Northwoods Adventure: Zwilling Family In Little Falls Creates World Largest Ice Carousel
Many cities across Minnesota are preparing for or have already had their yearly ice festivals. Last weekend, Little Falls had an ice festival as they attempted to break a world record by making the world’s largest ice carousel located on Green Prairie Fish Lake – and that carousel had smaller ice carousels inside of it.
“We cut the big carousel earlier, and set the world record by 85 feet,” Chuck Zwilling, the ice carousel creator, said. “It was 427 feet; now the new record is 508 feet.”
Ice carousels are created by making several angled cuts through the ice, and the larger carousels need a motor to help make it spin. A crack in the ice, along with the wind, stopped the largest ice carousel from spinning throughout the day, but the Zwilling family of Little Falls officially grabbed the record at 154.3 meters before it stopped spinning.
“It has definitely taken on a life of its own, and it’s great to see participation, it’s great to see people come out and do something in the winter.” Zwilling said.
“I think it’s fun to be so close to home and to have the world’s largest anything,” Melissa Jewison, an I.C.E Fest attendee, said. “So, we will definitely be back.”
Ice carousels have been around for over 100 years in Finland, but over the last couple years Janne Käpylehto from Finland started creating large carousels and created the Ice Carousel Association, which recognizes the records.
“Making a small one is easy, but having a big one is a tremendous job,” Janne Käpylehto, The World Ice Carousel Association’s Chairman, said. “When you get it spinning, it is so amazing.”
On the world’s largest ice carousel there were many events taking place, including hockey, curling, ice skating, and snowmobile rides. The event was free, but donations were asked to support Little Falls Flyer Pride Packs, a program that gives at risk children food for the weekend.
“It takes $12,000 to feed all the kids that are in the program for one year, so we made that our new goal,” Zwilling said.
“I wasn’t expecting to see so many people out here,” Jewison said. “I think it’s incredible that people come out for a good cause like this.”
Little Falls has the record for the World’s Largest Ice Carousel for now, but a group in Maine is trying to break the record later this year.
“I think it will just grow year after year until somebody cries uncle or decides they don’t want to do it anymore,” Zwilling said.
We will just have to wait and see what the Zwilling family has up their sleeves for next year.
So far, the Zwilling family has raised enough money for six months worth of food through the Flyer Pride Pack program. If you would like to donate, simply visit https://www.gofundme.com/2019-spinning-ice-for-kids.