Chamber Director's Blog

"The Season" has started!

An early morning shower has just now ceased here at the Chamber office in the Historic Ironwood Depot--the first rain after several glorious days of SUN.  The Ironwood Area Historical Society volunteer guides are back in action at the Depot, where they staff it Monday through Friday from noon to 4:00 p.m. and on Saturday mornings.  Already traveling folks from MN, lower MI, WI, IL, MT, and other spots have stopped in for maps, local Chamber member information, and to tour the museum.  A new History guide this year is Ed Lakner, retired IHS teacher, who has a fount of local knowledge!  Stop in and say hi to Ed on Wednesdays!    Email notice just came in this morning that the U.P. Cruising Motorcycle Guide for the entire U.P. is now in press and distribution to our office will be very soon.  The Ironwood Chamber of Commerce did a 1/2 page ad in this year's edition, highlighting 6 "don't miss" Ironwood attractions.  Thousands of bikers criss-cross the U.P. every summer, and this guide, with its excellent maps (arranged East to West) is a wonderful travel helpmate (even for non-bikers!).   One of our Ironwood attractions (since 1964) has been the Hiawatha statue.  This past week I applied (yes, I did it myself with some computer help from Al and Tabetha) for a project grant from the Michigan Arts and Cultural Affairs office.  Of course, I don't know if we will get a grant award from them, but I did apply.  Currently, Hiawatha has about $14K in his restoration account, but the bid for complete repair and restoration came in at $24K--so any and all help to get to that number is needed (gofundme.com/Hiawatha2016)!   Lastly, for those of you who follow this blog, late June/early July will see the overhaul of this website homepage.  It is hoped that new features, new layout, and direct streaming links to our Facebook page (now with 1,190 friends!) will help improve our outreach and make for easier knowledge transmission.   Chamber member Al Estola, (Al's Computers) will be implementing the technical adjustments with content/visuals input ideas from our Board of Directors and members.   More than ever before it seems that travelers utilize that phone in their pocket for information and travel tips.  Have a more friendly and attractive homepage will allow us to better serve these folks.  Within about a week I should have the 2017 Festival Ironwood Calendar of Events up.  At the committee meeting last week, it looks like all the pieces are just about in place for an outstanding 25th Anniversary Festival Ironwood (July 19-22) at Depot Park, Downtown Ironwood.