IRONWOOD, Mich. (WLUC) - Skiers from all across the Midwest are bracing for the ninth annual SISU Ski Fest in Ironwood.
Hundreds of people braved last year's bitter cold weather.
This year doesn't seem to be any warmer, but that isn't stopping the excitement.
Trail groomers at the Active Backwoods Retreat in Ironwood have been preparing for this year's SISU Ski Fest for over a month now. The first snowstorm of the season, however did significant damage to the course, because it started as heavy rain.
"Then it turned into ice and snow which bent and broke a lot of trees," said ABR Trail Groomer Rick Slade. "So we had to re-brush almost the whole trail."
Crews have been working daily for hours since the storm, and now it's ready for the nearly five hundred skiers expected from across the Midwest this weekend.
"SISU has really become part of the community year round," said SISU Race Director Jackie Powers. "There are people who plan for it all year round. There are volunteers who live here who have been coming out all nine years. It's really caught on."
On Friday, there'll be 20 vendors at the ski hill as well as open registration. Saturday is ski day with the 31K race and the 15K Heikki Lunta. After awards from the race, the Ironwood Theater is hosting a concert featuring the Big Road Band.
"We have great supports from local residents, but when there's an event like this skiers from out of town," said Managing Director Bruce Greenhil. "They bring their friends and family along. It's just great to have an opportunity like this to show off this 1928 gem of a theater."
Big Road Band is a rhythm and blues rock and roll band. They'll be performing at 6 PM Central Time from the theater.