Do you have cabin fever?
Get outside and enjoy the winter at the 15th annual Barneløpet, a non-competitive ski or walk event for children ages 3-13.
The event is Saturday, Feb. 1, at 10 a.m., with registration from 9:40-10 a.m. at the Decorah Community Prairie.
Barneløpet is open to girls and boys of all skill levels and is a great event for the entire family.
Each registered participant will receive a printed bib for the event, and a medal when they cross the finish line. Sons of Norway groups all over the country sponsor Barneløpet events, modeled after the American Birkebeiner cross-country ski race held in Hayward, Wis.
The entry fee is $3, and participants must provide their own skis. If you need your skis waxed to keep from slipping and sliding, come early and volunteers will wax them for you. There are a limited number of children's skis for rent at Decorah Bicycles; call for reservations.
This year's Barneløpet is held in memory of Kjell Arne Berntson, an avid Norwegian cross-country skier and previous Valdres exchange student at the Decorah High School.
Commemorative t-shirts for this Barneløpet have been designed by Jon and Mary Hart's son, David Hart, and will be given to all registered participants.
The Decorah Community Prairie is accessed by car at the south end of Ohio Street, near Aase Haugen Homes.
The trail will be in a loop, with the start and finish at the site of the butterfly garden. After completing the course, participants and their families are welcome to gather around the fire and enjoy hot chocolate and home baked cookies provided by the Sons of Norway lodge members.
Along with the one-mile main loop for skiing and walking, there will be a shorter loop for younger skiers. Caregivers can walk or ski the course with the children, or may choose to stand along the course and cheer. Sleds are welcome for younger siblings.
In the absence of snow, children will walk the course. If in doubt about weather conditions, listen to local radio stations for cancellations or check vesterheim.org.
For more information about Barneløpet contact Vesterheim at 563-382-9681.
Barneløpet is sponsored by Jon and Mary Hart, Sons of Norway Valdres Lodge No. 503 in Decorah, Sons of Norway Heimbygda Lodge No. 376 in Lanesboro, Minn. and Sons of Norway Valheim Lodge No. 364 in Spring Grove, Minn.