Unseasonal warmth cancels the Jig’s Up Ice Fishing Contest and other events
In an unprecedented move, the Jig’s Up Ice Fishing Contest, a cherished annual event in the Chippewa Valley, has been canceled for the first time in its 11-year history. The culprit? Unseasonably warm weather left Lake Wissota stripped of its usual ice cover.
A warm winter’s tale
February 11, 2024 – An unusually mild winter dealt a major blow to the much-anticipated ice fishing competition. The event, which usually attracts hundreds of enthusiasts from around the region, was forced to be canceled because there was not enough ice on Lake Wissota.
Despite the disappointment, organizers remain optimistic. Drawings, which are a large part of the event, are still taking place as scheduled. All proceeds from the raffle will go toward UWEC’s recreation and athletics operations and the Lake Wissota Lions Club.
This isn’t the only event where the heat of the unseasonably warm weather is being felt. Across the pond, a public lambing event at Risholme Park Farm in Lincolnshire, organized by the University of Lincoln, has also been cancelled. The decision comes amid a rise in Schmallenberg virus cases in the region.
Schmallenberg virus, which is spread by fly bites, affects livestock such as sheep, lambs, goats and cattle. Although the farm has not identified any cases of the virus, the decision to cancel was made as a precaution to prioritize the welfare of the livestock and the educational function of the farm during the gestation period.
The Animal and Plant Health Agency has confirmed 63 cases of the virus in the UK between 1 December 2023 and 16 January 2024. The virus is not dangerous to humans but can cause reduced milk production, fever and diarrhea in adult animals. There is currently no vaccine available for the virus.
Security concerns and cancellations
Meanwhile, in Peoria, the annual July 3 fireworks display at Glen Oak Park also faces an uncertain future. Security concerns and increased crime in the East Bluff area led to discussions about canceling or significantly changing the event.
The Peoria Police Department expressed their desire to cancel the event indefinitely due to incidents and pop-up parties occurring after the event. However, Robert Johnson, chairman of the park district’s board of trustees, would like to see the fireworks remain at Glen Oak Park and believes bad behavior from youth should not disrupt the event.
The park area has seen a decline in attendance and an increase in security problems, especially among unaccompanied minors, in recent years. Last year’s event was attended by 1,200 people and it took 60 people from the Peoria Fire Department, Police Department and security teams to run the event.
As the world grapples with these unexpected changes, one thing remains clear – the impact of weather and security concerns on our cherished events is undeniable.
From the cancellation of the Jig’s Up Ice Fishing Contest due to a lack of ice on Lake Wissota to the cancellation of the public lambing event at Riseholme Park Farm in Lincolnshire due to the Schmallenberg virus, and the uncertainty surrounding the annual July 3 fireworks display at Glen Oak Park, it is clear that the ripple effects of these The issues go to extremes.
As we continue to overcome these challenges, we hope that solutions can be found to preserve these beloved events for future generations.