Chamber Director's Blog
The Season--It Has Arrived
The Memorial Day weekend has just past. Traditionally, this marks the start of "the season"--that brief period of warm air, green grass, long days full of light, and overall energetic feelings that brings to the U.P. visitor folks from all over the United States (and World, too). Don't forget to download IronwoodGO onto your smartphone (it's free!) as it will link you to a great variety of Ironwood businesses and organizations, as well as felivelife.org, the Gogebic Range all-event Community Calendar. There is SO MUCH going on! Also--like and follow the Chamber Facebook page: all the latest posts from our members are shared, as well as their event happenings. Lastly, if you are visiting Ironwood, stop in at the Chamber office in the Historic Ironwood Depot (right downtown). There are handy maps and numerous brochures from our member businesses as well as area guides. Now that The Season is here, the Ironwood Area Historical Society will staff the history portion of the Depot daily from 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
It's warm--really, really warm! For the first time since last Fall, the Depot Chamber office door is OPEN! Bird sounds, car sounds, people talking, and rustling wind sounds all waft into the main Depot room. We made it through another year! This Saturday (May 5) is the Ironwood City Clean-up event on Ayer Street, starting at 8:00. You can also come by the Depot and get your registration form for the City Wide Rummage Sale, which will be in Ironwood on Saturday, June 2. Things are certainly all "fruit basket upset" here at the Depot as some display cases are being shifted in preparation for the new visitor season. The Chamber office and all the brochure racks are also being re-arranged and restocked so that all will be in readiness for June 1 and the start of the Summer Season. Watch this space for news of a possible "grand opening" event on First Friday, June 1, here at the Depot.
At Last! The Big Melt.
It's here! Just look at the Chamber live webcam! The snow piles are almost completely gone! Folks are biking the Iron Belle trail. The waterfalls on Black River Road (and many other locations) are all roaring away. And yesterday, in ultimate confirmation of true Spring, I put away the Christmas decorations that had adorned the 1905 reed organ here in the Historic Ironwood Depot--no more snow, no more snowman, and no more Christmas carols. For those of you who follow the Ironwood Chamber on our IronwoodGO smartphone app, you will note that the Chamber FB page is starting to run some great little videos that folks have taken of the area waterfalls. If you can, get out and see these amazing examples of nature naturing! All the other normal signs of Spring are also starting to appear: new phone books delivered to the office, flowers blooming in the Pocket Park, street sweepers picking up the Winter sand, and volunteers coming into the Historical Society here to clean, reorganize exhibits, and to create a new one or two for the year ahead. Due to the impending replacement of the carpet under the Chamber office and in front of the entrance door in May, the annual Spring literature re-arrangement will be put on hold until that task is completed. We will be ready for the start of "the season" on June 1! Stop in and see us then!
Today is beautiful March Wednesday, and if you look at the brand-new Chamber webcam on the home page here today, you will see that the sun is out, and the great piles of snow in the parking lot and by the ice rink are rapidly melting away. With a Spring-like forecast of 50 degrees for today, you can be sure that Jack Frost is packing his bags and getting ready to leave until next November. Amongst the Ironwoodians encountered recently (especially when the sun was shining) you certainly can detect a pent-up pressure of energy. Folks know it is coming. The days are longer. The coats are getting lighter. Spring is on its way! Of course, we might get a snow or two yet, but all know that the moment is coming very soon when everything up north--people, plants, streams, animals, and insects--will explode in a great burst of activity which will continue unabated until the shadows begin to fall again in November. Two Spring things to watch and plan for: the Red Bull 400 event at Copper Peak on May 12 and the Ironwood Chamber of Commerce City-Wide Rummage Sale on Saturday, June 2. Hundreds (thousands?) of people will flock to Ironwood to participate in or watch the spectacle of humans running up the Copper Peak Ski-Flying Jump. A fewer number than that will celebrate Spring on June 2 by cleaning out the garage and basement, placing the least important treasures out for others to discover and get attached to on Rummage Sale Saturday. Register now for this event by going to our "events" heading, scrolling down, and then printing out the registration form. For right now though, we all can plan, make to-do lists, start filling up that Summer calendar, and wait the absolute arrival of the North Real Spring!
It is that time of the year when we all start crafting our "Marching" orders. With the daylight increasing every 24 hour period, it is easier and easier to get the energy up and the idea machine running. This past Monday, 26 February, the Chamber had installed its new webcam. What a difference this new camera makes! The old one (which looked like a miniature R2D2), only toak a picture every few minutes (if it felt like it) and the clarity was not something to write home about. Our new webcam is fully livestream, complete with running clock timer. It covers all of Depot Park from Lowell Street to the little parking lot just east of the Pavilion. You can also access this webcam from our app, IronwoodGo (just go to the Chamber website and there it is!). You can sit at the trail bench outside the Depot and see yourself on the webcam (well, you better wait for the snow to melt off the bench first, before trying this). Now, all the Frist Friday Farmer's Markets will be able to be watched in real time, as well as the entire week of Festival Ironwood, from tent set-up to takedown. Infact, IronwoodGo will have a special homescreen Festival Ironwood section that will include our webcam so you can watch the entire festival (no sound though--you will have to imagine all that is being said out amongst the folks).
The Chamber is now distributing the Western U.P. Visitor Guide that was the creation of the Wakefield, Lake Gogebic, and Ironwood Chambers and appeared as part of the 5-Star Marketing publication, UpNorthAction in December/January. This insert, sponsored by local advertisers, gives a brief overview of Gogebic County sites and activities.
Lastly, as we March ahead into the early days of spring, don't forget to download IronwoodGo to your iPhone! It's FREE! Just go to the app store or Google Play and get it. All of our Chamber members, snowmobile reports, felivelife.org Iron Range Calendar of Events and much more is there, and right in your pocket, too!