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Wendy Reuer, Published January 07 2012

West Fargo Winter Days kicks off this week

WEST FARGO – No snow will be no problem when it comes to celebrating Winter Days here this week.

This year’s winter has so far been irregular with record high temperatures and very little snowfall. But that won’t stop the more than week-long celebration of winter.

Lance Belisle, recreation manager for West Fargo Parks, said the annual celebration may even draw a larger crowd to some of the many events, including the annual Snow Golf Tournament.

“Years past, it’s been so frigid, a lot of people have chosen not to go out,” Belisle said.

Winter Days began in 1983 as a joint effort between Fargo, Moorhead and West Fargo, but each city began to break off to celebrate on its own, Belisle said.

This year, Winter Days will kick off with the snowflake search. Anyone who finds one of the five snowflakes hidden within West Fargo wins prizes of more than a $225 value.

New this year is a Polar Bear Swim.

“Basically, it’s an open swim at L.E. Berger pool with games, prizes and beach party music,” Belisle said. “You do need to be 46 inches tall and accompanied by a parent to swim.”

But a few favorites will return, such as the chili cook-off, teen dance and winter golf.

“(Having no snow) will make things easier for the golfers but probably not quite as much fun,” Belisle said.

A lack of snow has caused the annual sleigh rides to be canceled unless a blanket of 2 to 3 inches of snow falls, Belisle said.

WDAY-TV Chief Meteorologist John Wheeler said it’s unlikely the valley will see a snowfall like that this week.

Wheeler said he is expecting some snow on Wednesday, opening day of Winter Days, but not much.

“It will be turning colder though,” Wheeler said. “I am forecasting a high of just 15 (degrees) on Friday. So there may be a little snow on the ground; there probably won’t be a lot.”

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Readers can reach Forum reporter Wendy Reuer at (701) 241-5530