Where to Catch a Baseball Game
Although Northern Minnesota is usually associated with winter sports like hockey and cross-country skiing, spring is a great time to enjoy baseball and softball games in International Falls, which hosts Little League, junior- and senior-high school and junior college teams.
Rainy River Community College
RRCC offers fans the opportunity to experience the excitement of collegiate sports with both men’s baseball and women’s fast-pitch softball teams. Consistently ranked one of the top teams in their conference, many Voyageurs go on to play at the Division I, II, and III levels.
The baseball/softball season runs from March through May, and with 40-50 games, there’s ample opportunity to see the Voyageurs on their home field during the week and on weekends. For a complete schedule, visit rainyriver.edu/athletics/baseball/ and rainyriver.edu/athletics/softball/.
Falls High School
The FHS Broncos also have baseball and softball programs, including 7th and 8th grade, junior high and varsity teams. Part of the Iron Range conference, the Broncos take on teams from Hibbing, Virginia, Mesabi East, Littlefork, Cherry and others. Games are held throughout the week, usually Tuesday and Thursday, with varsity teams typically competing Friday afternoon. Fields are located behind the high school, and a complete schedule is online at isd361.k12.mn.us/athletics/activities-schedules.
Watch future hall-of-famers as they grow into the game of baseball from May through June or early July at three field locations: Rizzo, Holler Elementary and Kerry Park. A staple of many small towns across the country, the Little League program in International Falls boasts a full roster of kids ranging in age from 4 to 12. Games are played throughout the week, and a schedule is posted online at ifallsll.com.
For History Buffs
Immerse yourself in one of baseball’s golden eras with “Town Ball: The Glory Days of Minnesota Amateur Baseball” by Armand Peterson and Tom Tomashek. The book chronicles the characters of the sport from 1945 to 1960 and includes the International Falls team, the “Mandos,” an acronym for its sponsor, the Minnesota and Ontario Paper Company.
top 10 icebox days events - international falls, mn
A typical January day in International Falls, MN ordinarily goes a little something like this: Upon waking, we see that the current temperature outside reads 32 degrees below zero and we smile, realizing this is four degrees warmer than the previous morning. We continue with our daily morning routines, ensuring we leave at least 20-30 minutes for our vehicles to warm up and 5-10 minutes to scrape the frost, ice, and snow from the windows. Despite the cold weather, our trek through town on our way to work is nothing short of magical. With glistening snow softly falling and the smell of wood burning stoves and coffee roasting in the air, the true beauty of this area emerges like a scene from a fairytale. Of course it may hold true that not everything was built to withstand the effects of extreme subzero temperatures...but here in International Falls, we’re getting pretty good at it.
2. Moonlight Snowshoe Hike
A moonlight snowshoe hike in Voyageurs National Park will be sure to enlighten you of the true beauty this area has to offer. Throw on a few extra layers and meet us at the Rainy Lake Visitors Center at 6:00 PM on Friday, January 19th to take part in a hike guided by local park rangers. Afterwards, cozy up around a campfire with a cup of hot cocoa!
3. Frozen Turkey Bowling
We warned you that we do things a little differently around here. You likely have tried your hand at traditional bowling, but have you tried swapping out the ball with Thanksgiving’s main entree? Join us outside of the Backus Community Center at 1:00 PM on Saturday, January 20th to put your skills to the test.
4. Canoe Races
If you’re looking for another unique event, gather at Loony’s Brew from 1:00 to 3:00 PM for the newly introduced and positively hilarious canoe races! The lake may be frozen, but that doesn’t stop us from boat races! Teams of 2-3 battle against each other amongst snow and ice to see who can avoid tipping the canoe and crossing the finish line.
5. Boot Hockey Tournament
It’s impossible to think of winter in Minnesota without hockey coming to mind. Here in International Falls, we’re okay with leaving the skates behind. Boot hockey is a tried and true winter favorite. Athletes of every skill level will join together at Rainer Rink on Saturday, January 20th at 10:00 AM for the Icebox Boot Hockey Tournament. Gather a team of 10 friends and an entry fee of $75 for a chance to win Chamber Dollars, bragging rights, and a newfound love for the sport.
6. Smoosh Races
If hockey’s not your sport, put your "skiing" skills to the test by participating in the smoosh races! Round up a group of 4 friends at 2:30 PM outside of Viking Bar on Saturday, January 20th to take part in this fun and memorable event where contestants will nail shoes to 2x4's and see who can cross the finish line first. Children’s smoosh races (14 years old and under) begin at 2:00 PM.
7. Freeze Your Gizzard Blizzard Run
Runners from all over the country visit International Falls every January to participate in the Freeze Your Gizzard Blizzard Run. Whatever the weather, contestants brave the cold temperatures and frosty eyelashes and beards to walk, jog, or run across the 5K or 10K finish line.
8. Toilet Seat Toss
Just in case frozen turkey bowling isn’t quite eccentric enough for you, Icebox Days also hosts a toilet seat tossing event. Like we’ve said before, this celebration is unlike any other. Try your hand at toilet seat toss by gathering outside Viking Bar on Saturday, January 20th at 1:00 PM.
9. Frostbite Falls Open
Whether it’s summer or winter, Rainy Lake is one of the most beautiful places on earth...but then again, we could be a little biased. We’ll let you be the judge by attending the Frostbite Falls Open Golf Tournament at Thunderbird Lodge on Saturday, January 20th at 1:00 PM. Gather up a four person team to participate in this nine hole ice golf course. Tennis balls will be supplied, but don't forget your putter of choice! Popular favorites for contestants include hockey sticks, golf clubs, and tennis racquets. The best part? This is a non profit event, with all proceeds going to the local food shelf.
When we said this event had something for everyone, we weren’t kidding. If you’re not the competitive type, don’t worry. While the rest of the family is participating in different games, we encourage you to browse through some of our great downtown shops. Many local businesses participate in Icebox Days by hosting great promotions during this 5-day celebration. This means there’s a chance for everyone to score big, even without participating in any games!
The Icebox Days celebration in International Falls has been broadcasted on networks such as CBS, NBC, ABC and many others. People travel from all around the country to participate in the different events, and local residents look forward to this celebration all year long. Join us for this year’s event beginning Thursday, January 18th to see for yourself what Icebox Days is all about.
Have you participated in this celebration before? Let us know in the comments below what are your favorite events!