Mike Worcester, "Lost Cokato: The Cokato Winter Ice Carnivals." In The Midst Of, Cokato Historical Society (Winter, 1998) vol. 18 no. 1.
Cokato Winter Carnival Speed Skating Competition in Peterson Park.
When most people think of Cokato festivals, the Corn Carnival usually comes to mind. But in Minnesota, as the St. Paul Winter Carnival has shown, those cold months of December through February can be fertile ground for some fun times. So in December 1939, when members of the Cokato Association for Public Affairs (a forerunner of the Cokato Chamber of Commerce) proposed some sort of winter festival for Cokato, nobody found it an odd idea.
Revised Article by Johanna Ellison from the Cokato Historical Society's newsletter In the Midst Of, September, 2018, Vol. 38 No. 4.
Dassel-Cokato Youth Hockey. Date unknown.
In December of 1955, the skating rink moved from Peterson Park to Mooers Park. At first, the new skating rink, lined by snow banks, only saw scrimmages, shinnies, and rink ratting. In fact, an organized league did not touch the ice until Forrest (Butch) Amundsen, representing the Cokato Jaycees, approached the Cokato Village Council on July 12, 1971, about the city providing a youth hockey program. In addition, Amundsen proposed plans for enlarging the skating rink and building hockey boards. As a result to Amundson, the Cokato Businessmen Association, and the Jaycees efforts, that winter Cokato Hockey Association featured, in December of 1971, not only an improved hockey rink, but also a Squirts (under 10 years), and Bantams team (age 12-14). Eventually, the Cokato Hockey Association added Peewees, Mites, Midgets, and Juveniles teams. Although these teams were primarily comprised of boys, a couple of girls briefly entered the ranks in the early 1980s—Sara Keskey and Sonja Lund. Unfortunately, a girls’ team would not form until approximately a decade later.
Article by Johanna Ellison from the Cokato Historical Society's newsletter In the Midst Of, February, 2018, Vol. 38 No. 1.
The crack of stick on puck, the crisp tang of blade on ice is a staple of Cokato’s frigid winter memories. On trend with much of Minnesota, Cokato’s frozen lakes, rivers, and ponds became the surface of many hockey shinnies, scrimmages, and games. Although this recreational pastime has graced Cokato’s iced surfaces since the early 1900s, hockey as an organized sport did not originate in the area until the mid-1920s.
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