Minnesota Children’s Museum Rochester’s Cardboard Sled Race, now in its third year, has officially become a WinterFest tradition.
This year’s sled race takes place from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 7, at the Rochester Golf & Country Club. There is a $15 registration fee, and spectators get to watch for free. All proceeds go to the museum. To register, go to rochester.mcm.org or call 507-218-3100
The idea is for families and children to create their own sleds out of cardboard, duct tape and other materials and race them down the hill at the country club.
The sleds are decorated to look like sharks, tanks, school buses and even Olaf, the snowman character in the movie “Frozen.” The winner is the one whose sled gets down the hill fastest.
The tradition continues because each year the number of participants and spectators grows. Last year, there were 13 sled competitors and 150 viewers, doubling the number of participants and tripling the number of spectators from last year.
“It’s fun,” said Karen Cook, the museum’s development and marketing associate. “The first seven that participated came back the second year with different sleds, and each year people come to us and say, ‘Next year, I’m going to do this.'”
Last year, a father-daughter team made its sled look like a piece of candy. Their sled, “Candy Rush,” won the contest for fastest sled. Most cardboard sleds can support only one or, at the most two riders. But one team built a school bus sled that whisked four people down the hill.
Participants are given the opportunity to go down the hill three times, but some sleds aren’t able to take advantage of all three runs because they fall apart.
Cook said people can watch the races from inside the club, on the deck or at ground level. Hot chocolate and light refreshments will be available for a free-will donation.