Category Archives: Events

48th Annual International 500 Snowmobile Race in Sault Ste. Marie, MI

Are you up for an adventure? 500 miles of thrills, spills, and chills are waiting for you at the 48th International 500 Endurance Snowmobile Race. The I-500, as locals call it, is February’s answer to cabin fever for over 10,000 spectators. For $20 dollars admission you can watch 38 teams race over 100mph through the straightaway for a prize purse worth tens of thousands of dollars.

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Did I mention that they race on a one mile ice oval track? Yes, ice. It takes three weeks, 1,800,000 gallons of water, and freezing temperatures to create the track.

You’ve never been, you say?!? What’s to do, you ask?!? Between laps watching the snowmobiles careen around the ice track you might wander through the Top of the Lake Vintage Snowmobile Show. Sleds representing nearly every decade since the dawn of the snow machine are present. Admission is included with the purchase of a button.

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The I-500 race has a tailgate atmosphere filled with festive social spectators. Bring your cooler or purchase food and beverage from the local vendors that line the infield. Join the fun to chase away your winter blues, but remember to dress really warm. You never know what the weather has in store for the Eastern Upper Peninsula during early February.

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Truth be told, you can turn your Saturday I-500 Race adventure into a weeklong excursion.

One week before the race join Sault Ste. Marie for the Downtown Winter Ice Festival. Saturday, January 30th, watch as ice carvers go head-to-head to chip, chisel, and saw ice creations before your very eyes. Monday night bring your ice skates and join in for skating on the smooth one mile oval track. Tuesday through Thursday afternoons watch as teams practice and jockey for position in time trials. Ramp up Thursday night with the 20 lap Woody’s Challenge Pro-Am Race, followed by the Downtown Pub Crawl.

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Friday night cast your vote for the 2016 Miss I-500 with your pocketbook; all funds donated to the Pink Ribbon Riders Breast Cancer patient assistance fund. Admission is free. Stick around after the crowning to watch the kids tear up the track in the Mini-5 Race. Enjoy the crackling bon-fire as Friday night wines down and you prepare for the fun of Saturday morning.

So pack up the vehicle (and/or sleds) and make your way to Sault Ste. Marie for a day (or week) filled with fun and excitement.

 

Don’t Lose That Pullar Feeling

We’re pleased to share that Saturday April 18, 2015 the Pullar Stadium moved on to Phase II ofHockeytown photo the Kraft Hockeyville USA contest! The Hockeyville prize of $150,000 for the stadium and the chance to host a preseason NHL game on home ice would be an enormous boost for the Sault Ste. Marie community, but the Kraft Hockeyville title would look really good next to our existing title of Hockey Town USA. Please Vote Pullar!

The Kraft Hockeyville USA contest asked individuals to submit a 2,500 character essay that would be judged on passion for hockey, community spirit, and creativity. Over 16,000 essays nominated more than 1,100 hockey arenas in the United States and 1 amongst all that those essays made the Pullar Stadium a top 10 finalist.

With the overwhelming support of the community, Michigan residence, and fantastic people all over the USA the Pullar was voted to a top 4 finalist position after Phase I voting. Be a part of the Phase II excitement and vote April 21-22, 2015 to help secure a top 2 position for the Pullar Stadium in Phase III voting April 27-29. We know! SO MUCH VOTING, but so worth it and your support is truly appreciated and does make a difference! Please vote here.

Local business owner Ron Maleport poured his hockey heart and soul into his winning essay, which you can read below.

PULLAR STADIUM – AN ICE RINK RICH IN HISTORY GIVING THAT “PULLAR FEELING”

by Ronald Maleport

Pullar Stadium in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan was constructed in 1939 and is one of the oldest artificial ice rinks in the U.S. still in operation. The Pullar has always been known for having excellent hard and fast ice. 2014 was the 75th Anniversary of the rink and the community of Sault Ste. Marie has begun a Building Renovation Project to preserve what I call, the “Pullar Feeling” for decades to come. The “Pullar Feeling” to me is that when I walk into the ice rink it feels as familiar as home.

Over the years, the Pullar Stadium has always been the community hub for hockey, figure Photo Shop SKMBT_C22015041307490 1skating, dances, public skating, fishing tournament banquets, the place to see the Circus when it came to town, and much more. It is currently the home ice for the Sault Area High School Blue Devils Hockey Team and the Soo Eagles Jr. “A” Hockey Team. In the past, it has been the home ice of Lake Superior State University’s (Division 1) Laker Hockey Team, the Soo Indians Jr. “B” Hockey Team, and the Detroit Red Wings training camp ice from 1948-1958. Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan is the original “Hockey Town USA”. I remember the Pullar Stadium being adorned with “Hockey Town USA” banners in the 1960’s.

