Frigid fun

Sleds were pulled by people as scheduled Friday night, but the frigid weather has taken its toll on one of this weekend's Winterfest events.
Alex Doty
Jan 25, 2014

Winterfest organizers have decided to postpone Shiver in the River until Feb. 23 due to extreme weather conditions. It was to take place Sunday afternoon.

“We’re definitely disappointed that we had to reschedule, but the safety of the participants starts first,” said Tri-Cities Area Habitat for Humanity Resource Coordinator April Lathrop, the event's organizer. “The place that we jump in is frozen over.”

The event serves as a fundraiser for the local Habitat for Humanity chapter. Lathrop said they typically have a good turnout for it.

The Grand Haven Department of Public Safety provides event assistance, but they didn’t force its postponement.

“Event organizers made the decision to cancel — we agree with the decision,” Grand Haven Public Safety Director Jeff Hawke said. “Lt. (Clint) Holt met with organizers (Thursday) to check alternate jumping locations, as the usual spot is frozen over.”

Hawke said an area of open water was selected and the department was on board to provide public safety officers in the water for the jumpers.

“The area would have been more difficult for the jumpers due to time in the water (and) distance to warmth,” Hawke said.

The postponement has caused mixed emotions for event fans.

”You know it's cold when they cancel this,” Coopersville resident Cynthia Timmerman said.

Wyoming resident Alvin Matkovich planned to take part in the event had it gone on.

“I really, really, really was hoping to do it this year,” he said. “What a disappointment.”

Other Winterfest events are still a go for this weekend. This includes the Cardboard Sled Race today at Mulligan’s Hollow and the Winterfest Luau at the Municipal Marina parking lot.

The Intergalactic Human Sled Race had a good turnout Friday night at the Harbourfront Place parking lot in downtown Grand Haven. To see more photos from the event, CLICK HERE.

Keep checking back as more photo galleries from the slate of Winterfest events will be posted this weekend.

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