Ice hauled away

 After cutting ice blocks from the Hay River Flowage at Prairie Farm, Lions Club members used this modified farm conveyor to load them onto a waiting truck. Photo contributed

Tradition will be re-enacted, brave volunteers will “take the plunge,” and the public is invited to share in the fun Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019, as Prairie Farm area residents stage “Fun on the Flowage – Retake the Lake,” at Pioneer Park.

Sponsored by the Prairie Farm Lions Club and Alfalfa Fest (an August event held to raise funds for area schools and in-home hospice services), the event runs from 12 noon to 4 p.m. this Saturday, upstream of the municipal dam on the Hay River.

Events include an ice-cutting demonstration using vintage equipment borrowed from Pioneer Village Museum and a “Polar Plunge” fundraiser at 1 p.m.

Lions Club members will sell pork loin sandwiches, French fries and beverages, while the Alfalfa Fest organizers plan to sell booya and hot chocolate.

Members of the Lions Club have been planning the event since late fall 2018. For the past two weeks, club members have been practicing with ice cutting equipment borrowed from Pioneer Village Museum in Cameron. Last weekend, ice cakes were stacked on the surface of the Hay River Flowage to create a winter castle, complete with lights and flags.

Proceeds will be used for a long-term project intended to dredge and rehabilitate the flowage, which divides the village of Prairie Farm from Pioneer Park and Campground. Silt has damaged the flowage as a fishery and recreational resource.

The first step in “Retake the Lake” is a project to take core samples from the lake bed and test them to be sure there aren’t any hazardous materials in the silt. The tests cost between $4,000 and $5,000. If the tests show the silt can be dredged and deposited elsewhere, future money-raising events will be held to finance that project, according to Lions Club members.

Alfalfa Fest is an annual event held in a rural area of Dunn County, south of Prairie Farm. Festival volunteers have organized a Polar Plunge event scheduled to start at 1 p.m. Feb. 9 at Pioneer Park.

Each “plunger” has been asked to raise at least $50 in pledges, organizers said. Donations should be brought to Pioneer Park prior to the event. Proceeds benefit Northwest Home, Health & Hospice. For further information, call (715) 418-1584.