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Loppet Festival in Minneapolis as a volunteer

Posted by on Feb 2, 2014 |

Koren Reyes is a professional portrait photographer based in Minneapolis. Koren photographs regular women of all ages who want to look and feel beautiful.
Volunteering for the City of Lakes Loppet Ski Festival

By Koren Reyes
I will never be anything but a New Yorker. Even though I spent decidedly formative just outside of St. Paul, MN, I spent an even more formative 25 years in NYC where I learned to speak up, stand out and impatiently tap my fingers whenever people make me wait. It’s a good thing I don’t do acrylic tips.

No one who meets me these days would EVER guess, and I mean EVER, that I grew up in the Midwest. I speak my mind, I’m direct, I struggle to hide my displeasure and I certainly revel out lout about the silliest, goofiest things that impress me.

Yes, some Minnesotans will think I’m pushy and maybe rude and a little too forward, but they will always know exactly where I stand.

So now I have a happy story to share with you. I stumbled – quite accidentally – on the City of Lakes Loppet Ski Festival website. I was so taken with the beautiful design that one click led to another and the next thing I knew I was signed up to volunteer.

I chose the Luminary events knowing they were all outside. Yes, the high probability of near- to sub-zero temperatures appealed to me. Mother Nature did not disappoint.

Every aspect of this event is extremely well-organized. They tell you where and when to show up, where to park, how to dress and what you’ll be doing. Let’s just say I didn’t have the same experience volunteering for another popular January event in St. Paul.

Here’s a photo journal of creating the luminaria. The filling of the buckets night is missing mostly because it was pitch black. That was hard work, but not as hard as the “hatching” which we began about 12 hours after the filling.

Kathy, the genius behind the City of Lakes Loppet Ski Festival luminary event

Kathy, the genius behind the City of Lakes Loppet Ski Festival luminary event

City of Lakes Loppet Ski Festival luminary hatching

City of Lakes Loppet Ski Festival luminary hatching

Do we look cold? We were. The temp was about 8 degrees above zero.

Drilling holes for candles in Loppet luminaries

Drilling holes for candles in Loppet luminaries

Drilling holes for candles in Loppet luminaries

Drilling holes for candles in Loppet luminaries

Hanging the REI lanterns in the Enchanted Forest

Hanging the REI lanterns in the Enchanted Forest

Loppet sign to Icecropolis and Enchanted Forest

Loppet sign to Icecropolis and Enchanted Forest

Kathy Loeffler's ice castle at the 2014 Loppet Festival

Kathy Loeffler’s ice castle at the 2014 Loppet Festival

I would have taken more pictures, but my fingers were frozen solid. I can’t believe my camera battery held out for as long as it did. It was 3 degrees above zero during the hanging of the lanterns in the Enchanted Forest and Luminary Loppet night.

Dusk falls in the Enchanted Forest at the 2014 City of Lakes Loppet Festival

Dusk falls in the Enchanted Forest at the 2014 City of Lakes Loppet Festival

Dusk falls on Lake of the Isles at the 2014 City of Lakes Loppet Festival

Dusk falls on Lake of the Isles at the 2014 City of Lakes Loppet Festival

I am a professional studio photographer based in Minneapolis, MN. I take beautiful pictures of real women who want to look and feel beautiful.