Photo shop SKMBT_C22015041307490 1_edited-1Many a hockey player or figure skater has spent their formative years learning on the ice of the Pullar Stadium. I myself starting playing hockey at the Pullar in the 1960’s and continue to play in a Men’s Hockey League there to this day. I got to meet Gordie Howe and get his autograph sometime in the 1960’s when the Red Wings came to the Sault (pronounced “Sue”) Pullar Stadium. I have many fond memories watching my son practice and play hockey along with my daughter learning to figure skate at the Pullar.

The rink is a great asset to our community and families. It holds great memories for so many SKMBT_C22015041307470community members who watched their children/grandchildren skate for the first time, score their first goal, or adorn a special costume and take to the ice for the Annual Hiawatha Skating Club Figure Skating Revue. The Pullar Stadium has made many people proud of their accomplishments or the accomplishments of their loved ones. The Pullar Stadium has always been a place for people to gather and enjoy a good hockey game. These are the reasons why the Pullar Stadium is loved by the community and community members are giving to preserve that “Pullar Feeling” for a stadium rich in community history. What better ice stadium to have a preseason NHL game in other than the Pullar Stadium?

Fall in Love with The Soo

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Fall in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is like no other. Pull up a seat and enjoy the view or take a drive out to a stunning lighthouse just off the scenic path less traveled.

You don’t HAVE to drive far to find great color; downtown Sault Ste. Marie is bustling with shops, restaurants, freighters, and fall.Portage Fall 2013 Mikel Classen Keep Calm

If you do leave town a gorgeous drive west along the Curly Lewis Highway and then north to Paradise (literally) will take you to the Tahquamenon Falls State Park.

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There’s lots to do in the Soo as the colors begin to change. Sault International Marathon runs rightDSC_1167 into the heart of Oktoberfest in downtown September 27.  Family friendly activities, craft market, barrel tossing and spirits are just a handful things to find at Oktoberfest. There are live bands throughout the day including a traditional Polka Band.Oktoberfest FallJoin us in the Sault for a picture perfect fall. Peak color starts approximately the last week of September first week of October. At this time (9/11/2014) color saturation is less than 10%.

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Sault Ste. Marie Photo Montage: Looking Back at July

Summer can be shy in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Some years 4th of July is our kickoff to the summer season and we are more than ready for sun and fun. July 4 1 July 4 2 Mother nature can be temperamental in our picturesque part of the world. It can be 80 degrees today and mid 60’s tomorrow. Pack one of everything is good advice for visiting the Sault. 7-14-2014 The early morning fog can bring shipping in the Soo Locks to a standstill and without a moment’s notice the sun is shining and we carry on. July 5

July 8

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During July we take full advantage of the sun and the great outdoors in Sault Ste. Marie with festivals and great family events:

  • 4th of July Parade & Fireworks
  • Wednesday Music in the Park
  • Wednesday Farmers Market
  • Sault Tribe Powwow & Summer Gathering
  • Weekly Concerts at John Johnston Historic Home
  • Gus Macker 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament
  • Connor Gorsuch Kids Fishing Day
  • Rendezvous in the Sault last full weekend in July

july 15July 7 3     Boats in the St. Marys River are always a summer draw. Whether it’s the Sugar Island Ferry navigating the treacherous current or the thousand foot freighters quietly gliding up and down the river the boats are mesmerizing.  Take a Soo Locks Boat Tour and you might get to sail with the freighters.

The sun has set on July but here in the Upper Peninsula we are comforted by the knowledge that these amazing sunsets are ours year round.
For more great photos please visit I Love Sault Ste. Marie Facebook page.July 20

Soo Locks open March 25

The calendar tells us that spring has sprung, but if you live in the eastern half of the country, you know we’ve been living through something of a Modern Ice Age. In the coming weeks, an annual rite of passage (literally!) will take place and Sault Ste. Marie is offering ring-side seats. Come see a spectacular battle as Great Lakes cargo ships and ice breakers take on the forces of nature on the St. Marys River. 

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Photo Credit: US Army Corps of Engineers

On March 25th the Soo Locks will open for the season, connecting Lake Superior to the rest of the Great Lakes. That, however, will require vessels to conquer a barricade in the form of a 45-mile river system that is covered in a continuous sheet of ice.  Beyond the river, most Lake Superior ports are still packed with ice.  Duluth, Minnesota has experienced one of its top 4 worst winters in history.

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Photo Credit: US Army Corps of Engineers

If you’ve never seen an ice breaker at work; or have never seen a snow-encrusted freighter; or have always wanted to join the celebration of welcoming the first ship through the Locks – this is your year. From 9am – 3pm on March 25, the Soo Locks Visitors Center will be open with hot coffee and a chance to see the Soo Locks in rare form. Traditionally, this is the day we will welcome the first ship through the Locks, but the exact day and time of arrival is always unknown until a day or so before. Monitor our Facebook page for updates on the exact time of arrival.

