Lake Minnetonka Klondike Dog Derby – Hewn & Forged

Lake Minnetonka Klondike Dog Derby

The Lake Minnetonka Klondike Dog Derby allows you to embark on a one of a kind winter journey that will leave a warm pawprint on your heart.

It's the middle of the winter and you are getting a little stir crazy - maybe you haven't gone outside much given how cold it can get in the winter here in Minnesota. Allow us here at Hewn & Forged to give you a good reason to get out and enjoy something special in February starting on Water Street in Excelsior.

A little backdrop to how we fit into the KDD story...through Tom's eyes

I met Bethany Hway, who I would soon find out to be one of the founders of the race, through Bill Damberg (owner of Brightwater Clothing in Excelsior AND another founder of the race). We met to talk about what her brand design business, Grayscale, had to offer our growing business. At the end of our December 4th, 2019 meeting she told me about the race and asked if I would want to be a trail sponsor. Given that I live in neighboring Shorewood and that I recently had committed to myself connect more with my surrounding community - Hewn & Forged was on the trail!

On the morning December 18th, 2019 I received an email from Bethany asking if we would be interested in making a Start/Finish race arch for the KDD. Here were some of the photos that were included in the email.

After conferring with the guys in the shop, we agreed and responded with this as an initial concept. It was an immediate hit!

A week later in early January 2020, I met with a few of the KDD team to finalize the arch, talk logistics, and where it would be built on Water Street.

Now to build the arch...with only 3 weeks until the race. Here are a few photos to show the progress of our build.

Fast forward to 10pm February 8th, the night before the race...we take over a portion of Water Street in Excelsior to set up the Start/Finish Arch. A few of us from H&F as well as some buddies of mine, worked together to install the arch. The temps were in the single digits, inching towards zero; it did not deter this amazing group of guys as we powered through and did our best to keep warm.

We finished around 12:30am...just in time for the guys at Nordic Snow Management to fill the street with snow that would lead the teams on to Lake Minnetonka. Little did we know they would be getting a little help from Mother Nature and we would be waking up in a snow globe the next morning...

This day turned out to be one the BEST winter days for our family in 2020 (and then again in 2022). The vibe in Excelsior will definitely give you that extra pep in your step as you close out the rest of your winter. I hope that you will visit Excelsior and the Klondike Dog Derby and if you do and you see me, feel free to say hi - I'd love to meet you!


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