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The 34th Annual International Eelpout Festival
Where A Slimy Fish and Stupid-Cold Temps Make Even the Timid Do Crazy Things!
February 14-17, 2013
The International Eelpout Festival, a tradition steeped in angling through lake ice for one of the ugliest bottom-dwelling fish, is often viewed as a slice of pure, unadulterated cold-weather Americana and even, for some, a bucket-list worthy adventure!
Entering its 34th year, the Annual International Eelpout Festival attracts roughly 10,000 participants and visitors to Walker, Minn. (pop. 1,500) for three days every February. Always a spectacle, the Festival has increasingly drawn national interest and attention. In 2011, The Tonight Show w/Jay Leno opted to spend an entire weekend in Walker to check out “the infamous pout”. The Festival in turn provided so much revelry that the crew ended up producing a 2-part series about the long-held traditions of this truly ugly (but humbly charming) creature.
Part 1: http://www.nbc.com/the-tonight-show/video/rove-across-america-part-1-3-4-11/1310464
Part 2: http://www.nbc.com/the-tonight-show/video/rove-across-america-part-2-3-4-11/1310421
The Festival also serves as a perfect backdrop to the annual Chase the Pout Games, hosted by Chase on the Lake, northern Minnesota’s premier historic resort property. The annual Chase the Pout activities provide additional revelry and events in collaboration with the time-honored Festival. The historic lakeside hotel, often referred to as “The Chase”, is a central meeting place for scheduled events and activities which, along with eelpout ice angling, include a 40,000 pound “UV Ice Bar” and new V.I.P. lounge, live music, mechanical bull riding contest, the infamously and insanely colorful Walker Polar Pout Plunge and so much more!