Bloomington's Annual 'Snowbird Open' Switching Venues | WGLT

Bloomington's Annual 'Snowbird Open' Switching Venues

Dec 30, 2015

One of the fairways at Bloomington's Highland Park on a summer day.
Credit Bloomington Parks and Recreation

For the first time in decades, Bloomington's annual Snowbird Open golf event will be played at Prairie Vista instead of Highland Park on New Year's Day. The city's golf operations manager, Nancy Nelson, says ironically, it was the weather that caused the "weather-defying" event to shift venues.

"It was the ice storm that hit us and knocked down a bunch of trees. You can't really make your way around Highland Park right now and we won't have it cleaned up in time."

Nelson says the Snowbird Open is about a half-century tradition at Highland. She says she's only aware of one cancellation, which came when temperatures dipped well below zero following a major snow storm. Nelson says the event has been a mainstay at Highland for decades.

"I've been here 18 years and I think it got canceled one time. And I'm thinking it was because we had a ton of snow. Usually there's light snow but it was snowy and I think it was below zero. Otherwise, it's never been canceled."

Nelson says the Snowbird Open typically draws about 75 golfers who tour either the front or back nine during the morning. She says play only costs $2 per person and coffee and donuts are served.