Snowball at Lutsen

Think of it like an early spring break in Daytona, but on snow instead of sand. It’s arguably one of the top ski and snowboard parties around the Great Lakes.

Lutsen Mountains, the Heartland's largest ski resort, will be celebrating the Snow Ball Festival, Jan. 9-12, and College Week starting Sunday, Jan 6. It’s a week of music, movies, parties and activities geared towards college-age students.  Get ready to ski, ride and party.  You choose the order. 

Lutsen's famed Snowball features live music every night, three nights of music with seven live bands culminating with Wookiefoot on Saturday night.  This is jammin' Minnesota style.  It's a Northwood's cruise.  Other live bands include The Limms, Useful Jenkins, Pert Near Sandstone Smokin’ Joe Scarpallino, Jon Wayne & The Pain, and Heatbox. 

Cost for the concerts is $34 for a three day pass and $26 for two days.  The passes have to be purchased in advance.  A single-day pass purchased at the door, subject to availability, is $16. A three-night lift, lodging and concert package starts from $224 per person, based on quad occupancy. Stay midweek for three or more nights, Jan. 6-10, and your lift and lodging packages are half-price. 

The concerts, featuring local and national acts, take place in the resort's Papa Charlie's Nightclub, which Minneapolis newspapers have described as "the hottest nightclub venue north of the Twin Cities."  It's big enough to host a good-sized crowd, and when the music gets hot, the place rocks.  I’ve seen some great acts here over the years including the Jayhawks and Cracker.

Coming Jan. 19 to Papa Charlie's is Dessa, who is best known for her work with Indie hip-hop collective Doomtree, and Feb 16, the Minneapolis-based Rocket Club brings their unique style of country music – honest, intelligent songwriting. 

When it's fully open Lutsen Mountains has close to 100 runs that plunge off four mountain peaks.  It offers some of the best skiing and riding found around the Great Lakes Region.  Overlooking Lake Superior's north shore, the scenery is spectacular, and the season is off to a great start.

Photo: Lutsen Mountains Snowball/Facebook