The 2020 Snow Kite Crossing, as part of the Garrison Winter Fest Weekend, will be held on Lake Mille Lacs in Garrison Feb 28-March 1.
The event will determine the top snowkiters in North America. More than 100 racers, men, women and youth are expected to compete.
The main event is the 28-mile out and back Lake Crossing, plus sprint races, jumps, freestyle events and instructional lessons. Competitors will come from 12 states and Canada. It is the longest running and most challenging snowkiting endurance race/event in North America. Snowkiting is the fastest growing winter sport across the country.
The 2020 Mille Lacs Kite Crossing is intended to be a true “Minnesota Bold North Sport Experience” as Minnesota leads the world in the sport of snowkiting, (600 active sport participants). The sport started in Minnesota in 1990s. Sponsors include Deerwood Bank, Slingshot/Ride Engine Kites, Mille Lacs Messenger, The Kiteboarder Magazine, Garrison Inn & Suites and Garrison Commercial Club.
This is the 16th year of the Mille Lacs Kite Crossing; an adventure sport for riders on snowboards or downhill skis (for steering) holding onto large kites (as sails) hooked onto skier by four lines, using a number of kites for different wind conditions. The Crossing race that will take one to two hours depending on wind speed. Ideal conditions are 12-15 mph winds, soft snow and flat, snow drift-free terrain.
Event organizer is Michael Fox, of Fleet 8 Company, based in Minneapolis, who after 20 years of windsurfing crossings on Mille Lacs, had the idea to apply the Crossing idea to snowkiting.
The free event is viewable from the shoreline on Highway 169 in Garrison — best viewing is by coming out on the ice by car, walk or snowmobile.