Firemen's Clayhole ice fishing 2020

On Jan. 8, 2020, people gathered at Firemen’s Clayhole for the 63rd annual ice fishing contest.

The Chaska Fire Department Relief Association’s 64th annual ice fishing contest, typically held at Firemen’s Park in February, is canceled this year, according to Chaska Fire Department Chief Tim Wiebe.

The Chaska Event Center is traditionally used as an indoor portion of the contest, with raffle tickets, prizes and food. That considered, Wiebe said the COVID risk would be too high.

“How do you manage the amount of people inside the event center with all the restrictions on capacity?” he said. “Is it a good idea getting people together at this time?”

It’s the first time the event has been entirely called off, though some years the ice fishing portion was canceled due to weather.

Wiebe added the department is discussing a possible summer or fall replacement event, but nothing is decided yet.

The fire department is also turning 150 years old this year, Wiebe said, which may offer a celebration of some kind in the future.