There’s a sleepy little lake in Eden Prairie named Red Rock Lake, but in February, it comes alive.
Friends of Red Rock Lake (FORRL) association hosts an annual winter celebration every year. It’s a festival of sorts and celebrates the winter season with sledding, ice fishing and kite flying. Friends from far and wide come to roast hot dogs, enjoy s’mores and hit the 250-foot sledding hill.
Matt Adam, president of the association, coordinates the event and has observed an increase in attendance.
“When we first started this get-together it was just a few guys sitting around the fire,” Adam said. “It’s been nice watching the event grow and the fun that everyone has. That’s the reason we started this event. Things can get a little boring during the winter months, and this event gives people a reason to get outside.”
The increase in attendance is not unexpected, particularly since a new attraction, an ice carousel, was added to this year’s celebration on Feb. 5.
An ice carousel is a large, floating disc cut from the ice and then rotated with an outboard motor to create an amusement ride. This specific ice carousel measured 32 feet in diameter and weighed approximately 60,000 pounds.
The idea for this project originated with Matt Geist, a resident of the Red Rock Lake neighborhood.
When asked how he came up with the idea, Geist said, “I was watching TV, and a beer commercial came on showing an ice carousel, and it looked like a great thing to do for the winter get-together.”
To make the cuts, Geist attached a chainsaw to a pair of vintage skis and used a roof rake pole to guide the cutting into a circular shape.
Geist encountered a problem when the chainsaw stopped working, but he and other helpful neighbors completed the final cuts using hand saws.
Once it was loosened, with assistance from an ATV, the lake residents eagerly hopped onto the giant Lazy Susan and began their ride.
Another lakeshore resident, Mark David, captured the ice carousel’s work and end result in a video.
The ice carousel required a significant amount of labor to cut through the 15-inch ice, but with the project’s success, the plan is to construct another, possibly even a double, in the following year.
These lakeshore residents are making the best of winter, and Red Rock Lake may not be as sleepy as people think.
Editor’s note: EPLN contributor Kelley Regan lives in the Red Rock Lake neighborhood.
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