top of page

Lake Menomin 'Klunker' Update: Where It Is Now

By Kyra Price, Harvey Hall News Service

Last year, true to the car on ice tradition of Menomonie and the spirit of the Lions Club, a “klunker” car was placed out on Lake Menomin, symbolizing the turn from winter to spring within the community. As most community members noticed this year the long-running tradition came to a pause. There is no car on the ice. Without the sturdy support of the ice, there was no klunker this year.


Lion Community Service Chair and self-proclaimed life-long member of the Lions Club, Jon Hove shed some light on this. “Yes, we sold tickets but, Mother Nature did not provide the main ingredient—ice for the car. So, it was never safe to put it out from January 1st to now,” Hove said.


The timing of the car going in the water is what people guess on and it has varied over the decades. Menomonie Lions Secretary, Loni Hilmanowski recalls an earlier experience. “My 1st experience was in 2014. It was a klunker! We had a harsher winter, and the car didn’t go in until mid-April,” Hilmanowski said.


Both Hove and Hilmanowski expressed their disappointment in being unable to push the tradition to happen again this year. Hove said it makes the winter more fun with a bit of betting on the outcome of the car.

Hilmanowski said, “It is a shame because we use the money raised to help the game park. The ‘car on the ice’ is well known in the city.  It’s very sad we could not put it out this year.”


Still, despite this unpredictable turn of events, it should return next year. “No plans to quit the contest and spoil the fun,” Hove said. We will see the return of this community tradition when it is safe to do so.

The Menomonie Lions Club can be followed and supported at their website,


bottom of page