Second annual fest planned in Negaunee

Brad Ruesing, left, and Dave Nelson work Monday on constructing an outdoor ice bar at Barr's Bar in Negaunee. The outdoor bar — with sculpted ice barstools — will be used during this weekend's Heikki Lunta Winter Festival in Negaunee. (Journal photo by Renee Prusi)

NEGAUNEE — The second annual Heikki Lunta Winter Festival, hosted by the Upper Peninsula Luge Club, is set for Friday and Saturday in Negaunee.

The festival parade will take place on Iron Street in downtown Negaunee at 7 p.m. Friday.

Parade line-up will begin along Tobin Street at 6 p.m. The parade will turn onto Iron Street and proceed to Negaunee’s Breitung Park Bandshell where parade units will be dismissed.

A short program of introductions by various members of the community will be presented following the parade. The Negaunee Elks Lodge will be open to the public as a “warming center” and people are invited inside for coffee, hot chocolate and chili.

For the festival weekend, Barr’s Bar is creating an outside bar and barstools made of ice. Owner Kim Barr said there will be hot dogs and hamburgers for sale, with the profits being donated to the Old Town Disc Golf project.

Dave Nelson, front, and Brad Ruesing work on the ice bar that will be outside of Barr’s Bar in Negaunee for this weekend’s Heikki Lunta Festival. Barr’s Bar also will be selling hot dogs and hamburgers during the festival, with proceeds going to the Old Town Disc Golf project in Negaunee. (Jounal photo by Renee Prusi)

Saturday will see an entire day devoted to Heikki Lunta, the mythical Finnish-American “snow god.”

The Negaunee Eagle Club will host a “Pannu Kakku” breakfast in the morning, a lunch will be held at the Negaunee Senior Center and beginning at 3 p.m. the public is invited to watch their pasty being made at the Negaunee Elks and will then be able to have it for dinner fresh and hot out of the oven.

The Negaunee Senior Center will also be hosting programs and displays throughout the day.

Events will take place on the west end of Iron Street all day with games, and food. Some of the games available will be a Human Foosball game, Ice Turkey Bowling and a “Crapper Dash” — a toilet will be mounted on skis and one person must push the other for a time.

There will be a warm fire during the day on Saturday and also a vintage snowmobile display. Two local bars will expand their public areas and drinking will be allowed outside of their premises. From 4-6 p.m., Wil Kilpela and Friends will be providing dance music at the Negaunee Eagles.

By 6 p.m., organizers will turn the warming fire into a bonfire and at 7 p.m. the City of Negaunee will be treated to a dazzling fireworks display on the west end of Iron Street.

During Saturday evening most of the bars and clubs will feature live entertainment with some of the biggest local bands including rock and country music.

The schedule:


– 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Negaunee YMCA offers saunas for $2 per person

– 2-5 p.m. U.P. Luge Club offers Learn to Luge for all ages at Lucy Hill. A bonfire, hot chocolate, popcorn and hot dogs will be provided. $10 a person, $20 per family

– 5-9 p.m. Negaunee Elks Lodge 1116 offers warmth and refreshments for all, Tanja Paasikas Stanaway will provide music starting at 6 p.m.

– 6-9 p.m. Jackson’s Pit has Meet the Brewer with Upper Hand Brewing Co. The Pit Crew provides music starting at 6 p.m.

– 7 p.m. Kippis Lunta Cheers to Snow Parade, down Iron Street, followed by opening ceremonies at Breitung Park and the crowning of Heikki Lunta 2018 and the presentation of the first annual Heikki Lunta Sisu Award

– 7 p.m. VFW Post 3165 presents Video Jukebox

– 8 p.m. Chapper’s Pub presents Breakwall Comedy

– 8-11 p.m. Barr’s Bar presents Alexis Mattson

– 8-11 p.m. Smarty’s Saloon presents Iron Daisy Acoustic


Around town

– 9 a.m.-noon Negaunee Eagles Club hosts Pannu Kakku breakfast

– 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Negaunee YMCA offers saunas for $2 per person

– 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Negaunee Senior Center has refreshments, soup, sandwiches and juustoa (Finnish cheese) on sale. Also at the senior center: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Finnish-American Heritage Center display “Kalevala: Poetry and Perspectives,’ Finnish loge chapels and Finnish icon paintings; from noon to 5 p.m. a bake sale to benefit for the Upper Peninsula Luge Club and sale of Stormy Kromer caps saluting Heikki Lunta; 2-3 p.m. Tanja Paasikas Stanaway teaches some Finnish songs; 3-4 p.m. Bob Buchkoe talks on Jean Sibelius, noted Finnish composer; 4-5 p.m. Gary Rasmussen talks about the sport of ski jumping

– noon-5 p.m. U.P. Luge Club offers Learn to Luge for all ages at Lucy Hill. A bonfire, hot chocolate, popcorn and hot dogs will be provided. $10 a person, $20 per family. This will be offered again from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday

– 1 p.m. Suicide Hill will be the site of ski jumping

– 1-3 p.m. St. Paul’s Catholic Church School Gym will be the site for the Negaunee School System Heikki Lunta Art Show, organized by the Knights of Columbus of Negaunee

– 3-7 p.m. Negaunee Elks 1116 hosts a pasty dinner

– 4-6 p.m. Negaunee Elks Club presents Wil Kilpela and Friends

– 4:30-7 p.m. VFW Post 3165 offers a beef stew dinner

Old Town and Iron Street areas

– noon Old Town will be site for Old School Snowmobile Show

– noon Yooper Obstacle Course, adults and kids

– 1 p.m. Trenary Toast Eating Contest

– 1:30 p.m. Chook Chuck

– 2 p.m. Yooper Scoop Scramble, adults and kids

– 3 p.m. Crapper Dash

– 4 p.m. Ice Turkey Bowling

– 5 p.m. Human Foosball Tournament

– 6 p.m. Yoopers vs. Trolls Tug of War

– 6 p.m. Lighting of big bonfire and closing remarks

– 7 p.m. Fireworks over Old Town

– 8-11 p.m. Chapper’s Pub presents Derrell Syria Project

– 8 p.m.-midnight Iron Spur presents Trailer Hitch

– 9 p.m.-1 a.m. Barr’s Bar presents Flat Broke Blues Band


– Heritage Hills Horseback Riding offers Wooded Winter Wonderland Sleigh Rides, call 361-8768 for times and prices