Posted by: Kath Usitalo | January 31, 2012

Weather Or Not, Winter Fests Ahead

Michigan winter fests could use some ice

The wacky weather we’ve been experiencing (55 degrees at the end of January?) must be sending winter festival planners into Plan B mode.

Some events have been cancelled while others have been modified to accommodate the shortage of snowflakes and mild temperatures: lack of lake ice forced one pond hockey tournament to move to a parking lot, and Boyne City Winterfest has been renamed SLUSH Fest.

February is packed with Winter Wonderland festivities because people in Michigan seem to like to go to events with the name “ice” and “shiver” and “snow” in them. Activities typically include:

  • watching ice carvers chip blocks of frozen water into shapes that will melt
  • engaging in contests that involve frozen objects like turkeys and fish
  • playing winter versions of summertime sports like snow golf and snow volleyball
  • sampling other people’s chili in competitions
  • drinking beer in the cold
  • using outhouses in the cold
  • diving into frigid water
  • ice fishing contests
  • snowmobile races
  • drinking beer in the cold

The popularity of these activities will undoubtedly guarantee that show will go on at most events whether the weather cooperates or not.

So keep practicing for the ice cube spoon races and frozen turkey bowling contests, pack the Tums for the chili competitions, and plan to enjoy some of what’s planned for the coming month; a sampling of events follows.

Click on the event name for more info, and call ahead to verify that the event is still on schedule:

January 31-February 4 – Snowfest, Muskegon
Battle of the Bowls soup and chili contest, snow cornhole

February 2-5 – North American Snowfest, Cadillac
Snowmobile-centric activities, ice fishing, polar dip

February 3-5 South Haven Ice Breaker
Ice carvings, culing lessons, chili cook-off

February 4 – Boyne City Winterfest er…SLUSH Fest
Cross-country ski and snowshoe races,  snowman contest (or not)

February 4 –Dowagiac Ice Time
Ice carving, ice cream served at an ice-carved soda fountain

February 4 – Michigan Ice Fest Family Activities, Munising
Cardboard classic sled race, shuttle to view ice climbers along Lake Superior

February 9-12 – Winter Carnival, Michigan Tech University, Houghton
Giant snow sculptures, human dog sled race, ice bowling

February 10-11 – Alpenfrost, Gaylord
New event! Soup cook-off, polar bear plunge, ice putting, snowman hula hoop (that would be worth the price of admission)

February 10-12 – Magical Ice Carving Festival, St. Joseph
Pros carve blocks of ice, entertainment

February 10-12 – Motown Winter Blast, Detroit
Winter sports demonstrations, ice skating, music

February 11 – Benzie County Winterfest, Beulah
Frozen fish toss, bonfire, fireworks over Crystal Lake

February 16-19 – Les Cheneaux Snowsfest, Cedarville
Cardboard sled, snowshoe and snowmobile races, fishing contest

February 17-18 – Top of the Lake Antique and Vintage Snowmobile Show, Naubinway
Classic sleds on display, visit Snowmobile Museum

February 17-19 – Cherry Capital Winter Wow!Fest, Traverse City
Brain freeze ice cream eating contest, cherry pancake breakfast

February 17-19 – UP 200, Midnight Run, Jackpine 30, Marquette
People drink beer, line up to watch racing sled dog teams take off

February 18-19 – Shiver By the River, Frankfort
Ice carving, frozen bowling, parade, Sno Cross race

February 18-19 – Winterfest Weekend, Saugatuck
Gallery stroll, snow sculpture, stew & brew contest

February 25 – Trenary Outhouse Classic
People drink beer, line up to watch other people race decorated outhouses

Travel Michigan:  Pure Michigan

Banshee Dog, UP 200 (TJ Kozak photo)



  1. […] Weather Or Not, Winter Fests Ahead (Great Lakes Gazette) […]

  2. Thx for festival info. Check out > Don’t Apologize for Winter- Celebrate It!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: