Chamber Director's Blog
Not many Chambers of Commerce own a statue, but the Ironwood Chamber does: Hiawatha. Standing tall atop a hill overlooking the city of Ironwood, and gazing out toward Lake Superior, this statue was errected in the early 1960's for a host of reasons. Made of fiberglass, this statue has, after some 50+ years, arrived at the point of needed a complete restoration. Broken parts need to be reattached, other parts need reinforcement, and the entire statue needs to be carefully sanded and cleaned in preparation for a new painting and sealing. At the end of June, the F.A.S.T. Corporation of Sparta, WI, one of the very few national companies still building and restoring fiberglass outdoor statues, will come to Ironwood and begin the restoration process. If you would like to help, please send a donation to the Ironwood Chamber of Commerce, P.O. Box 45, Ironwood, MI 49938 or at GoFundMe.com/hiawatha2016
Presenting for "The Season"
This morning, 3/13/19, with its above freezing temperatures, drizzle, and uncompromisingly dangerous wet-ice "walk path" (glide path) into the Chamber Depot Office, is a strong reminder that "The Season" is beginning its start for Ironwood and the Gogebic Range. "The Season," of course, refers to a) return of snow-bird residents, b) melting of snow, c) the shift from ski to bike/walk, d) the planning of trips here by people who live elsewhere, and d) both a period of "break" as well as "plan" for local businesses and organizations for whom "The Season" is the principal time of full-range outdoor activity. Yesterday, Chamber received two calls from Chicago area folks wanting planning information on August events and weather. These calls (and emails) will now start to increase, and do provide a daily nudge that warm, sun, and action-packed long-daylight days are coming very soon. With all of this in mind, our Ironwood City Wide Rummage Sale will be on Saturday, June 1. Please see our website "events" to download the 2019 registration form!
Chamber Awards Banquet 2019
Every year in January, the Ironwood Chamber of Commerce hosts an all-member banquet where four awards are presented in recognition for special accomplishments in the previous year. At our January 22, 2019 banquet, the Ironwood Chamber recognized the following: Business of the Year = Chelsi's Corner (Mark Schwanz and Lynn Niemi) 110 East Aurora, Ironwood; Organization of the Year = Gogebic Range Health Foundation; Volunteer(s) of the Year = Festival Ironwood Organizing Committee; and Gus Swanson Educational Award = Mr. Peter Lewinski, Teacher/Coach, Luther L. Wright High School, Ironwood. Pictures of these award winners were posted on our Facebook page 28 January. Congratulations to these very deserving award winners! And, a big thank-you to our two hosts, Chamber Member Aurora Club, and Chamber Member Cindy Giackino, Catering! Great food in a great space = a wonderful evening!
SISU Nordic Ski Race Jan. 4-6.
SISU time has arrived! SISU Ski Fest begins FRIDAY with the "Depot Dash," a fun ski for kids 10 and under, held at Depot Park in downtown Ironwood. This event is free and open to all. The Saturday fest centers around the 31K SISU and 15K Heikki Lunta point-to-point cross country ski races originating at ABR Trails in Erwin Township and terminating in downtown Ironwood. The portion of the race course between ABR and downtown is groomed for skiing only on SISU weekend, making the race a unique experience for locals and visitors alike. All participants gather back at the Memorial Building in Ironwood for mojakka (Finnish stew) and pasties, the awards ceremony, and door prize giveaways. Saturday night SISU hosts a party at the historic Ironwood Theatre featuring the music of Conge se Menne, with their original UP-inspired Finnish reggae! Doors open at 6pm with the music at 7pm. This event is free and open to all. The fest concludes on Sunday with the fat bike Try Out The Trails event at 11am. Hosted by the SISU Dirt Crew, this event showcases our local fat bike trails at Wolverine, from the Snow Summit Road trailhead on the way to Big Powderhorn.
I just shoveled my way into the Depot office. There was not much snow, but the next few days offer hope that there might just be enough "white gold" to make sure all the Winter activities are able to occur. For those of you who check this page online or on IronwoodGO smartphone app (available free from the app store), you can see what Trail 2 looks like in Ironwood as our Depot webcam points right at it--just outside the office here. Yesterday, there were a few snowmobilers, and if the forecast snow proves to be a good one, there will be excellent motor and silent winter sports to be had in Ironwood. The Chamber does have the current MI snowmobile map, but the Chamber office does not sell trail passes--you can get them at our Chamber member Cloverland Motorsports out on U.S. 2 (and just 3 blocks off the trail).