MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - With her rosy cheeks and red nose peeking out from under her hat, Lil Hipp smiled as she walked her dog, Meischa, around the neighborhood Friday.
"Is it cold enough yet?" she called out to a man shoveling his sidewalk.
Yes. It was cold. So cold that construction crews ended the day early because equipment wouldn't work. Some cars wouldn't start and tires went flat. Motorists wore big hats and hoods inside their cars, while commuters shivered at bus stops. Winter events were postponed or shortened and ski hills and ice rinks closed.
And a real old-fashioned cold snap was just around the corner, with weekend highs expected to be no more than zero. Lows of 15 to 25 below were predicted for Saturday and Sunday in some parts of the state, with dangerous wind chills. The weather service and state officials urged people to dress warmly and stay safe.
Steve Anderson is covered with frost after shoveling snow in sub-zero temperatures Saturday morning at First Lutheran Church in Brainerd. Brainerd Dispatch/Steve Kohls» Purchase reprints of this photo.
The winter chill made things difficult at a construction site in Bloomington, where about three-fourths of the crew went home because their equipment wouldn't work on a morning when the temperature was 8 below.
Mike Bubalo, a foreman, was one of the workers who stayed - saying it was "bitter, bitter cold" but he was fine with his long underwear, jeans, coveralls, thermal gloves and boots.
Organizers of outdoors events changed their schedules because of the weather. The St. Paul Winter Carnival shortened the route of its Saturday Torchlight Parade, and Mayor Chris Coleman cautioned the public to dress safely.
The Twin Cities Area Chapter of the Minnesota Red Cross said it would end its Winter Survivor Challenge one night early, so contestants competing for airline tickets by sleeping in tents could come in from the cold.
Minneapolis officials moved back the Saturday morning start time by an hour for the annual City of Lakes Loppet, a cross-country ski festival.
In Crookston, officials postponed until next week an annual Winterfest bonfire. In Fergus Falls, Frostbite Festival 2007 organizers scrubbed a candlelight ski event, a snowcross event and carriage rides and postponed a fishing derby.
Duluth's Spirit Mountain closed early Friday due to extreme temperatures and wind chills. And Waite Park and St. Cloud closed their warming houses at ice rinks through the weekend.
Bubalo, like many Minnesotans, wasn't ready to concede much. He said he planned to leave work early Friday - but not because of the weather.
He planned to go fishing on Lake Mille Lacs, where he has a new ice house.
"It's got an 18,000-BTU propane heater," he said with a smile.
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