High temps make Frostbite fun

February 24, 2017

This years polar dip was in sync with the idea of wearing summer swimwear. Photo by Jordan Wilcox

This years polar dip was in sync with the idea of wearing summer swimwear.
Photo by Jordan Wilcox

By Jenn Bomorra
Photos by Jenn Bomorra and Jordan Wilcox

It’s an odd thing to say the word “Frostbite” in the same sentence as 50 degree weather, but that is what this weekend was all about.  Near perfect weather, family fun, and community support for this year’s Frostbite Festival 2017 in Harrison, Michigan.

The 4 day Festival kicked off at the Budd Lake Bar in Harrison Thursday evening, in high spirits and excitement for the upcoming weekend. Nearly 100 people showed up to the kickoff party to show their support and participate in Button Raffles, Poker Card Raffle, a silent auction, and the auction for the first jump spot for the 4th Annual Polar Dip.

Another big highlight for the kickoff party Thursday evening was the announcement for this year’s 2017 Painted Window Contest. The Clare County Cleaver took 1st place for their window “Clark Cleaver”. Geatano’s Pizza took 2nd and 3rd place in the contest for their “Underdog” and “Batman” window. Long Lake Party Store was also a contestant in the Window Painting Contest for their “L.L.P.S Shield”.

The evening also showcased the upcoming future plans for the new Harrison Chamber of Commerce building. Saturday the 18th was completely filled from 9am till the evening with many new and exciting planned events throughout the day.
From the Arts & Crafts Fair to the new this year Turkey Bowling and Outhouse Race event.  5 contestants entered the Outhouse race. State Farm won 1st place with their “ We Insure Your Assets” Outhouse in 8.43 seconds and Diederich Law won with best decorated Outhouse as “Ninja Turtles”.

43 contestants entered the 4th Annual Polar Dip. Vito Giannoli and Liz Crafton of the Harrison Chamber Of Commerce were the first 2 Polar dippers that took the first jump spots auctioned during the kickoff party at The Budd Lake Bar Thursday evening.

Many participants were making their voices known on how cold the water was but, the weather was definitely on their side Saturday with the warm temperatures.
“The jump wasn’t that bad, and the weather was perfect” said Gina Umscheid. “ I have been doing this since 1993 at Tip Up Town in Houghton Lake. I once returned from Hawaii back to Harrison, and did The Polar Dip a couple days later, now, that was cold to do, my body was still used to the warm weather in Hawaii.”

The 4th Annual Polar Dip event, definitely made a “SPLASH” in everyone’s day. Saturday’s events also included Golf on the Ice of Budd Lake and Sled Decorating contest. The Harrison Moose Lodge hosted many activities such as a Children’s Carnival, pony rides, Arts & Crafts, Snowman Building Contest, and an Indoor Exotic Animal Zoo for the kids.

A new Comedy Night was added this year along with the official Button Raffle drawing, ended the evening at the Harrison Moose Lodge. The Annual Ice Fishing Tournament closed out this year’s 2017 Frostbite Festival Sunday.

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