Snowsfest Features ‘Dr. Seuss’ Theme
The 2017 Les Cheneaux Snowsfest, Thursday, February 16, to Sunday, February 19, is the 56th annual iteration of the winter event. Snow sculptures, snow buddies, and costumes will reflect this year’s theme of “Dr. Seuss in the Snows.” A fishing contest and snowmobile events will be part of the festival lineup.
Each year, the main activities are in either Hessel or Cedarville. This year the majority of activities and the warming tent will be in Cedarville. Some events will occur in Hessel, including several at the historic Hessel School House.
Ryane Miller, a fourth grade student at the Les Cheneaux district, won this year’s contest to design the button for the festival. Each year children at the school are encouraged to submit a design based on the theme. The buttons are used as a substitute for traditional admission tickets.
The Les Cheneaux Islands Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with local businesses and associations, is organizing Snowsfest. The largest wintertime event for the community, this year’s event will host nearly two dozen family activities, contests, presentations, and showcases.
Families can enjoy a variety of events all weekend, including the everpopular cardboard box sled races, along with a birding tour, a winter market, a book sale, and hayrides on the Les Cheneaux Snowmobile Club’s trail groomer.
Those interested in participating in the sled races should fashion their own cardboard box sled to be used during the event at Les Cheneaux Schools Saturday, February 18, beginning at 9 a.m.
The Friends of the Les Cheneaux Community Library will host the book sales, Friday, February 17, from 1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Saturday, February 18, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to support the library’s general operations.
The groomer rides will take place in Cedarville Saturday, February 18, from noon to 2 p.m.
A poker run and also a vintage snowmobile ride will offer enthusiasts a chance to enjoy their sleds during the events. In addition, the Great Lakes Antique Snowmobile Series will host an all-day racing event on Hessel Bay featuring numerous age groups and classes of snowmobiles. Entry costs are $25 for short lap races, and $125 for the Enduro series, or longer races. The Les Cheneaux Snowmobile Club will also host a pancake breakfast fundraiser to help support their trail grooming efforts, Saturday, February 18, from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Local artisans will be displaying their crafts for purchase at the Clark Township Community Center Saturday, February 18, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday, February 19, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Hessel School House. Attendees can peruse a variety of items from art and quilts to locally roasted coffee.
Each year’s Snowsfest features the ceremonial snowman burning to hasten the arrival of spring. The art class at Cedarville High School designed the snowman to be burned, Saturday, February 18, at 11:30 a.m.
Thursday, February 16
• 8 a.m.: Pike and Perch Fishing Contest, continues through dark on Sunday, February 19. Cash prizes for top three fish in adult and youth divisions, with $100 Grand Prize in adult division for largest pike and perch, $10 adult and $5 youth registration fee. Must register before fishing. Register and measure fish at Cedarville EZ Mart. Winners will be notified by phone Monday, February 20.
• 5 p.m. - Bingo at the Historic Hessel School House, doors open at 5 p.m., and bingo starts at 6 p.m. Bingo daubers and beverages sold at the school. The school entrance is at 3206 West Cedar Road in Hessel, or M-134, just west of the 3-Mile Road/M-134 intersection. All proceeds benefit the Hessel School House operations, and the Avery Arts and Nature Learning Center programs.
Friday, February 17
• 1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.: Friends of the Les Cheneaux Community Library Book Sale at the Library on Hodeck Street, Cedarville
• 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.: Winter Warm-Up at the Great Lakes Boat Building School – open house with hot beverages and live music. Everyone is welcome to tour the school, and musicians are encouraged to come and jam with the band.
• 5 p.m.: Snow Statue and Snow Buddy Judging – Must be registered by 4 p.m., Friday, February 17, to be judged; register by calling 484-3935 or email email@example.com.
• 5 p.m. through Friday evening: Snowsfest Pub Shuffle – visit Cattail’s Cove, Hessel Kewadin Casino, Islander Bar, Runway, and Snow’s Bar and Grill to vote on the favorite bar. Ballots are available at each establishment. Must visit all establishments and complete entire ballot for votes to be counted. Themed costumes encouraged.
