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Central Minnesota family makes world's largest spinning ice disc

Annmarie Lyon assists daughter Paisley Lyon off of the spinning ice carousel with the help of daughter Zoë Lyon on the other side Saturday, Jan. 12, during the second annual Sunny Zwilling Memorial Ice Carousel Extravaganza in Little Falls. Kelly Humphrey / Forum News Service

LITTLE FALLS, Minn. - A Little Falls group can again reclaim the world's largest ice carousel.

The diameter of the massive disc of ice—carved out by chain saws and rigged to spin with the use of trolling motors—exceeded the length of a football field by a long shot and is longer than the Foshay Tower in Minneapolis is tall.

Measuring in at 154.3 meters, or 506.2 feet across, the carousel built by Chuck Zwilling and others on Green Prairie Fish Lake north of Little Falls demolished the previous record of 427 feet, accomplished by residents of Sinclair, Maine, earlier this year. It was the main draw of a weekend festival brimming with planned wintertime activities—hockey, curling, speedskating, figure skating, Nordic skiing and igloo building, among others—all in the name of feeding hungry children.

"It took 49 minutes to get all the way, one full rotation, the first time we spun around," said Becca Ruegemer, one of the volunteers at the weekend event.

The Sunny Zwilling Memorial Ice Carousel Extravaganza, or I.C.E. Fest, was a two-day event Saturday and Sunday, raising money and awareness for Flyer Pride Pack, the weekend backpack food program for at-risk students in the Little Falls School District.

Smaller ice circles were created inside the world-record circle.

Although not recognized by Guinness World Records, ice carousel records are kept by the World Ice Carousel Association. Zwilling previously held the record last winter at 367.4 feet, before those in Maine and a group in Lohja, Finland, built bigger ones.