Chill. There’s not as much to do during the Winter in Stardew Valley, and the residents make up for it with a lovely little party known as the Festival of Ice. Taking place at 9 am on the 8th of Winter, the Festival of Ice is a celebration of… ice. Yep. You’ll find the fairgrounds near Marnie’s Ranch, just south of your farm.

The majority of the Festival of Ice consists of nice little ice statues, snowmen, igloos, and people complaining about the cold. Not much to see - except for the most important time of the year if you’re an ardent fisherman.

Ice-Fishing Contest

The primary draw of the Festival of Ice is the ice-fishing contest. Located just west of the snowmen, the contest will pit you against the NPCs in a race to catch the most fish. Speak to Mayor Lewis to kick things off. You’ll be positioned beside a small hole, stocked with fish, and you’ll have one minute and forty seconds to snag as many fishies as you can. Getting six or seven should be enough to win the day, earning you a Sailor’s Cap, a Dressed Spinner, a Barbed Hook, and a Magnet.

Having trouble? Here are some tips for winning the contest:
  • Level up beforehand. You don’t get to use your normal fishing rod or bait in the contest, but your Fishing Skill still plays a part.
  • Just tap the button when deploying your line each time. If you hold down the button your line will soar right over the fishing hole.
  • Most of the fish are fairly sedate in this contest, but one or two of them seem to enjoy messing with you. If a fish seems particularly tricky, consider just letting it go and trying again. Quantity is the key here, not quality.
  • Don’t just reel constantly when fishing. It’s more important to tap the mouse button so the green bar will hover over the fish. Tapping will also save you from bouncing off the top or bottom of the fishing meter, which can really screw you up.
The Festival is over once you finish the fishing contest, win or lose.