Best Race - 2013
City of Lakes Loppet Ski Festival
Once upon a time, Uptown was great for people-watching — punks, mods, hippies, all the once-counterculture groups converging in one space. Today the area has been thoroughly yuppified, but that doesn't mean the people-watching is gone. Every year during the first weekend of February, thousands of Subaru-driving yuppies converge in Theodore Wirth, Uptown, and on the trails in between for a celebration of Minnesota winter: the City of Lakes Loppet Ski Festival. There's plenty of fluffy stuff to be enjoyed: a snow sculpture contest, Swedish lawn games, noncompetitive ski events for kids and adults alike, and a nighttime ski around Lake of the Isles, lit by thousands of ice luminaries. But that's kid stuff. Many participants see to it that fellow revelers eat their snowdust in a series of ice bike races, dog-skiing, a 25K classic/diagonal stride race, and a 33K freestyle race. So grab a beer and a seat with a view, lazy people-watchers, and look on as Uptown for one weekend turns into a slightly less chichi Aspen.