Photos: A magical night of Loppet sprints, snow on Nicollet Mall


A high school nordic skier heads over the top of the Birkebeiner bridge.
1 A high school nordic skier heads over the top of the American Birkebeiner bridge at sunset during the City of Lakes Loppet Finn Sisu Sprints. 
Traffic headaches have just begun for commuters during the evening hours.
2 With Super Bowl activities in full swing on the Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis, traffic headaches have just begun for commuters during the evening hours. 
With downtown in the background, elite adult skiers climb the hill.
3 With downtown office buildings lit up in the background, elite adult skiers climb the steep hill on the American Birkebeiner bridge. 
Taylor Mills, left, and Angie Montbriand warmed themselves on the street.
4 Taylor Mills, left, of Elk River, Minn., and her friend Angie Montbriand of Richfield, Minn., warmed themselves on the street as they joined hundreds of others in the Super Bowl festivities. "We just had to add to the craziness," said Mills. 
Nordic skiers competing in the loppet sprints climbed the hill.
5 As the snow fell, nordic skiers competing in the City of Lakes Loppet Festival sprints climbed the hill over the bridge. 
Snow fell on the Super Bowl festivities on Nicollet Mall.
6 Those enjoying the festivities surrounding the upcoming Super Bowl seemed to feel the snow was part of the magic of winter, while enjoying the free concerts and other activities on the mall. 
Skiers Nicole Harvey and Laura Cattaneo climb the steep hill.
7 As the snow starts to fall, nordic skiers Nicole Harvey (#216) and Laura Cattaneo (#221) climb the bridge. 
Super Bowl festivities are in full swing on the Nicollet Mall.
8 One of the featured events was the City of Lakes Loppet Finn Sisu Sprints over the Birkie bridge. 
Young nordic skiers rapidly pick up speed at the start of their sprint.
9 Ponytails flying, young nordic skiers rapidly pick up speed at the start of their sprint race on the bridge. 
Nordic skier Chris Harvey adds a little flare to the sprint competition.
10 Nordic skier Chris Harvey adds a little flare to the sprint competition as he leaps into the air while cresting the hill on the American Birkebeiner bridge. 
A volunteer raked snow on the top of the American Birkebeiner Bridge.
11 A volunteer raked snow on the top of the American Birkebeiner Bridge. 
Festivities surrounding the upcoming Super Bowl are in full swing.
12 As the snow fell, it looked magical next to one of the Super Bowl displays, and many in the crowd stopped to take selfies. 
High school nordic skiers head over the American Birkebeiner bridge.
13 High school nordic skiers head over the top of the American Birkebeiner bridge on the Nicollet Mall at sunset during the City of Lakes Loppet sprints.