Let’s be honest – you’ve had enough of shoveling and ice and freezing temperatures. Come help us cheer on the icebreakers and send old man winter packing!

Thank you “Macker Backers” for a great event!

Ask almost anyone who has visited the Upper Peninsula and you’ll hear stories of friendly, down-to-earth people who are warm and welcoming. It’s only when you live in one of those communities that you understand that generosity is also part of the genetic make-up. Case in point: the Gus Macker event held in July. From big dollar donors to in-kind vendors, an entire community caught “Macker fever” and the result was a great event with 108 participating teams and $3,300 raised for worthwhile charities.

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We take this opportunity to thank these major sponsors for their contributions. They are as follows:

  • Sault Downtown Development Authority (Gold Level)
  • Sault Convention and Visitors Bureau (Gold Level)
  • Kewadin Casino & Conventions Center (Gold Level)
  • Subway (Gold Level)
  • Wal Mart (Silver Level)
  • McDonalds (Bronze Level)
  • Smith & Company Realty (Bronze Level)
  • The Soo Corner Store (Bronze Level)
  • Soo Motors (Bronze Level)
  • War Memorial Hospital (Bronze Level)
  • Sault Men’s Basketball (Copper Level)
  • Applebee’s Restaurant (Copper Level)
  • Arfstrom’s Pharmacies (Copper Level)
  • Cloverland Electric (Copper Level)
  • Cooper Dental Services (Copper Level)
  • Harmony Health Foods (Copper Level)
  • Kinross Lions Club (Copper Level)
  • Old Mission Bank (Copper Level)
  • Rodenroth Motors (Copper Level)
  • Soo Co-Op Credit Union (Copper Level)
  • West Pier Apartments (Copper Level)
  • MBank (Copper Level)
  • Allure Dance Company (Copper Level)
  • Super Valu (Copper Level)

Cash donations were also received from: Antler’s Restaurant, Best Western, Bordertown Chiropractic, Buffalo Wild Wings, Checkered Flag Party Store, Chippewa Motors Inc., Edward Jones (Weber/Osterhout), Elks Youth Committee, Federal Employees Credit Union, Frank’s Place, Fudge du Locke, H & R Block, Holiday Inn Express, Island Books & Crafts, Judge Elizabeth Church, Little Caesar’s Pizza, Lockview Restaurant, Marchetti Distributing, Moloney’s Alley, Palace Saloon, Pampered Chef (DuVall), Parker’s Ace Hardware, Precision Edge, Rotary Club of Sault Ste. Marie, Siesel Eye Care, and Soo Locks Lodge & Suites.

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We hand out honorable “Macker Mention”  for those who went above and beyond:

  • Marchetti Distributing
  • Newberry Bottling
  • Parker Ace Hardware
  • Blue Wizard Entertainment
  • US Air Force
  • 1537th Michigan Nation Guard
  • M & C Water Systems
  • Malette Construction
  • National Office Products
  • Graham Trucking
  • Sault Ste. Marie Parks & Recreation/Water Department
  • Smith Sanitation
  • Grooves Music
  • Spartan Distributors (Toro Tractors)
  • Sault Auxilary Police
  • Coca Cola Bottling Company of MI
  • Sault Printing
  • Eagle Radio
  • Sovereign Communication
  • City Engineering Department

Like all events, there are those people who pitch in and help in ways that can’t adequately be described. We’re calling them “Macker Attackers” and we couldn’t have done it without them.

  • Jack Horka
  • Pam Pomeroy
  • Dewey Baldwin
  • Dean Auger & Staff
  • Pat Godin
  • Glen Bathrick
  • Bob Moraski
  • Laura & Joey Shawhan
  • Deanna Sutton Kreski
  • Mariah Goos
  • Jan Bailey & Medical Mash
  • City Manager Spencer Nebel
  • Dan Harris and the “Madrigal Macker Masters”
  • Mayor Anthony and Margaret Bosbous
  • Bill Anderson
  • County Inmates Work Crews (Charlie & Darryl)
  • Young Professionals
  • WOW (Working on Wellness)
  • Tony Haller – Sault Athletic Department
  • Sault Football Volunteers
  • Sault Girls Basketball Volunteers
  • Rudyard Baseball Volunteers
  • Jr. Firehawks
  • The Gus Macker Committee

Last but absolutely not least, we give a special “shout out” to Dennis Brooks, the committee chairperson and tireless champion for this event. Thanks, Dennis!

Finally, it pleases us to tell you that planning is already underway for the 2014 Gus Macker 3-on-3 Basketball tourney in Sault Ste. Mare. Mark your calendar to play b-ball in the shadow of freighters July 19-20, 2014. Monitor our events page for details in the coming months.

