Customized ice house featured in parade
ROUND LAKE -- When Tim Tungland goes ice fishing, he does it in style.
Tungland, of Lakefield, wasn't fishing Saturday afternoon, but did have the far-from-humble abode hitched up for participation in the fish house parade during Round Lake's second annual Winterfest celebration.
Tungland and wife Wendy spent time after the parade, which included about 25 units, welcoming friends and strangers alike into their fish house, which essentially is a small -- and luxurious -- home on wheels.
"We've had a lot of fish houses over the years," Tungland said during the post-parade tailgating event. "I've had fish houses for 40 years, and built my first one when I was 15. Every one keeps getting a little nicer, a little better."
The Tunglands' current fish house includes such amenities as a fireplace, a flat-screen TV, sofa and kitchen area. There's plenty of room for company -- and for activities other than ice fishing.
Tungland said the fish house was constructed with the assistance of Peter Johanning, who "built the top," and Ernie Malchow of Lakefield, who completed the frame and offered additional help.
"This is probably the fourth or fifth of Ernie's houses I've had," Tungland said.
As appealing as the Tunglands' fish house might be, Tungland said it's not the largest they've had -- though it is the most loaded.
"While our kids were growing up we had bigger than this. Now they've got their own big fish houses and they have their own kids," Tungland said.
Not alone in going ice fishing in style -- just a different style entirely -- was Jeremy Rasche of Round Lake, who brought a more traditional fish house to Saturday afternoon's parade. Rasche and Ryan Meyer, also of Round Lake, called their fishing facility "The Rack Shack," adopting a deer-hunting motif on the exterior (as well as a detachable, slightly racier type of rack.)
"We just wanted to do something a little different this year," said Rasche, who said the house didn't have a theme for the inaugural Winterfest parade. "We've been working on this maybe a week, I suppose; we've been working this last week pretty hard."
Rasche missed last year's parade, but said he was impressed by the participation in this year's event and was looking forward to the remainder of the day's festivities.
"There are a lot of local people here, and a lot of people that fish Round Lake," said Rasche, whose young son, Jack, declared his dad's fish house "awesome."
Other Winterfest activities Saturday included lunch and a chili feed at the Round Lake Legion, an evening concert by the regional band Starfire and a raffle to raise money for future Winterfest celebrations.