Discover the West End winter fun

Hendrickson

The Greater Ishpeming-Negaunee Area Chamber of Commerce invites you to Discover the West End. Started as a social media campaign several years ago by the GINCC, Discover the West End encourages people to explore the Greater Ishpeming-Negaunee Area and to share those experiences online using the hashtag #DiscovertheWestEnd.

To get started there are several events and activities coming up in January that we hope people will discover to have winter fun.

Join us on Jan. 18 and 19 for the annual Heikki Lunta Festival in downtown Negaunee hosted by the Upper Peninsula Luge Club. Events will kick off on Friday, Jan. 18 with an opening ceremony parade down Iron Street followed by the Freeze Your Fanny snow bike race and fun run. For those who are looking for a warm place to gather, the Vista Theater will be featuring the Frozen Follies stage show.

On Saturday, Jan. 19, events kick off with a Pannu Kakku (Finnish baked pancake) Breakfast at the Negaunee Eagles Club. There will be a “tori” (craft market) starting at 10 a.m. along with speakers and presentations throughout the afternoon at the Negaunee Senior Center. At noon, things get crazy with Yooper Feats of Strength featuring the Trenary Toast Eating Contest, Pasty Slingshot, Chook Chuck, Yooper Scoop Scramble and the Goofus Ski Scurry just to name a few. For all the details of the Heikki Lunta Festival go online to upluge.org or look them up on Facebook.

A few days later on Jan. 22 is the 132nd annual Ski Jumping Tournament hosted by the Ishpeming Ski Club. Jumping will take place on the 90-meter hill at Suicide Hill Ski Bowl. The jumping competition starts at 6 p.m. and will last until around 8:30. At the conclusion of the tournament will be fireworks. Booster buttons to attend the tournament are $15 in advance $20 at the gate. Kids 12 and younger are free.

Later this winter on Feb. 9 is the GINCC West End Winter Wonderland, held at the Wawonowin Country Club. This non-competitive event showcases chamber member business stationed along a meandering groomed snow trail woven throughout a portion of golf course. This is one of the GINCC’s annual fundraisers and proceeds go toward supporting operations of the chamber.

The WEWW will be held from 4-7 p.m. and offers participants the opportunity to snowshoe, ski or snow bike the course while engaging in fun activities along the way. This is a family-friendly event and has been gaining in popularity. Come and join us for this fun evening. For more information, go to gincc.org or visit our Facebook page.

These are just a few of the things the West End offers. There is a lot more including tube sliding, skiing or snow shoeing at Al Quaal Recreation Area, ice fishing Teal Lake or Lake Michigamme and snowmobiling, or for those looking to stay indoors, do a day of antiquing at any one of the several antique malls. There is so much to discover at the West End of Marquette County.

Editor’s note: Bob Hendrickson is the executive director of the GINCC. He currently resides in Negaunee with his wife, Laura, and daughter, Sierra. He enjoys mountain biking, skiing, fishing and hunting along with family time.