Minnesota Nordic Ski Opener

Saturday, December 9, 9:00 AM–4:00 PM

Elm Creek Park Reserve
12400 James Deane Parkway
Maple Grove, MN 55369

Embrace winter by celebrating cross-country skiing at the inaugural Minnesota Nordic Ski Opener! Skiers of all abilities and ages are invited to kick off winter with free skiing, rental equipment and mini lessons. Ski on your own or participate in the numerous Rennet Ski Tour events. Ski village with reps from 40 Nordic ski suppliers. Activities are on and off the snow, so dress for the weather!


This is a FREE event. The first 1,000 visitors receive a free buff, so come early!

four men skiers


The Nordic Ski Village will host:

  • Free Nordic skiing
  • Free Nordic ski rentals
  • Free Nordic ski mini lessons (Drop in all day)
  • Rennet ski tours for the whole family and all abilities
  • Morning test track for experts and high school students
  • Seminars by industry experts
  • Demos of the latest equipment by manufacturers and retailers
  • Reps from ski events, resorts, ski clubs and nonprofits 
  • Kids carnival area (10:00 AM–1:30 PM)
  • Snow grooming equipment shows
  • Sign-ups for 2017-18 ski lessons and ski passes
  • Concessions available for purchase

kids happy in ski race gear

Schedule of Events

Rennet Tours and Test Track

Take advantage of the test track/tour group starts! Time yourself or take a leisurely ski on Elm Creek's 2.5K of manufactured snow. A time clock will be on display. Come at a specific time, or ski all day!

  • 8:30 AM – Advanced start
  • 9:00 AM – College start
  • 9:30 AM – High school start (grouped by grade level)
  • 10:30 AM – Senior start
  • 11:00 AM – Adaptive start
  • 11:30 AM – Program, including:
                       MN Nordic Ski Opener Proclamation 
                       Ski with a Minnesota celebrity 
  • 12:30 PM – Citizen start
  • 1:30 PM – Kids start (by age, all kids receive a ribbon)

Seminar Schedule

  • 9:00 AM – Getting Ready for the Vasaloppet & Birkie, Ahvo Taipale, Finn Sisu
  • 10:00 AM – Ski Fitting, Jenny Beckman, Gear West
  • 10:00 AM – Grip Waxing for Classic Skis, Brad Johnson, Pioneer Midwest
  • 11:00 AM – Winning at Winter: How to Start Kids Skiing & Nordic Rocks, Amy Cichanowski & Bruce Manske, MYSL & CXC
  • 11:00 AM – Waxing Clinic, Phil Bowen, BNS (outside rental building)
  • 12:00 PM – Best Places to Ski and Minnesota's Major Ski Races, Bruce Adelsman, Skinny Ski
  • 12:00 PM – Waxing Clinic – No Iron Needed, Jeff McMillan, Yes Wax
  • 1:00 PM – How to Start Skiing as an Adult, Ben Dubay, Madshus
  • 1:00 PM – Waxing Clinic with L.L.Bean
  • 2:00 PM – Snow Making, Tony Edmonds,Three Rivers Park District
  • 2:00 PM – Skiing with Skin Skis – Is It Right For You?, Brad Johnson, Pioneer Midwest