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West End update – Bob Hendrickson – GINCC

So many winter experiences offered in January

Bob Hendrickson, executive director, GINCC

Now that we’re rolling into 2022, make it a point to check out some of the activities happening on the West End of Marquette County.

A slew of events are on the docket and this column will highlight some of the best happening.

Time to get the fat bike tire pressure dialed in and the skinny skis waxed up. On Jan. 15-16, the non-profit org Go Get Outside will be hosting the Fat-Ish & Skinny-Ish races at Al Quaal Recreation Area in Ishpeming.

The Fat-Ish is a snow bike race held on Saturday, January 15 and the Skinny-Ish is cross country ski race to be held the day after on Sunday.

In addition to the races, the tubing hill at Al Quaal will be open free of charge to the public on Saturday, complements of Go Get Outside. For more information go to www.fat-ish.com.

A couple days later on Tuesday, Jan. 18, the Ishpeming Ski Club will be hosting the 135th Annual Ski Jumping Tournament at the U.P. Nordic Ski Complex-Home of Suicide Hill ski jump.

This will be an evening event with jumping starting at 6pm. Enjoy tailgating and bonfires while watching top-level ski jumpers compete for the win.

Event booster buttons are currently on sale. Admission is $15 in advance, $20 day of with kids 12 and under free.

For more information and updates go to the ISC website at www.ishskiclub.com or visit their Facebook page.

Are you more interested in actually skiing? The weekend following the ski jumping tournament is the Noquemanon Ski Marathon.

The event features several races including a full marathon which start in Ishpeming, a half marathon and a 12-kilometer race. All races finish at the Superior Dome in Marquette.

Even if you don’t ski there are plenty of opportunities to volunteer. For more information and all the details go to www.noquemanon.com.

But wait there’s more! The grand-daddy of them all. The myth, the legend Heikki Lunta is returning to Negaunee, Jan. 28-29.

The Heikki Lunta Winter Festival will be a celebration all things winter with a downtown Negaunee ski and snowboard rail jam on Friday evening, an ice fishing contest on Teal Lake on Saturday, U.P. Luge Club and Ishpeming Ski Club activities, a snowshoe lantern tour in Old Town and snow bike racing.

The events conclude with fireworks display on Saturday night.

Past Heikki Lunta festivals have been organized by several different organizations.

This year the Negaunee Downtown Development Authority has taken on the role of organization it. Details can be found on Facebook by searching Heikki Lunta Winter Festival, Downtown Negaunee.

To learn more about what’s going on in the area, visit www.gincc.org or give us a call 906-486-1111. Our hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday and the office is located at 910 U.S. 41 West in front Jubilee Foods & Fuel.

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.

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