Spending a summer in our beloved bipeninsular paradise might lead the uninitiated to wonder why everyone doesn’t choose to live in a state that possesses so much natural beauty. With pristine beaches, extensive forests, and a treasure trove of inland lakes and waterways the state has to offer (to say nothing of missing out on the consistent intensity of summer heat found in other regions) there has to be a reason we have maintained a rather steady population over the years rather than a burgeoning brood of wannabe Mitten dwellers.
We’re not saying everyone who calls Michigan home loves winter. Snowmobilers and ice fishing aficionados aside, few look for the arrival of the Old Man with fervid anticipation. But for we lucky ones it is little price to pay for three seasons of often idyllic meteorological magic.
Knowing this, instead of doing the hibernation thing people find ways to not just endure the season, but to revel in it.
The best of this approach to the ‘dark months’ are the winter-related festivals held throughout the state. A chance for residents to shake off a little cold-weather doldrums with some outside fun.
And on Saturday January 28th Winterfest III arrives in Fremont.
Organizers have put together an enticing array of events throughout the town. Some are inside and some are outside but all are part of celebrating the layering season that is upon us.
We caught up with Fremont Chamber of Commerce Board President Genji Leclaire to pose a few questions.
This was originally an idea from The Fremont Recreational Center - Dawn was thinking of ways to get people out of the house during 2020-2021 when we were all staying inside due to Covid.
How did it come together?
Dawn reached out to the Chamber and Boom - everyone loved the idea. The first event took place in early 2021 so this is our Third. The Rec Center championed 2021 and 2022 with lots of fun activities like Snow Mini Golf at Veterans Park, Cardboard Sled Races, Hot Chocolate Truck, Corn Hole Contest, and downtown we posted Poems in the shop windows and invited people to go on a poetry walk. Inside the Rec Center there was a Lions Club pancake breakfast and lego contest. Pretty soon, the Chamber got more involved, looking for ways to add more activities and bring people into shops and restaurants downtown.
This year, we are collaborating - Rec Center, Chamber and Fremont Library.
There is a mini golf tournament this year put together by Lakes 23 Golf Course. 10 businesses are building unique golf holes for a Holy Moly style golf game. Then the public can golf all day on the course and try their luck at the hole in one game to win free Top Tracer and Food from Lakes and Water's Edge.
We are also holding a Soup Contest - sponsored by Camp Newaygo - Ridge Catering. 15 chefs in 3 categories will compete for fame, trophies and having their soup featured in local restaurants. We have 5 Junior Chefs, 5 Home Chefs and 5 Pro Chefs will present their soup for the community to taste and judge.
Tell us about the snow/dodgeball event.
Anyone who wants to have some fun playing dodgeball can join in.
If there's snow - that will be great, but if not, the grass is perfect.
We will divide into 2 teams and play until the last person is standing. The winner will receive the annual Snow Dodgeball Trophy (:
What is the Olaf Costume?
Olaf is the famous Snowman character from Frozen.
Olaf will be down by the rec center saying hello to people and posing for photos.
A word or two about the poetry and storytelling?
The poetry walk is a wonderful way to spend time downtown in our shops and restaurants between Monday the 23 and February 4th.
This is our 3rd year. We've included a word puzzle to solve as people read the poems. Anyone who solves the puzzle can drop their card off at the Chamber for a drawing held on Feb 7th. Winners will receive gift cards from our local shops and restaurants.
Why should people attend?
To enjoy a fun filled family day in downtown Fremont.
Have fun - play some mini golf, taste some soups, visit the FireHouse to touch a truck, stop in shops up and down main to read poems and partake in the snowman scavenger hunt.
The Rec center is having a polar dip and people can enjoy a bonfire and hayrides at the FairGrounds. There is so much fun to have and lots of fresh air to enjoy.
There you have it folks. Winter fun in Fremont courtesy of the Chamber, Rec Center and Library.
A chance to get in some wintertime reveling.
And we could all use a little of that
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