2014-02-13 / Front Page

Lantern Launch Among Snowsfest Highlights

By Paul Gingras


In preparation for Snowsfest 2014, and keeping with this year’s 1970s theme, members of the Les Cheneaux Beautification Committee place these rockin’ KISS snow buddies out at Pammi’s Restaurant in Cedarville. Pictured (from left) are Margie Denoyer, Laurel Jellison, Bob “Lakeside” Smith, and Barb Smith. In preparation for Snowsfest 2014, and keeping with this year’s 1970s theme, members of the Les Cheneaux Beautification Committee place these rockin’ KISS snow buddies out at Pammi’s Restaurant in Cedarville. Pictured (from left) are Margie Denoyer, Laurel Jellison, Bob “Lakeside” Smith, and Barb Smith. Snowsfest participants since the 1970s will see familiar fashions this year as snow buddies, businesses, adults, and children set their styles for “groovy” at the Les Cheneaux Islands area’s winter celebration. Centered at Hessel Thursday, February 13, through Sunday, February 16, Snowsfest’s food, athletics, art, demonstrations, and games offer plenty for everyone. Everyone comes together at the frozen Lake Huron shoreline for the Frosty 10K, the sky lantern launch, games, or free ice fishing. Snowsfest is a blizzard of events.

Longtime volunteer Linda Sherlund said her first Snowsfest in ’76 hosted an impressive array of snow sculptures, a tradition that will continue this year, as the impressive snowfall offers prime conditions. Chamber of Commerce president Greg Wagner pointed out that the sculptures capture the essence of the carnival: fun in the snow. Mr. Wagner particularly enjoys sculptures that encourage youngsters to participate, like those with built-in slides offered in winters past.

Year after year, people who head south for the winter make a point of returning to Les Cheneaux for the festival, Mrs. Sherlund told The St. Ignace News.

Colleen and Mike Hamberg of Cedarville and Ohio return whenever they can. Mr. Hamberg helps at Saturday morning’s pancake and sausage breakfast served by the local snowmobile club at Les Cheneaux Community Schools in Cedarville at 7:30 a.m.

Mrs. Sherlund organizes Saturday’s popular poker run. Registration is 11:30 a.m. at the warming tent. Participants visit as many businesses as possible, playing their hands and collecting stamps. In the evening, winners are announced, prizes offered, and bragging rights achieved. It’s is a lot of fun, she said.

As part of the preparation committee, Mrs. Sherlund is involved with the project as a whole. She moves from event to event to help where she’s needed. She enjoys the Snowman Burning, a symbol that much of winter has run its course and spring is on the way. The flammable snowman, built by local art students, is set afire at 10 a.m. near the Kitty Cat racetrack.

Indoor activities include the Les Cheneaux Community Library Book Sale from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and continuing Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Cedarville. The Winter Makers Market at the Clark Township Community Center is 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

But for the most part, Snowsfest is a chance to get outside. It offers two new ways to do it this year, Friday’s Winter Bird Watching Trip and Sunday’s Winter Wonderland Dog Walk.

Saturday’s Kitty Cat and Mini-120 snowmobile races are on the ice of Hessel Bay. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. with races at 10:30 a.m. Registration for Sunday’s Frosty 5K walk/ run and 10K race starts at 10 a.m. at the Islander Bar. The race is at 11 a.m. This time the athlete with the best ’70s costume wins a prize.

Weather permitting, a sky-lanternlaunch at the marina area will set glowing lights sailing high over Hessel Bay 8 p.m. Saturday night. This activity was a hit last year. The committee has doubled the number of lanterns and encourages donations to cover the cost.

Registration for racing down the hill at the school, the cardboard sledding competition is Friday at 4:30 p.m. at the school will add adult age groups. The race at 5 p.m. serves as a fifth-grade field trip fundraiser this year. Students will help run the contest,

Mr. Wagner said.

Snowsfest participants will wear buttons sporting a wintery design by fifth grade Cedarville student Jay Freel that depicts mountains of snow. The $5 button is required to get into events. It comes with a raffle ticket offering the chance to win prizes. The grand prize is a $1,000 shopping spree using 20, $50 gift certificates at businesses in the Hessel, Cedar- ville, and Pickford areas. Second prize is a two-night, two-person getaway at Drummond Island Resort. Third prize is a television.

For a complete schedule of activities, see the Snowsfest advertisement in this issue, pages 10 and 11.

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