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Bustin' cancer in Crookston

CROOKSTON--The cold couldn't keep hundreds of anglers and snowmobilers from Crookston's most popular winter event this weekend. About 350 people bought tickets to participate Saturday in the 15th annual Ice Buster Daze Radar Run and Fishing Derby...

A village of fishermen gather on the Red Lake River in Crookston for the annual "Ice Buster Daze" Saturday. photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald
A village of fishermen gather Saturday on the Red Lake River in Crookston for the annual "Ice Buster Daze." photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

CROOKSTON-The cold couldn't keep hundreds of anglers and snowmobilers from Crookston's most popular winter event this weekend.

About 350 people bought tickets to participate Saturday in the 15th annual Ice Buster Daze Radar Run and Fishing Derby at Central Park. About 200 anglers were expected to drill holes in the Red Lake River in hopes of hauling in the big catch of the day. Others revved up their snowmobile engines for a radar run, which is meant to test the highest speed a participant's snowmobile can reach in a predetermined length of track.

The event hosted by the Driftbusters Snowmobile Club is the second largest in Crookston behind the Ox Cart Days, said Brian Ringdahl, who helped organize the fishing derby. He said it's exciting to watch all of the people set up fishing huts along the river.

"We've got nice prizes," he said. "It's something for the people to do in the winter, to get out of their houses and have fun."

Ice Buster Daze also gives a small group a chance to support a good cause. Six riders donned swimwear for the fifth annual Bikini Radar Run. Contestants raised money for the Pink Ribbon Riders, with funds dedicated to helping breast cancer patients directly, organizer Jolene Beiswenger-Haller said.

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It was zero degrees at the time of the race, with wind chills making it feel closer to minus 20 degrees. But the temperatures didn't bother the racers in swim trunks and bikinis.

"You just get used to it," Beiswenger-Haller said. "It's not that bad."

The funds will go to cancer patients in Minnesota since the event was held in Crookston.

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