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Winter/Film Festival, Fun Run kick off February events in Ely

Ely Echo - Staff Photo

We’re heading into our January cold snap but there’s three events in Ely sure to provide a winter warm up.

The Winter Festival gets underway with an outdoor opening ceremony Friday night.

The Fun Run returns after a three year hiatus with a chance for participants to win hundreds and hundreds of prizes.

At third base, the End of the Road Film Festival makes its debut in Ely, Feb. 9-12.

Technically the Ely Winter Festival kicks off on Thursday with carvers tackling the snow blocks in Whiteside Park.

If you’re looking for a warm meal Friday night, check out the all you can eat spaghetti feed at from 4-7 p.m. at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church. This is a benefit for Ely Community Resource.

Then, head over to Whiteside Park for the opening ceremony scheduled to kick off at 6:30 p.m. Keep an eye out as the festival torch glides into the park.

Carvers will carve and there’s a number of events over the weekend to partake in as well.

There’s also Ely’s 26th annual ArtWalk that takes place Feb. 1-28. Meet the artists and celebrate the show at the Artists Reception on Feb. 4 from 2-4 p.m.

If the Fun Run sounds like something you’d like to do, stop in at Grand Ely Lodge, Fish Tales in Babbitt or Benchwarmers in Tower to get your start. Ride your snowmobile or travel by car or truck to check in and increase your chances to win.

Then it’s off to Fortune Bay Saturday night for the Fun Run Wrap-up Party. How long will it take Tom Coombe to read off over 300 names? That and more as the Fun Run raises monies for snowmobile clubs in Ely, Babbitt and Tower.

Ely’s Historic State Theater will be home to the inaugural End of the Road Film Festival, Feb. 9-12.

In conjunction with the city’s annual Winter Festival, Ely will welcome more than 35 filmmakers, and will showcase more than 75 feature and short films.

The festival will feature local, regional and national filmmakers, presenting works that explore themes of identity, community, connection to place, adventure and creativity.

“We are excited to align our film festival with the momentum happening in the northeastern Minnesota community of filmmakers,” said Festival Director Jacob White. “With the new state and regional tax incentives for film production, there have been some really exciting projects being shot in Duluth and on the Iron Range. We’re excited to provide a platform to showcase the work of those filmmakers and connect them with our art-loving community in Ely.”

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