Frozen Assets Festival to cap off week of record-breaking temperatures

It’s not only been a rollercoaster week weather-wise in south-central Wisconsin, but it’s been quite the ride this winter for area lakes: Madison’s chain of lakes froze, thawed, then froze again.

A fitting way to cap off one of the coldest weeks in Wisconsin history, the fifth annual Frozen Assets Festival returns to The Edgewater and Lake Mendota this weekend.

The event serves as a fundraiser for local lakes. In 2018, participants raised more than $150,000.

This year, organizers started the year worried activities would have to take place off the ice after warm temperatures and a virtually snowless December. But that all changed in the past couple of weeks.

Temperatures are expected to rise 70 degrees by the weekend, in a 48-hour period. University of Wisconsin researchers say changes like this are indicators of a bigger climate change issue.

Frozen Assets Festival to cap off week of record-breaking temperatures

New research from the university released this week reports 15,000 lakes in the northern hemisphere that once froze regularly during the winter don’t anymore.

Lake Mendota didn’t officially freeze over until Jan. 10 this year, which is one of the latest days in recorded history. It froze earlier this winter, but it thawed after a warmer-than-usual start to January. Researchers warn we could stop seeing Mendota freeze over completely as early as next year.

That’s a real concern for the Clean Lakes Alliance, the group behind this weekend’s festival. The Alliance is a not-for-profit devoted to improving the water quality of Madison-area waterways.

Friday night, the Frozen Assets Fat Bike Race will take racers through Law Park and the Capital City Bike Trail. The ride begins at 6:30 p.m.

On Saturday, Feb. 2, runners and walkers will compete in the Frozen Assets 5K at 10 a.m. at the Memorial Union and Lakeshore Path. There will be open skate on The Edgewater Plaza. Skates are available to rent for $3. Pond hockey, snowshoeing, curling, fat bike sled pulls, and ice science experiments are all planned, too.

Then on Sunday, Feb. 3, the fun continues from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. with more skating, hockey, and kites out on Lake Mendota.

Visit the Frozen Assets Festival here for a full schedule of events.

Frozen Assets Festival to cap off week of record-breaking temperatures

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