Oakwood Lake State Park will host the Kool Kids’ Klassic Fishing Derby and the Groundhog Day Cross-Country Ski Tour on Jan. 26 and 27, respectively.

On Jan. 26, children under age 14 are invited to take part in the Kool Kids’ Klassic Ice Fishing Derby. Registration for the derby is $2 and will take place at the Welcome Center at 11 a.m. The first 100 entries will receive a free fishing pole made by park staff. Bait is furnished and event staff will drill holes in the ice as needed. Fishing will take place in designated areas from 12 to 2 p.m. with weigh-in to follow. Winners will be announced at the award ceremony following fishing. Snacks will be available throughout the day, and numerous door prize drawings will be held.

On Jan. 27, the Groundhog Day Ski Event will feature a 5-kilometer non-competitive poker run, a 2-mile non-competitive snowshoe poker run, a 10-kilometer competitive race and a kick sled race. A registration fee of $8 for adults and $3 for youth (ages 14-17) applies to the ski race/poker run. Prizes will be awarded to the winners in each age group, as well as in other categories.

The day also features the annual Sons of Norway Barnelopet Children’s Ski Run. This event is free for kids 13 and under.

Registration for the ski events begins at the park shop at 12:30 p.m. The race will start at 1:30 p.m. Cookies, hot chocolate and various Norwegian treats will be served throughout the day. Ski rentals for the event are available from Sioux River Bicycles and Fitness. Snowshoes are available to borrow from the park; call to reserve. In the event of no snow, walks will be held in place of the races.

“These events are a great way for the entire family to get active, get outside and have fun at the park,” said Randy Pitts, Park Manager at Oakwood Lakes State Park. “The park offers many opportunities for outdoor winter recreation that families can enjoy.”

The fishing derby is sponsored the City of Brookings, Brookings Engraving, Brookings Radio, Gas ‘N’ More, Brookings Hy-Vee Food Store, Porter’s Bait, 1481 Grille, SD Division of Parks and Recreation, and the Bruce Market.

The cross-country ski tour is sponsored by the Sons of Norway, Sioux River Bicycles and Fitness, Brookings Radio, 1481 Grille, Brookings Engraving, and the SD Division of Parks and Recreation.

Park entrance licenses are required to enter the park and will be available for purchase. For additional information on the weekend’s events, call Oakwood Lakes State Park at 605-627-5441. For a calendar of other upcoming special events in South Dakota’s state parks and recreation areas, visit www.gfp.sd.gov.

Logo courtesy South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks

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