have chosen to cancel some of our events which do not lend themselves well to social distancing requirements. These events include the 2021 Captain Ken’s Kubb Tournament, the Crew Ski Loppet, the Chuck & Don’s Skijor Sprints, the Freewheel Fat Tire Sprints, the Skate Ski Sprints, and the MYSL SuperCarnival.

The Junior Loppet and Minne-Loppet will be combined into one event, which we are calling the Future Loppet, meant to inspire the future generation of skiers. Youth and junior skiers will be able to choose from 1.5K & 3K distances.

We are also adding the Open Loppet 5K fun ski event for all ages, perfect for high school racers who have missed out on racing this year or adults looking to complete their first 5K, and everyone in between.

Start Areas, Courses, and Waves

All point-to-point events will start on Wirth Beach (3200 Glenwood Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55405) this year – NOT on Bde Maka Ska. Events that normally have started at The Trailhead in the past will continue to do so this year.

Each participant will be assigned a specific event start time based on the pacing questionnaire answered when registering and previous Loppet event results. Participants must begin their event at their assigned start time, so we can keep everyone on schedule and socially distant. Failure to do so may result in disqualification.

Participants will not be allowed to enter the start area until 5 minutes before their start time to keep people spread out before they start their event. NO spectators will be allowed in the start/finish areas. Participants must wear masks in the start/finish areas.

More information will be available on our Maps & Logistics webpage.

Parking & Transportation

Because we are unable to provide shuttle bus transportation this year due to COVID-19 restrictions, event participants in the point-to-point events should park at the Mortenson parking lots (700 Meadow Lane and 4100 Olson Memorial Highway, Golden Valley, MN 55422) for the most efficient travel to and from the course. From there, participants will be a short walk to the start at Wirth Beach and a short walk from the finish at The Trailhead in Theodore Wirth Park.

There will be no warming tents, so your car will act as your pre-post race warming spot.

There will also be drop-off and pick-up areas at Wirth Beach and at the Theodore Wirth Park Golf Chalet.

More information will be available on our Parking & Transportation webpage.

Aid Stations & Post-Race Party

Our favorite part of each City of Lakes Loppet Winter Festival is sharing beer, food, and stories with you all after the completion of your events. Sadly, in the midst of a global pandemic, we have determined that this would be unwise to do that this year, as it would lead to high congestion areas near the finish line – particularly with high numbers of people not wearing masks. Instead, please head home after you finish and share your stories with us on social media by tagging the Loppet Foundation and using #CityOfLakesLoppet and #LuminaryLoppet on Facebook, Instagram, and/or Twitter.

We are still determining whether we can provide any sustenance at aid stations in a manner safe for both participants and volunteers. That being said, please plan at this point in time to be self sufficient and supply your own nutrition and hydration for your events.

More information will be available on our Maps & Logistics webpage.

Packet Pickup & Awards Ceremonies

To maximize social distancing and keep both participants and staff/volunteers safe, we will be doing a drive through packet pickup in the roundabout in front of The Trailhead in Theodore Wirth Park in the days leading up to the festival (similar to the 2020 Surly Brewing Co. Trail Loppet and the 2020 Loppet Turkey Traverse 5K). Because of this change, day-of registration will NOT be available this year. More information will be available on the Registration & Packet Pickup webpage.

There will be no awards ceremony in 2021 (this includes both the smaller ceremonies at the finish line and the big ceremony at the end of the festival). However, you can rest assured that your hard work will not go unnoticed! Awards will still be available this year. Information on what prizes are up for grabs and how to receive your award(s) after your race will be available on the Awards webpage.

Luminary Loppet

We continue to work on plans for the MN Department of Health to create a safe and fun Luminary LoppetHowever, the registration is temporarily closed until we are able to have our plan approved by the Health Department, Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board, and our own medical advisors.

We are exploring every avenue and strategy, and we hope to have a plan in which all concerned parties have confidence and can support soon. We expect some things will certainly be different, but we are looking forward to hopefully to providing the structure for a steady and socially-distanced safe flow of participants around the lake, possibly with assigned start locations and times, an extra wide track, and restructured features. Your entrance glowstick may even be a face mask this year! On our side is the fact that this is an outdoors event with a HUGE area. More information will be available on the Luminary Loppet webpage.

Please view our Maps & Trail Conditions webpage for current ski trail and fat-tire bike trail conditions. As we get closer to the event, we will keep you posed on event updates, should there be any, here.