Fat bike race, chili cook-off help kick off expanded Winter Fun Days festival
Caleb Casey | Managing Editor
The conditions were amazing. We sent them on a section of our fat bike trail and parts of all of our cross country ski trails. It was a good turnout, a good addition to our February Fun Days, Winter Fun Days. We look forward to doing it again.” – Justin Andre, Director of Operations for Grayling Recreation Authority
Hanson Hills Recreation Area and Grayling Recreation Authority (GRA) got their new, expanded Winter Fun Days started with a new event – a fat bike race – and the winter festival’s annual chili cook-off on Saturday, and GRA has more events slated for this coming weekend, including a big air competition.
In past years, the Winter Fun Days event featured one weekend of activities; this year, GRA – the governing body for Hanson Hills – opted to add events and turn Winter Fun Days into “February Fun Days” with activities slated for three different weekends.
On Saturday, GRA kicked off its 2017 Winter Fun Days festival with a fat bike event conducted by race promoter Fun Promotions LLC. More than 50 cyclists competed in the race. Hanson Hills has hosted fat bike events in the past, but this was the first one held during Winter Fun Days.
“Overall, in talking with the promoter, they had a good turnout,” said Justin Andre, Director of Operations for GRA. “The conditions were amazing. We sent them on a section of our fat bike trail and parts of all of our cross country ski trails. It was a good turnout, a good addition to our February Fun Days, Winter Fun Days. We look forward to doing it again.”
The chili cook-off featured several entries. Wendy’s of Grayling took first place, and the Hanson Hills chili finished second.
This weekend has more Winter Fun Days events, starting with the Grayling Youth Booster Club’s Blizzardfest. Blizzardfest will feature free tubing and a card game tournament on Saturday, Feb. 11.
“Free tubing from 10 a.m. to noon, then they have a euchre tournament that starts a little later,” Andre said.
The euchre tournament is scheduled for 2-5 p.m.
One of the traditional Winter Fun Days events – the big air competition – will begin at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 11.
“Fun event for all the kids. They get to hit the jumps and show off their tricks,” Andre said.
The registration fee is $20 per person.
“The kids, for signing up, get a lot of cool swag,” Andre said.
Andre said GRA has tried to move away from offering trophies as prizes and offer things that are “more functional.”
This year, the prizes include special insulated drink cups.
The third weekend of Winter Fun Days – Feb. 18 and 19 – will feature the Cardboard Sled Box Race on Saturday and the Hanson Hills Cross Country Ski Race on Sunday.