On Saturday, January 19, the moon was nearly full—2 days prior to the moon’s eclipse. About 100 people came to experience Frontenac State Park by candlelight. A one-mile loop trail was set up with almost 200 ice candles and paper bag luminaries—creating a beautiful, winter, night-time fairyland. Two bonfires along the trail offered a warm respite with tasty s’mores. There were games and puzzles and coloring activities in the picnic shelter along with homemade cakes and bars. The friends group served hot chocolate, coffee, and water.
Two new volunteers helped out six “old time” volunteers—including one “retired” volunteer. All three key DNR park staff were new to the event, but they were able to work like pros! A photo-journalist from the Red Wing paper came to do a story about the party.
The weather conditions that night were clear skies, with temperatures ranging from 9 degrees F at 5 pm to 3 degrees F at 8 pm. Winds out of the North ranged from calm to 7 mph. About two inches of snow fell on the bare ground the night before the event. It was not enough to ski on, but the fresh snow created a nice ambiance for a night hike.