 

The Wonders of Wednesday: Markets and Music

If you visit Sault Ste. Marie only on a weekend, you might be missing one of the best days of the week. There’s a special something in the air on Wednesday nights in “the Soo” – especially Downtown.  While the attractions that make the city irresistible – the Soo Locks, a variety of museums, historic churches, boat cruises and more – are still on the menu, two special offerings can be found only on Wednesday evenings.

DSC_2502 Farmer's Market

It starts with the Farmer’s Market, located at the corner of Portage Avenue and Ashmun Street. From 4-7pm, local farmers share the bounty of their gardens and fields throughout the summer season. From arugula to zucchini, those interested in locally-grown goods will have plenty of options. But it’s more than just vegetables and fruit. Fresh fish, poultry, eggs, baked goodies, canned jams, pickles and more…and the list goes on and on.

There are also non-edibles for sale. For instance, when we mention the word “hoop” – you probably expect to hear about produce grown in a hoop house, but at the Sault Farmer’s Market, you can also find HOOLA HOOPS! (And jewelry, and hand-carved items, and so much more.)

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It’s a good thing the Farmer’s Market closes at 7pm, because that’s when you’ll need to be at the Soo Locks for the weekly “Music in the Park” series. A different act takes the stage each week and the styles of music vary dramatically from week to week. Tomorrow, for instance, the Petoskey Steel Drum Band will perform for what is typically the largest audience of the season. Last week, a trio shared romantic crooner classics and future performances will include Da’ Yoopers, a local rock group, and a banjo band. How’s that for variety?

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Bring a lawn chair, then kick back and listen to the music while watching freighters, Coast Guard vessels, and other watercraft make their way through the Locks nearby. Just when you think a perfect summer evening can’t get any better – did I mention this is free?

Have you caught Wednesday fever? The only known cure is to plan your Sault Ste. Marie visit to include what some call “Hump Day” but we simply refer to it as Wonderful Wednesday! See you Downtown!

Tall Ships sail on St. Mary’s River

During a six-day period later this month, as many as eight Tall Ships are expected to sail the St. Mary’s River at Sault Ste. Marie, including transit through the famous Soo Locks.

Like a parade passing by our front door, these spectacular vessels will travel from a variety of locations between the dates of July 19 and July 25 en route to a gathering in Duluth, MN. Visitors lucky enough to stake out a spot at Alford Park, the Soo Locks observation platforms or dozens of other prime viewing points in the area will get quite a show.

Flagship Niagara

Flagship Niagara

At least three ships are expected to stay in the area on the Canadian side for three-days: the Flagship Niagara, the Pride of Baltimore II, and the Privateer Lynx. These vessels are part of a Tall Ships 1812 Tour happening throughout Ontario. (That’s one of the perks of visiting a border town – you can enjoy events on both sides of the bridge!) The Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario event is July 19-21.

Pride of Baltimore II

Pride of Baltimore II

As for the additional Tall Ships, we unfortunately can’t pinpoint the exact date or time they’ll pass Sault Ste. Marie. But we know this for a fact – while waiting to see a Tall Ship, you’re certain to see tugboats, barges, lake freighters, and a variety of other fascinating boats that will keep the waterways hopping and very watchable.

Enter Sault Ste. Marie contest and win cash!

Gone are the days whvideo contest photo 2013en videotaping your favorite summer vacation involved a heavy camera of questionable quality and actual tapes. The word “videotaping” hardly even applies anymore. Instead, many of us have a digital video camera – either as a feature on a smart phone or as part of our digital camera.

What is the best part of the evolution of video? We think it is YOUR ability to enter contests, like this one that will focus on capturing your best day or favorite activity in Sault Ste. Marie.

Levideo via cell phonet’s face it – the advent of the Internet has illustrated how fun, kooky, and downright creative everyday people can be. Who needs a millionaire producer or a carefully-honed script? When people are having fun in a beautiful destination like Sault Ste. Marie – compelling video is only the press of a button away.

The Sault Area Convention & Visitors Bureau wants you to be involved at several levels. Not only can you submit up to 5 videos for the contest, but you also get to help in the voting process by lending your “like” to entries of your choosing on the “I Love Sault Ste. Marie” facebook page. Contest entries will be uploaded by the participant to their own YouTube or Facebook account and then linked to the “I Love Sault Ste. Marie” Facebook page to be eligible for any of the prizes.

Let’s talk about prizes – specifically $750 for first place, $250 for three 2nd place finishers, and $100 for two 3rd place winners. It’s like having someone pay for your camera and your fun!

The hardest part of this video contest? Figuring out which of these great activities you’ll focus on for your video. But don’t forget – video content must focus on those activities within the Sault Ste. Marie city limits. Remember – you can submit up to 5, so try your hand (or your camera) on several!

Be sure to read the rules for entry and then immerse yourself in Sault Ste. Marie. We can’t wait to see you on video!