In the midst of all this white and cold, the Greater Ishpeming-Negaunee Area Chamber of Commerce is looking to add some color and get you outside. If you are anything like me you are dying to take back your winter after this Polar Vortex (aka winter hurricane) has kept us all inside and bundled up. My snowshoes have not yet seen the light of day and my sleds have only come out twice. I am in desperate need of some fresh air (even if it is a little cold) and some sunshine.
The 2nd Annual Arctic Blast Color Dash is coming up Saturday and hopes to offer both. This 5K Snowshoe Walk/Run takes place through the pristine Ishpeming Hills trails, which are sure to be full of color once our racers go through. The race is untimed soit's a perfect opportunity for you to enjoy the winter at your own pace. With your registration, you will receive a white long-sleeve T-shirt (we'll add the color during the race) and a chance to win some great prizes. You'll also receive a hat and water bottle, courtesy of SIR Federal Credit Union.
A huge thank you has to go out to our sponsors for supporting this unique event. Without their assistance this event would not be as successful for the Chamber, the community, and the area nonprofits with which we share the proceeds. The Country Village and Wilderness Sports have been advocates for this event since its inception and without them we would not have either the trails or the snowshoes for racers to borrow. We are also thankful for the amazing support from Eagle Mine and SIR Federal Credit Union as our Blizzard Sponsors. Additional thanks must go to Bell Hospital, Lake Effect Entertainment, Eagle Radio and Marquette County Convention and Visitors Bureau, as well as SEMCO, ABC Storage, McDonalds, Anytime Fitness, Upper Peninsula Power Company, TruNorth Federal Credit Union, Active Physical Therapy-Ishpeming, Fox Negaunee and 906 Technology.
With their support, these sponsors have brought members of our community together, supported the chamber and the five area nonprofits that have coordinated volunteers for the Color Stations. Another thank you has to go out to those organizations for committing volunteers. Thank you YMCA, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Marquette & Alger Counties, The US Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame, Ishpeming Public Schools "I Club" and the Negaunee Irontown Association are the 'sponsors' of this year's color stations.
Speaking of the Negaunee Irontown Association we want you to stick around the West End for the day and enjoy the Heikki Lunta Winter Festival, which ends with bonfires and fireworks over Teal Lake. Other happenings during the 18th to fill the afternoon include the Art & Sip taking place at 1 p.m. the Nook and Cranny Art Studio in the Old GossardBuilding/Pioneer Square Mall. Find more color during the winter as you learn how to dye a silk scarf. With all of the activities on Saturday, I think that we will all remember that we choose to live here, and survive these winters, for a reason. Our community and our neighbors are why we make this area our home.
As a reminder, you can register online at www.gincc.org or stop into the Chamber. Find us on facebook to get updates on this year, see the photos and get a heads-up for next year.
Editor's note: Kori Tossava is director of the Greater Ishpeming-Negaunee Area Chamber of Commerce