19th Annual Iowa Winter Games kick-off in Dubuque - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

19th annual Iowa Winter Games kick-off in Dubuque

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DUBUQUE (KWWL)-- Iowa's own version of the Winter Olympics is kicking off this weekend in Dubuque. The 19th Annual Iowa Winter Games begin Friday. It's certainly not a new event but this year opening ceremonies and the ice competitions are taking place at a new venue.

"This is a whole new world for us and we're excited," Iowa Games Coordinator Cory Kennedy said.

This year, for the 19th Annual Iowa Winter Games, crews are setting up in Dubuque's Mystique Ice Center.

"This is our main weekend we really focus on this a lot with the city of Dubuque and our sponsors. And it wouldn't be possible without the community of Dubuque," Kennedy said.

More than 3,000 athletes have registered for events. They will compete in 13 sports this weekend. But not before they get a little Olympic athlete treatment.

"We offer an opening ceremony for the athletes to come. There will be a parade of athletes. This year we're able to have a whole new show. We're gonna offer a light show for our opening ceremonies," Kennedy said.

Combine athletes, coaches and families and organizers expect Dubuque to be filled with more than 4,000 visitors this weekend.

"It's one of the few sporting events in the states where you can see multiple sports going on in the same city, same venues," Kennedy said.

But the new venue has organizers excited for new possibilities.

The Iowa Games will continue for the next four weekends. This weekend in Dubuque and then next three in other cities across Iowa. This weekend you can catch all the ice events at the Mystique Ice Center.  Others sports are taking place throughout the city.

This weekend you can catch traditional winter sports like skiing, snowboarding and hockey. But there are some other sports like basketball and soccer. After this weekend, the winter games move from Dubuque, and continue in Cedar Rapids in February.

Online Reporter: Lauren Squires

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