Madison celebrates winter on Lake Mendota: How much longer this year’s ice cover is expected to last

After a year off, the Clean Lakes Alliance's Frozen Assets Festival returns Feb. 4-5

MADISON, Wis.– Year-after-year, 58 miles of shoreline and five lakes put Madison on list-after-list of the ‘Best Places to Live.’ Where else can you run a 5K, walk your dog, take your kids for a sled ride, and find Nemo… all in one weekend?

At this weekend’s Frozen Assets Festival!

The annual event, on Lake Mendota and at the Edgewater Hotel, doubles as a fundraiser for the Clean Lakes Alliance, which has added importance this year. Bad weather canceled last year’s fest, which routinely raises more than $100,000 for the Madison-based non-profit.

“It’s such a gift here in Madison that we have these lakes that become our largest parks in the winter,” said Adam Sodersten, Communications Director for the Clean Lakes Alliance. “Having Frozen Assets back is great for us and it’s great for the whole community.”

Since 2012, Clean Lakes has raised $1.2 million for lake improvement projects, educational programs, and the summer lake monitoring initiative. This year’s festival could raise up to $150,000 more. But for Sodersten, the event is about much more than dollar signs.

RELATED: 3 Things to Know about the annual Frozen Assets Festival

“Obviously, last year, we weren’t having it as a fundraiser, but we weren’t having it as a ‘friend-raiser’ either. All the people that come out this weekend, we’re getting them excited about the lakes, excited about our organization, and giving them ways they can improve the lakes,” Sodersten told News 3.

Frozen Assets On Land1

“After frozen assets is over, for the rest of the winter when the lake is still frozen, get out and walk on the lake. It is such a unique experience,” he suggested.

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Sodersten predicts two more months of ice cover and says the layer over Lake Mendota is currently 12 to 15 inches thick. The average ice-off date is April 3rd, although that’s moving earlier each year.

“For us to use these lakes not just in the summer, but the winter too, really shows how important they are to our community and why we need to protect them,” he added.

The 2022 Frozen Assets Festival runs both February 4th and 5th. Click here for more information.

READ MORE: How to help keep the community, Madison-area lakes clean … from home!