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Randy Lee and his Big Time Jazz Orchestra entertains at a Duluth show. File

Snow Ball adds to the Frolic fun

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When Rick Sundstrom makes a suggestion, he apparently doesn't hem or haw. He goes for it. And so it is that Randy Lee and his Big Time Jazz Orchestra is playing in the city's first Snow Ball as part of the revived Winter Frolic celebration in Two Harbors next month.

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The Snow Ball is one of many new events at the Feb. 5-7 Frolic. It's partly an homage to the past when queen coronations at the high school were the big event of the Frolic, followed by a dance.

Today, with the Frolic's emphasis on embracing winter and playing outside, Sundstrom thought the weekend needed something for the less athletically inclined. "The average age here is 41 and older," he said. That logically means there needs to be an indoor event everyone can participate in, he said.

The 16-piece orchestra is a Duluth favorite and Sundstrom promises those who come to Two Harbors High School Saturday night will have "fingers snapping, toes tapping, and hands clapping."

It will cost $15 for families to attend the ball. Doors will open to a decorated school cafeteria area at 5 p.m. Music will go to 10 p.m. Refreshments sold will help the school band pay for its annual trip. The Agates jazz band is also expected to play during the orchestra's breaks.

Sundstrom is the financial director for the city but is taking on the project as a resident and benefactor of the Frolic.

Gordy Anderson of the Two Harbors Area Chamber of Commerce, the overall Frolic organizer, is delighted to have a big dance back. He remembers when the airmen from the Finland base would come down and provide escort for the queen candidates in a "packed gym" with a ball afterwards.

The school can hold 450 people and Sundstrom is hoping for a good turnout to help defray costs, including $2,000 for the band. He had thought about starting small for what he hopes to be a tradition of the Frolic , maybe a four-piece band. "But bigger is better," so he got the Randy Lee troupe. "We want this to be a big event," he said.

Sponsors are still welcome, including businesses buying bulk tickets for customers and employees.

Tickets for the ball are on sale at Super One grocery store or by calling the chamber at 834-2600 or Sundstrom at 830-0904.

If you go

New stuff at Frolic

The Snow Ball is one of six new events at the Feb. 5-7 Winter Frolic in Two Harbors. They include:

- A Battle of the Bands Friday night at the high school featuring hopeful teens looking for their big break: A gig in Duluth.

- Friday night, before, during and after the 5:30 parade. Lake Bank is hosting a chili cook-off. They want to know who makes the best chili in the area.

- There's smoosh races and outhouse races on First Avenue, but what about the kids? Plans are for more races for the younger set, be it on snowshoes, in sacks, or on sleds.

- A riding course for mini-snowmobiles will be set up for kids across from the Moose Lodge.

- Look for sled dog rides as well around the sliding hill, which will feature three runs this year.

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