HACKENSACK - Hackensack will celebrate Back to Hack Days this weekend, beginning with a 6 p.m. snowmobile parade Friday from the city park along the Paul Bunyan Trail.
Most events will take place in the area around the city park and visitor center on Birch Lake, one block west of Highway 371 in Hackensack.
Following the parade Friday there will be a bonfire and free hotdogs in the park, followed by fireworks at 6:30 p.m. UCC Church youth will sponsor a family fun night at the Hackensack Senior Center (south of the park) beginning at 7 p.m. At 8:30 p.m., dancing to the Diamond Dog band will begin at Hackensack American Legion (north of the park).
Saturday, there will be a craft show in the Hackensack Community Center (one block east of Highway 371) from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Numbers for the Back to Hack Treasure Hunt can be picked up at the community center, with prizes to be awarded at Bear Pause Theater before 3 p.m. Hackensack American Legion will serve chili from noon to 4 p.m.
There will be a winter rendezvous Saturday at Deep Portage Conservation Reserve and Learning Center east of Hackensack from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. For directions to Deep Portage, check at the visitor center in the city park.
Pines Area Medical Development Association, the non-profit civic group responsible for bringing Essentia Health's St. Joseph's Medical Center of Brainerd's satellite clinic to Hackensack, will begin accepting registrations at noon Saturday for those participating in the Penguin Plunge into Birch Lake from 1 to 2 p.m.
Last year, 41 people who jumped into the frigid waters raised $8,000 to help PAMDA pay for the clinic's $36,000 annual rent in Hackensack, Dawn Peterson of PAMDA said. This year, teams from at least 10 area businesses are expected to make the jump.
Let's Go Fishing will sponsor a spaghetti dinner from 4 p.m. until the food is gone Saturday at the Hackensack Senior Center to benefit that organization. Volunteers in that organization take senior citizens fishing weekly on area lakes each summer.
Events to benefit Hackensack Fire and Rescue begin at 7 p.m. Saturday at the fire hall with the annual Snowflake Pageant, a spoof on beauty contests wherein area guys dress up in girls' attire to win the title. Dancing to the sounds of Hot Rod DJ will follow the pageant.
Sunday, Sons of the American Legion will sponsor breakfast at the Legion from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.
At noon Sunday, winners of the snow sculpture contest around town will be announced, along with the winners of the raffle drawing.
Raffle tickets can be purchased throughout the weekend from Hackensack businesses and at the Chamber Visitor Center for $2 each. First prize will be $1,000; second prize, $500; third prize is 10 yards of classified gravel from Schrupp Excavating; fourth through ninth prize, $50 gift certificates to Hackensack businesses; and 10th prize, $25 gift certificate to 371 Rental.