Chamber Director's Blog

SISU Nordic Ski Race Jan. 4-6.

SISU time has arrived!  SISU Ski Fest begins FRIDAY with the "Depot Dash," a fun ski for kids 10 and under, held at Depot Park in downtown Ironwood.  This event is free and open to all.  The Saturday fest centers around the 31K SISU and 15K Heikki Lunta point-to-point cross country ski races originating at ABR Trails in Erwin Township and terminating in downtown Ironwood.  The portion of the race course between ABR and downtown is groomed for skiing only on SISU weekend, making the race a unique experience for locals and visitors alike.  All participants gather back at the Memorial Building in Ironwood for mojakka (Finnish stew) and pasties, the awards ceremony, and door prize giveaways.  Saturday night SISU hosts a party at the historic Ironwood Theatre featuring the music of Conge se Menne, with their original UP-inspired Finnish reggae!   Doors open at 6pm with the music at 7pm.  This event is free and open to all.  The fest concludes on Sunday with the fat bike Try Out The Trails event at 11am.  Hosted by the SISU Dirt Crew, this event showcases our local fat bike trails at Wolverine, from the Snow Summit Road trailhead on the way to Big Powderhorn.  


I just shoveled my way into the Depot office.  There was not much snow, but the next few days offer hope that there might just be enough "white gold" to make sure all the Winter activities are able to occur.   For those of you who check this page online or on IronwoodGO smartphone app (available free from the app store), you can see what Trail 2 looks like in Ironwood as our Depot webcam points right at it--just outside the office here.  Yesterday, there were a few snowmobilers, and if the forecast snow proves to be a good one, there will be excellent motor and silent winter sports to be had  in Ironwood.  The Chamber does have the current MI snowmobile map, but the Chamber office does not  sell trail passes--you can get them at our Chamber member Cloverland Motorsports out on U.S. 2 (and just 3 blocks off the trail).  

Jack Frost 2018 Raffle Winners

2018 Jack Frost Raffle Winners:   1st = Angela Stengard (group), 2nd = Jerry Synkelma, 3rd = Phil Aho, 4th = Peter Burla, 5th = Gail Mlasko, 6th = Adele Vandenberg, 7th = Andrea Newby, 8th = Ron Tankka, 9th = Denise Jacquart

Jack Frost Festival

This past Wednesday, over 100 people came to watch the tree-lighting of the official Jack Frost Tree, signaling the start of a host of winter events from now until the end of January.  From the famous Jack Frost parade on December 1, at 6:00 p.m. in downtown Ironwood, through music concerts, dance revues, snowmobile racing, SISU Nordic Ski Fest, and even, at last, a giant Christmas tree bonfire, the Jack Frost Festival of events has for 24 years called enjoyable attention to our area's wintertime attractions.  Hopefully the weather will cooperate this year as it did last, and we will have a great outdoor season of snow, respectable cold, and good ski conditions.   If so, and the countless hundreds (thousands, actually) of folks who come to "Find their North" in the land of white appear again, please make sure to welcome them, give them some good "up north" tips on winterland events, and encourage them as well to consider our little corner of the U.P. the place to which they should move and settle in!   Check out for the latest in area events.

A Chill In The Air

October is here, and the Depot furnace has been up and running, doing its tests for serious winter times ahead.  Outside the windows the yellows, oranges, and reds of of the leaves are rapidly advancing to their Fall peak of gloriousness.  Out on Ironwood's Mt. Zion (just north of town by Gogebic Community College) the view across the Gogebic range is most beautiful!  Visitors from near and far have stopped by the Chamber office here this past week as they tour the U.P. during this time of color and brisk Autumn air.  Our Ironwood Chamber Fall Social will be at the Cold Iron Brewing Co. on Thursday, 27 September, and the Western U.P. Chamber Alliance will gather at the Cold Iron on October 3 for their quarterly gathering and catered-in dinner.   Both Chamber events give a chance for members to talk over the "summer season" just concluded as well as what is being planned for the very soon to arrive "winter season."  As one reads of all the events elsewhere, typhoons, hurricanes, earthquakes, storm surges, etc., it is certainly true that now--and especially into the future--"the U.P. is the place to be!"