Snow, Skis & Sweat: The 39th Annual American Birkebeiner

Each year, thousands of people flock to Hayward, Wisconsin for North America’s largest cross-country ski marathon, the American Birkebeiner (also known as the “Birkie”)! While racer registration is closed, Birkie Week offers tons of excitement for spectators looking to catch a piece of the action. Here are a few highlights you don’t want to miss:

The Barnebirkie – Thursday, 2/23/12 at 12:30pm – This one’s for the kids! Watch over 1,000 children ages 3 to 13 strap on their skis and participate in races ranging from 1K to 5K. These small super stars are just as impressive as the big Birkie racers!

Torchlighting and Fun Ski – Thursday, 2/23/12 at 5:30pm – Take part in the Welcome Ceremony on Hayward’s Main Street. Watch the Birkie torch lighting and then take part in the fun ski under the Main Street lights. All ages and experience levels are welcome!

Birkie Expo 2012 – Thursday, 2/23/12 from 1pm-9pm & Friday, 2/24/12 from 9am-9pm – Get geared up! Stop by the Birkie Expo at the Hayward Middle School to stock up on new ski gear, equipment, and more. BONUS: There will be plenty of samples, contests and giveaways!

Cable Natural History Museum Family Snowshoe Hike – Friday, 2/24/12 at 10am – Enjoy Wisconsin’s beautiful winter woods on this free, family snowshoe hike. It all takes place at Cable Natural History Museum’s beautiful facility. A museum naturalist guides the one-mile jaunt, while teaching about winter wildlife, tracking and the history of snowshoeing.

Barkie Birkie – Friday, 2/24/12 at 9am – This event is going to the dogs! The Barkie Birkie is a fun 5K skijoring race that starts and ends near Sophie’s Dog Bakery and makes a large loop around Hayward Golf Course. Watch as canines tow their skier companions in a race through the snow!

Birkie Celebration Tent – Saturday, 2/25/12 from 10am-5pm – Congratulate Birkie participants after they’ve crossed the finish line. Enjoy burgers, brats, beer, hotdogs and hot chocolate!

These are just some of the fun events that spectators and fans can enjoy during Birkie Week. You can find even more listed on the full schedule. Bundle up and we’ll see you there!

This entry was posted in Things to Do and tagged Attractions, Events, Outdoor Fun, Family Fun, Nature, Tours & Trails, Winter Sports, Travel Wisconsin, Winter