The University of Okoboji kicks off 40th anniversary


OKOBOJI, Iowa (KCAU)- If you’re looking to spend this weekend outdoors with music, food, and snowmobiles then Okoboji is the place for you.
Their celebrating their 40th year of winter games.

“Everyone goes off and does their own thing in the fall but it’s always nice to come back and catch up with the friends you made over the summertime,” said Kevin Potthoff.

Kevin and his sister Kerri have been coming to the annual winter games for the past five years.

I just love the atmosphere everyone is in a good mood and we’re all outside all day and I think it’s really fun,” said Kerri.

Iowa’s Great Lakes will host around 40,000 visitors during the four-day event.

It really really helps our local business a lot of them open up that weren’t necessary opening winter just to get that extra shot in the arm,” said Kiley Zankowski the director of membership and events with the Iowa Great Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce.

The winter games started back in 1981 with a small broomball tournament today it has grown tremendously offering 146 events, and the people helping run them aren’t just from the U.S.

“The kit flyers behind us we actually have one from Kuwait, one from New Zealand, one from Scotland,” said Zankowski.

“I travel the world flying kites and I’m delighted to be here in Okoboji,” said Andrew Beattie a professional kite displayer.

Beattie has traveled all the way from Scotland to display thirty of his kites on the frozen lake.

“We anchored into a bit of two by fours under the ice a nice strong strap and it’s great we have a nice large field for flying kites on that’s nice and it’s flat so it’s perfect,” said Beattie.

Beattie said he planning on making time to enjoy the winter games, but doesn’t think he will be at the annual polar plunge.

“It’s cold but inside I’m dry and that’s good if I was wet maybe not so much,” said Beattie.

The winter games will be going on until Sunday click here for the full list of events.

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