BRAINERD -- Thousands of people will be heading up north to the Brainerd lakes area this weekend for the 30th annual Brainerd Jaycees Ice Fishing Extravaganza.

Spokesman Jeff Baillif says it's a busy week for them after getting the green light from county officials late last week.

It was definitely a nail bitter this year with the way ice conditions are on area lakes. It's one of those deals where we were hoping mother nature was going to take care of us and make the ice we needed and it did.

Baillif says they plan to drill about 16,000-18,000 holes for anglers to use. Each year the event draws over 10,000 anglers, all competing for over $150,000 in prizes.

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Baillif says the tournament is known as the largest charitable ice fishing contest on earth, as money raised over the weekend goes back to the community.

In the last 29-years we've donated over $4-million to local charities in the Brainerd Lakes area just from this event. That's a lot of money and we are proud to say we did that just from this contest.

The festivities start with a kick-off party on Friday night before the big fishing tournament starts on Saturday at noon.

Baillif says tickets are still available. We are selling them on The Value Connection.

The Brainerd Jaycee's Ice Fishing Extravaganza is on Hole In The Day Bay on Gull Lake.

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