Get Your Rod & Reel Ready: It's Feb Fest Time

A bobber rests in an ice fishing hole carved into a lake.
The catch-and-release fishing contest is an angler favorite, with prizes last year worth over $6,000.

If Chanhassen’s Lake Ann looks like a slice of Swiss cheese, it’s because 1,000 fishing holes have been predrilled in anticipation of the city’s annual February Festival (Feb Fest), held yearly on the first Saturday of February.

The festival’s Medallion Hunt begins the week before the Saturday festivities, and a medallion is hidden within a Chanhassen City-owned park or park preserve. The first daily clue will be available on January 28 on the city’s website.

This year’s 26th annual Feb Fest will take place from noon-3 p.m. February 2 on and around Lake Ann. Past events have attracted 1,500-2,000 participants and spectators from around the Twin Cities. Activities will include ice skating, a roaring bonfire (with s’mores!), sledding, horse-drawn sleigh rides, door prizes, the popular ice fishing contest and more.

The catch-and-release fishing contest, held from 1-3 p.m., is an angler favorite, with prizes last year worth over $6,000. Participants catching the 50 largest fish receive prizes. (Bass and northerns between 24-36 inches are ineligible, and ice houses aren’t allowed.) The Boy Scouts will sell bait.
Food and beverages (yup, beer, too) will be on hand thanks to the Chanhassen Rotary Club, Culver’s and the Boy Scouts, which will provide concession items for purchase.

With plenty of outdoor activities offered throughout the area, Feb Fest continues to be a big draw. “It has a really good community feel to it,” says Katie Mathews, recreation supervisor with the Chanhassen Parks and Recreation. “It’s become a tradition.”

Fishing contest tickets ($10) are available at the Chanhassen City Hall, online or at the event.