Saturday, February 18
• 8 a.m. U.P. Birding Adventure – Join Michigan Sea Grant Extension educator Elliot Nelson for a full day of birding around the Eastern Upper Peninsula, see snowy owls, songbirds, and other winter birds. Registration is required through Little Traverse Conservancy’s Web site, landtrust.org, with limited spots available.
• 8 a.m. to 11 am: Pancake and Sausage Breakfast at the Les Cheneaux Community Schools cafeteria, served by Les Cheneaux Snowmobile Club, $6 for adults, $4 for children, and ages 4 and younger eat free.
• 9 a.m.: Cardboard Box Sled Races – Create your own Dr. Seuss-themed sled, or any style of decoration welcome. Race will be at the Les Cheneaux Community Schools sledding hill in Cedarville; parking is available at the elementary school lot on Hilltop Drive. All ages welcome. Registration begins at 9 a.m., and racing at 10 a.m.
• 10 a.m.: Vintage Snowmobile Ride from Hessel to Cedarville, followed by display of vintage sleds at Snowsfest in Cedarville. Everyone is welcome, and those interested will meet at the E.J. Mertaugh Boat Works, in Hessel. Ride from the clubhouse to the Cedarville, where sleds will be displayed at the Snowsfest site. Snowmobiles 25 years and older are invited to the ride and rendezvous. E.J. Mertaugh Boat Works will have a warm-up spot and hot drinks for riders before the ride leaves for Cedarville.
• 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Friends of the Les Cheneaux Community Library Book Sale continues at the Library on Hodeck Street, Cedarville.
• 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Les Cheneaux Winter Makers Market arts and crafts show at the Clark Township Community Center, Cedarville. Fine art photography, glass, fiber arts, quilts, handmade soap, pottery, locally roasted coffee, and much more will be available for purchase.
• 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Ice Hole Closest to the Pin Competition. Registration at Snowsfest tent with location to be determined, and shooting starts at 11 a.m. $10 registration with a Snowsfest button for three shots at getting ball closest to the pin, prizes awarded.
• 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Hot Dogs and Hot Drinks Concession in the Snowsfest Warm-up Tent in Cedarville.
• 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Chili Cook Off: Commercial, Restaurant, and Individual Divisions. Chili entries must be at the Snowsfest tent in Cedarville between 10:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. Free entry for cook-off contestants, and tasters buy tickets to vote for favorite chili.
• 11:30 a.m.: Ceremonial Snowman Burning and Blessing of Snowsfest – Cedarville launch ramp and park area on Meridian Street, with Pastor Joe Daiker of Bethel Lutheran Church, Cedarville
• 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.: Poker Run Registration in the Snowsfest Tent, Hessel. Ride, walk, or run to the following locations to collect stamps: Albany Bar, Ang-Gio’s Restaurant, Cattail’s Cove, Cedarville EZ Mart, Islander Bar and Grill, Kewadin Casino of Hessel, Raber Bay Bar n’ Restaurant, Runway Bar of Hessel, Snow’s Bar and Grill of Cedarville, Yooperman Bar of Goetzville.
• Noon: Kids Games and Frozen Fish Toss at the Snowsfest Tent
• Noon to 2 p.m.: Les Cheneaux Snowmobile Club Groomer-Drawn Hay Rides in Cedarville, near Snowsfest activity tent.
• 2 p.m.: Emergency Ice Rescue Demonstration by the U.S. Coast Guard near Snowsfest activity tent, downtown Cedarville.
• 3 pm: Winter Wonderland Dog Walk – An informal winter dog walk through downtown Cedarville. Goody bags for the pets and hot beverages will be provided. Please walk dogs on leashes. Donations to the Friends of the Animals will be accepted.
• 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.: Poker Run Ends at Snow’s Bar and Grill, on Park Avenue, Cedarville. Awards to follow.
Sunday, February 19
• 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Les Cheneaux Winter Market Sip n’ Shop at the Hessel School House, Hessel. The school entrance is at 3206 West Cedar Road in Hessel, or M- 134, just west of the 3-Mile Road/M-134 intersection. Local meats, eggs and produce, art and crafts, freshly roasted hot coffee and beans to go, and Les Cheneaux Culinary School student creations.
Monday, February 20
• 5 p.m.: Drawing for the Snowsfest raffle at the Les Cheneaux Welcome Center, Cedarville.