University of Okoboji Winter Games will be back on the ice - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

University of Okoboji Winter Games will be back on the ice

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With plenty of thick ice on the lake, the annual Okoboji games should be back on the water this year. With plenty of thick ice on the lake, the annual Okoboji games should be back on the water this year.

The snowy shoreline is just one of many reminders that winter has taken over the Iowa Great Lakes.

"Only in Lake Okoboji would we be hoping for more snow and ice," said Jen Johnson of the Great Lakes Chamber of Commerce.

Any snow is a good sign for the area, but the amount that's down now is great for an area getting ready to host its 33rd Annual Winter Games. But there are already signs that this year could be much different than the games of 2012.

With the colder temperatures, that means there's actually some ice on West Lake Okoboji, where the games are going to take place. That means some classics will be returning, including hockey and for the 20th year, softball.

The ice down there on Smith's Bay, last time we checked it was around 14 inches," said Johnson.

Registration has been rapid, with several of the team events already running out of open spots.

"Even if you cry, you probably won't be able to get in, but there are still a lot of events that you can partake in," said Johnson.

Arnolds Park Amusement Park will also be showcased at the winter games.

"You can see the trailer, parked in the amusement park parking lot just full of old Christmas trees, ready for the bon fire," said Johnson.

There's plenty of merchandise to buy, and events available, for those who aren't ready to brave the elements, like the Chocolate Festival.

"We have 8,000 pieces of chocolate, or sweets, so that's a fun indoor event," said Johnson.

But for those who do, there are several memorable moments awaiting them.

"Imagine the fireworks over a frozen Lake Okoboji, and that's a really, really neat experience," said Johnson.

If you'd like more information on the games or how to register, here's a link.

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