Around the County: Winterfest activities to relieve ‘cabin fever.’

January 28, 2021
snowmobile show

A previous antique and vintage snowmobile show in Hart.

Around the County: Winterfest activities to relieve ‘cabin fever.’

Around the County is a presentation of Peterson Farms, Inc., www.petersonfarmsinc.com.

By Allison Scarbrough, Editor

OCEANA COUNTY — Winterfest events next month in Hart and Pentwater will inspire people to get out of the house and enjoy some much-needed socializing and outdoor fun.

It has already been a long winter for many Oceana County folks during the COVID-19 pandemic. Social events have been canceled over the last year, and many people are finding themselves suffering from “cabin fever” as they isolate at home.

Mask wearing and social distancing are strongly encouraged at all of the events.

The 2021 Antique and Vintage Snowmobile Show will take place at the Oceana County Fairgrounds in Hart Saturday, Feb. 6, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event previously took place in downtown Hart. The larger area will allow for participants and spectators to spread out and maintain proper “snowcial distancing,” said Coordinator Kevin Hallack. By staying a snowmobile’s length apart, everyone can safely have fun.

Now in its fourth year, the snowmobile show attracted over 100 people last year, said Hallack. Snowmobile enthusiasts from across the state and Indiana attended.

The event will feature a snowmobile swap meet, so vintage snowmobile owners can acquire those difficult-to-find old parts. “It’s kind of like a flea market for snowmobile parts,” he said. 

“People’s Choice” trophies in five age categories will be awarded: 1969 and older; 1970-1974; 1975-1979; 1980-1989; and 1990-2000.

Admission for the public is free.

Fencing at the back of the fairgrounds will be opened, so snowmobilers on the William Field Memorial Hart-Montague Trail can easily access the grounds. 

Hallack said he has been working with Oceana County Fair Board President Paul Erickson to get the event off the ground this year. “Hats off to Paul — we could not have pulled it off without him. If we can survive this year, we can continue doing it every year.”

Hallack said organizers will continue using the fairgrounds in the future and may eventually offer snowmobile racing.

Just to the north of Hart, Pentwater is gearing up for a Winterfest celebration, too. Pentwater’s events are scheduled for two consecutive Saturdays — Feb. 13 and Feb. 20, including ice skating Friday evening, Feb. 12.

“Winterfest has been taking place in Pentwater for 14 years, and we are excited to host the event again this year,” said Pentwater Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Eva Gregwer. “We encourage people to break their cabin fever and come out to enjoy Pentwater. Pentwater businesses and organizations are working hard to create a fun and safe event focused on wintertime activities. 

“While our traditional activities may look a little different, we still have plenty of winter fun in store,” said Gregwer. “For example, with the help of the Pentwater Fire Department, we have created an ice rink for the public to enjoy. Come see what fun surprises downtown businesses have in store; support the Pentwater Cross Country Team through participation in the Snowman Scram; enjoy ice fishing; cross country skiing; sledding and even ice skating. We encourage all to join us at Winterfest”

“Due to COVID-19, organizations hosting the following events have made the difficult decision not to participate in this year’s Winterfest,” states the chamber of commerce’s website. “This decision was made with the health and safety of the community in mind.

  • The Polar Plunge
  • Two Town Tasting
  • Colleen Plummer Beer and Music Festival hosted by COVE.”

Although some events have been canceled, the new ice skating rink is a welcome addition.

“Grab your skates and join us at the North End Park (basketball court on the north end of Wythe Street) for an evening of ice skating.” This is set for Friday, Feb, 12, from 5-7 p.m. and is free to the public.

“There will be (COVID safe) refreshments and snacks for purchase. Ice skates are not available for rental this year, so please bring your own. We have been collecting skates and will have a few available to borrow but quantity/sizes are very limited. All participants are required to wear a mask.

“We are continuing to collect ice skates. If you have any skates you are willing to donate, please contact the Pentwater Chamber of Commerce (at 231-869-4150).”

The 2021 Snowman Scram 5K and 1 Mile Fun Run is set for Saturday, Feb. 13. The 1 Mile Fun Run starts at 11 a.m. with the 5K run/walk to follow. Same day registration at the bus barn starts at 9:30 a.m.

The Snowman Scram Run/Walk and 1 mile fun run is a fun wintertime event designed as a fundraiser for the Pentwater Cross Country and Track teams.

Start and finish by the bus barn/track at the school (or virtual). Entry fees are $15 for 1 mile Fun Run and $25 for 5K run/walk (virtual too)

Register at: https://runsignup.com/Race/MI/Pentwater/SnowmanScram1MileFunRunand5KRace

The Pentwater Pathways are open for free cross country skiing Saturday, Feb. 13, from 1-3 p.m.

The public is invited to use Oceana Cross Country Ski Assocation’s adult and children’s ski equipment by making advance reservations at [email protected] 

All participants are required to wear a mask when trying on equipment and returning it after skiing. All children must be accompanied by an adult who will assist them in putting on equipment and skiing with them.

The parking area is located on Railroad Road at the end of Jackson Road.

For ski and trail info, visit www.oceanaski.org

The event is obviously weather dependent. If there is no snow, it will be moved to the following Saturday, Feb. 20.

The 11th Annual Ryan Williams Perch Tournament is set for Saturday, Feb. 20, from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Event day registration is 7-10 a.m at the Pentwater Convenience Center or Port View. The fee is $10 per adult or $5 per kid (15 or younger).

There will be 100 percent cash and prize payout for first, second and third place prizes. The final weigh-in will be at Port View no later than 4 p.m. For more information contact Pentwater Convenience Center at 231-869-4203 or Ryan Williams at  616-617-7984.

Registration Form

Get out and safely enjoy these fun-filled outdoor winter events while supporting local businesses that have suffered during this pandemic.

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