January has been long, cold, icy. And she is bowing out today – making room for February. The calendar on the wall shows hearts and flowers as Valentine’s Day approaches.

But first things first.

January is leaving in a flurry of activity. There’s weekend hockey at the Ralph with the team from Denver in town. And there will be a chance to hear from coaches at a noon luncheon today at the Alerus.

Then it’s Family Snow and Greenway Ski Day Saturday on the first day of February at Lincoln Drive Park. There will be cardboard sled races. There will be horses and sleigh rides from noon until 4 p.m. For cross country skiing, there are trails in the park or a chance for skiers to create their own.

And Lynne Roche of the park district says there will be hot chocolate and chili available in the warming house at Lincoln Park.

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“This is one year we can’t complain about the amount of snow. The weather forecast looks good,” she said.

Looking down the road of February, she talks about the first Knight for a Princess – the annual Daddy Daughter Dance coming up Feb. 7 and 8 at the Alerus Center.

Chips, dips, San Francisco

Meanwhile, most everyone will be scrounging around the markets – picking up chips, dips, sausage to eat during the Super Bowl festivities on Sunday. Though I am not sure why – I am hoping San Francisco will win.

This is the time when serious football fans want peace and quiet as they watch the big game. This is the time when some people are more interested in the fanfare. And the chips and the dips.

It is well to remember the nuts are dense with calories. While the South Beach Diet people recommend them, they limit serving sizes to 15 cashews, 25 hazelnuts, 20 peanuts and 15 pecan pieces.

Looking north

Though I wasn’t wondering what to do in Winnipeg in winter, I have some answers. They have been coming from Marissa Raimonde of Zapwater Communications.

They say there is a wild winter canoe race coming up in Winnipeg at the end of February. And, among other things, Manitoba offers a magnificent view of the northern lights. They can be observed from a heated viewing dome or on a photo tour.

Ask Marilyn

Q. What plates have been seen through the snow and ice around here lately:

A. MUSIC RX, THE DOVE, R GANG, TEAM UP and HE ROSE.

Q. Who are the cheerful people of the week?

A. Lynda Hartman and Aaron Bye.