Barneløpet Children’s Ski/Walk Event at Decorah Prairie

Julia Schwarz enjoys Barneløpet, a children's cross country ski/walk event in Decorah.

Julia Schwarz enjoys Barneløpet, a children's cross country ski/walk event in Decorah.

Help your kids shake off their cabin fever at the eleventh annual Barneløpet Saturday, Feb. 6, at 10 a.m. The event is sponsored by Sons of Norway Valdres Lodge #503 in Decorah, Iowa, Sons of Norway Heimbygda Lodge #376 in Lanesboro, Minnesota, and Sons of Norway Valheim Lodge #364 in Spring Grove, Minnesota, along with Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum.

Barneløpet is a non-competitive ski or walk event for children ages 3-13. It is open to girls and boys of all skill levels and is a great event for the entire family to get out, get involved, and enjoy winter.

The event will take place at the Decorah Community Prairie, which is accessed by car at the south end of Ohio Street, near Aase Haugen Nursing Homes. The trail will be in a loop, with the start and finish at the site of the butterfly garden. Participants will have three different loops to choose from. Along with the main loop for skiing, there will be a shorter one for younger skiers and a specific loop for walkers.

In the absence of snow, children will walk the course. “The only type of weather that will keep us from holding the event is an ice storm or temperatures that are 0 degrees or below,” said organizer Darlene Fossum-Martin. If in doubt about weather conditions, listen to local radio stations for cancellations.

The terrain is flat and the trail is groomed. Caregivers can walk or ski the course with the children, or may choose to stand along the course and cheer.

Participants register the day of the event between 9:40 and 10:00 a.m. After completing the course, participants are welcome to hot chocolate and cookies. Special thanks to Sons of Norway members for providing the cookies.

Everyone’s a winner! Each registered participant will receive a printed bib for the event and a medal. This event is modeled after the American Birkebeiner race held in Hayward, Wisconsin.

The entry fee is $3, and participants must provide their own skis. There are a limited number of children’s skis for rent at Decorah Bicycles, and you can call them to make reservations. For more information about the Barneløpet event contact Vesterheim at (563) 382-9681.

Source: Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum

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