Forget hibernating and embrace winter with the passion of Norsemen. North Liberty’s Beat the Bitter returns next week, Jan. 28 through Feb. 3, 2018, with more than 50 events on tap to get you out of the house for some outdoor winter games and good cheer on the bleakest days of the year.
Thanks to the participation of local businesses, what started as a one-day event in February 2016 has since expanded into an entire week of games and festivities to celebrate winter. The festival kicks off with the Freezin’ for a Reason Polar Plunge this Sunday, Jan. 28, to support Falco, the NLPD’s newest canine officer, and includes affiliated offerings such as snorkeling lessons, beer dinners, scavenger hunts, table-top games, library programming, ladies nights, winter sports, and more for all ages.
All are invited to Penn Meadows Park for Fire & Ice Friday, Feb. 2, for a variety of free activities. Festivities will start at 3 p.m. with horse-drawn carriage rides, ice carvings, a meet-and-greet with literary characters, a community bonfire with s’mores, hot chocolate, and more. Activities new to this year’s festivities include a wood carving, fire baton performances, tug of war, and a learn to curl demo on the Penn Meadows Ice Rink. Ice skates will also be available onsite for attendees to borrow to take a twirl on the ice. Fire & Ice Friday culminates in a fireworks show at 7 p.m., catering to young families who can’t stay out late.
Winter Games Saturday, Feb. 3, begins with the annual 5K-ish Obstacle Run at 9 a.m., a fun run with a dozen obstacles around the perimeter of Penn Meadows Park. Registration is only $20 and includes a finisher medal for each runner. The race is limited to only 200 participates. Day of race registration will not be available if spots sell out by Feb. 1.
Spectators are invited to watch community members compete in curling, kickball and broomball tournaments during Saturday’s winter games. Kickball and curling registration has closed, but if you have an itch to learn a new winter sport and compete in a tournament, broomball still has spots open. Registration is only $10/person and available at beatthebitter.com.
Embrace the winter season as a community, and be sure not to miss this once-a-year occasion. To check out the full list of the week’s events, visit beatthebitter.com.
Beat the Bitter is organized by the North Liberty Community Betterment Group, a registered 501(c)(3) organization. Our thanks to our sponsors JCI Johnson County, Adam Schechinger State Farm, GEICO, Hills Bank and Trust Company, Scheels, Collins Community Credit Union, DiVentures, BDL Transportation, Z102.9 and the City of North Liberty for their generous support.