LUCK, Wis. (WCCO) – A little blast of cold never stops Minnesotans from Goin’ to the Lake.

This week, Mark Rosen and Amelia Santaniello are visiting Luck, Wis., for the small town’s annual Winter Carnival.

The town is home to just over 1,100 people, and you can find just about everything you need right on Main Street. They’ve got restaurants, bars, shops and even a place to get a haircut.downtown luck

Luck was first founded right on Big Butternut Lake. The Ojibwas were here first and, later, a big settlement of Danish immigrants called the town home.

Luck is also the Yo-Yo capitol of the world, with Duncan Yo-Yo making it’s home in the town in the 1940s.

Mark and Amelia were fascinated with the origin of the town’s name.

They learned that when folks were making the trek from St. Croix Falls to Clam Falls — Luck and Big Butternut Lake was right in the middle — they’d always say, “If you made it to the lake, you were ‘in luck.'”

Another popular story about the name involves a gold miner who came to Luck from California and, legend has it, his luck changed as soon as he got to the town, and he always said he wanted to stay “in luck” for the rest of his life.

Mark And Amelia Find Themselves In Luck

It takes an entire day and a lot of people to make the amazing ice castle that attracts visitors to Luck’s Winter Carnival.

In all, about 240 blocks will come out of Big Butternut Lake — that’s about 22 tons of ice.

Ron Erickson is in charge of the design. From start to finish the castle will take about six hours to build.

“We’ve got people from in town and out of town who come here to help build it, and everybody has a good time doing it,” he said.

This year’s design includes curved walls, a guest book and a throne out front. Inside you can find minnows hiding out in the ice.

You’ll find the ice castle on the corner of Highway 48 and Main Street.

Building Luck’s 22-Ton Ice Castle

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Big Butternut Lake is a big draw in Luck.

It’s about 380 acres and has a maximum of depth of about 19 feet.

It’s a great fishing lake in the winter or in the summer. You’ll find panfish like sunnies as well as Largemouth bass, northern pike and even walleye.

Mark And Amelia Take In Big Butternut Lake

The Luck area is known to be home of a lot of maple trees, which makes it the perfect place to make pure maple syrup.

Mark and Amelia found a family doing just that, just a couple miles out of town.

The Morleys bought some land in Luck about ten years ago and, at the time, didn’t even know what a maple tree was, but now they make about 2,000 to 3,000 gallons of syrup each season. Most of the syrup goes from tree to bottle in four to ten hours.

They sell it online through their website, and you’re also invited to stop by during the syrup season to see how it’s made and give it a try.

Mark And Amelia Taste Morley’s Maple Syrup

The Luck area is just as busy in the winter as it is in the summer.

Amelia and Mark got their first taste of cross country skiing and both made the transition from vertical to horizontal.

“It was a little rough in the beginning, but I really enjoyed it,” Amelia said.

Most of Mark’s reactions needed to be bleeped out for broadcast, but he also had some less profane insights.

“It’s so breathtakingly beautiful, and it’s such a great cardio workout,” he said. “How many calories can you burn — the average person — when you do this for 45 minutes?”

Goin’ To The (Frozen) Lake: Skiing In Luck, Wis.

After a day skiing, Mark and Amelia relaxed at Bella Salon and Day Spa.

“This is heaven, I’ve found heaven in Luck,” Mark said. “This is like the greatest night I’ve had since the Twins won the World Series.”

“This is the life,” Amelia said. “Rosie and I got tired of seeing Frank and Chris go to every spa in every town. Rosie’s really soaking it up.”

Goin’ To The (Frozen) Lake: Day At The Spa


Here are links for the places Amelia and Mark visited on their trip to Luck, Wisconsin:

Luck, Wisconsin
Luck Winter Carnival
Ski & Snow Shoe Event
Luck Library & Historical Museum
Morley’s Maple Syrup
Bon Ton Tavern

Here are highlights from other Goin’ To The Lake trips:
Watch the past ‘Goin’ To The (Frozen) Lake’ segments.
Watch the past ‘Goin’ To The Lake’ segments.

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