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Winter Festivals in the Leech Lake Area & Walker, MN

Winter is a fantastic time to visit northern Minnesota. The snowfall and brisk temperatures allow for great winter sports and festivals. Snow and ice sports and festivals run deep in Minnesota’s heritage. To this day, the Walker area is home to several great winter festivals. Now that the holiday rush is over, and the temperatures are cold, consider a trip to Leech Lake this season. Here are a few don’t-miss festivals.

Leech Lake Frostfest


The Frostfest is a day of fun for all ages in Walker. Centered on the quirky sport of snow golf, the day includes sporting events, craft beer selections, and live music throughout. Additionally, there is a home-brewing competition. If you are a home-brewer, pack up a keg or growler of your best work and join the fun.


To make the festival even better, 10% of the proceeds from the event go to support the children at Deep Portage Learning Center – helping kids explore the woods, water, and wildlife. Last but not least, Leech Lake Frostfest is an event you can feel good about if you are environmentally conscious. It is a “no-trace” event, meaning every bit of trash, waste, and equipment will be cleared from the public park afterward to help preserve the beautiful environment.

Eel Pout Festival


The Eelpout Festival draws visitors to Walker from all around Minnesota and the United States. This festival named after the Eelpout, considered to be one of the ugliest bottom-dwelling fish, has been a part of the area for over 40 years. It is a packed with events for all ages, celebrating fun, tradition, and winter sports. It has a focus on sporting, but just the right dash of whacky fun to make it a great time. You can expect helicopter rides, dog sled rides, beer pong tournaments, and a jalapeno-eating contest. For food and drink, there will be a huge fish fry featuring local fish and a wide selection of domestic and craft beer.


Sporting events are the main attraction. The Eelpout Festival hosts Eelpout Curling events, Eelpout Rugby, and the Eelpout 500 Races, which are snow vehicle races. Additionally, there is a hilariously epic polar plunge into a hole in the ice, if you are feeling really daring. This is an exciting event that truly offers a fun day for children and parents alike.


In addition to the large festivals, Walker is home to weekly art shows, live music, and more. Coming into town for a larger festival gives visitors the opportunity to stick around to experience our gorgeous resorts, ski slopes, snowmobiling, and much more. Take advantage of all we have to offer by visiting during a perfect long weekend after a festival. You won’t regret it. Walker also offers fantastic shopping and fine dining. Though it is a small town, it is authentic, artsy, and welcoming. You will love your stay here. Enjoy a winter festival and enjoy Leech Lake.


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