MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Our local pride in bundling up to head outside in the cold is getting international attention this week.

Two big winter events are drawing participants from around the region, and even world.

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When the temperature drops, Minnesota peaks. Preparations are underway for the 17th annual U.S. Pond Hockey Championships, which will begin this weekend in Minneapolis on Lake Nokomis. Jesse Delorit is one of the organizers. He says this deep freeze is actually helpful for the ice.

“We have 102 boards per rink, which means 102 boards, 102 brackets and 102 spikes,” Delorit said.

Lake Nokomis (credit: CBS)

Eventually, there will be hundreds of teams, thousands of athletes, and tens of thousands of spectators out on the ice. But during preps Wednesday afternoon, it was only 6 degrees.

“You deal with it and you move on, you get it done,” he said. “This is Minnesota right here.”

From pond hockey preps on Lake Nokomis, to snow sculpting in Stillwater, it’s all about embracing Minnesota winter. By the time it dropped to 3 degrees Wednesday evening, WCCO found some brave souls out at the inaugural World Snow Sculpting Championship.

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“Even though it’s cold, it’s still worth it,” said Jill Marie Phillips of Rice Lake, Wis.

In layers, of course

“Your feet are warm, your head’s warm, everything else will be fine [laughs]!” she said.

(credit: CBS)

Teams from across the world are making masterpieces out of a precious winter resource, for anyone to come and enjoy — just come dressed for the weather.

The Inaugural World Snow Sculpting Championship is underway at Lowell Park in Stillwater.

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The puck drops on the U.S. Pond Hockey Championships Friday morning on Lake Nokomis in Minneapolis.

Erin Hassanzadeh