Shiver in the River canceled

(Updated: 1:26 p.m.) Other Winterfest events are "full steam ahead" despite the weather.
Tribune Staff
Jan 24, 2014

All Winterfest 2014 events are still a go - despite the Arctic temps and blowing snow - except for the Shiver in the River.

Here's what the Winterfest organizers had to say about the previously scheduled polar plunge: "Shiver in the River has been canceled. The Grand Haven Dept of Public Safety has determined that the ice conditions on the Grand River would pose an unacceptable risk to staff and participants. We’re not going to argue with the experts. We still want to have a great event for Habitat, so we’ll let you know if it is rescheduled."

Update: At a little after noon Friday, the Winterfest organizers posted this on their Facebook page: "Sunday's Shiver In The River is rescheduled for Sunday, Feburary 23rd due to ice conditions. All other activities are going on as planned!"

As for the other events, organizers said this: "Regardless of what your weatherman tells you, there will be humans pulling sleds, gravity powered cardboard, and a 76 degree Luau!"

The Tribune will be there, too, covering all the wintry fun. Check back to all weekend long to see if YOU, your son or your granddaughter were spotted by our Tribune cameras. And feel free to send in YOUR photos of Winterfest for inclusion on our website galleries - just e-mail the photos to and we'll take it from there.




Stupid to have any events due to the possibility of frozen skin. Hospital will be busy.


just fell right on my arse on Mercury Dr chasing my trash can. IT IS PURE ICE! Slow down!!!


Who? The trash can?


yep, finally caught up with it before it went into the Grand! lol


I've been living in this area for 22years and weather-wise this has been my favorite winter yet. Buy some decent clothes and try living a little.

North and West of here there will be people snowmobiling, skiing, sledding, Ice fishing, and just enjoying a walk in crisp clean air.

Cancel Winterfest cause it's too cold??? ....sounds like somebody is living in the wrong state.


Yay! I'm not alone! See ya down at the hollow Mr Wolf!


They should cancel the dog pull for sure. Many of the dogs are house dogs and not used to the cold for longer periods of time.


Oh please, you must've been born in the South.....most of the dogs that would be in the dog pull are larger outside dogs that can handle the weather just fine. I've got two that love this weather...they go out and run around in their pen and then come back in with snow all over their faces.

Heck, most people this time of year are house people so if they don't show up probably the dogs won't either ok?

I've been waiting for them to cancel Winterfest because of the weather....that would be priceless. The state police say "stay off the roads, it's winter out there"! Winterfest rescheduled for early March!



LessThanAmused, I was born in Grand Haven and the last dog pull I attended there were plenty of smaller dogs.


My Husky loves this weather but I can't get her to pull crap. Smart dog.


My 2 won't pull either, but If I get out the kong ball look out! They look like Rabbits hopping up and down in the drifts. With all the barking and tail wagging you'd think they were having fun! First one back with the ball gets the treat!!


Sometimes arrogance and hubris beat out common sense. Let's delay activities by a week for safety sake. It is sad that people are being put in danger this way. The national weather service says: Travel will be dangerous through tonight. White out conditions with little to no visibility are expected. .... But yet organizers want to encourage people to come out in this? I know we are all adults and should be able to make our own decisions ... but why encourage this. They are talking about blizzard conditions tonight. And the animals have no choice.


I agree with postponing it. There is nothing going on that can't be rescheduled. Most of the people I know that were going aren't now because it will be dangerously cold. The morning won't be much better for the races.


What a bunch of namby pamby sponge ever hear the phrase "dress for the weather"? I could see it maybe if you were coming from a 100 miles away, but if you live in town....give me a break. You people been downtown lately? They don't even have snow downtown!! There's a warming house in the hollow if your patties get cold.....

What do you people think Eskimoes do all winter?? Move to the Gulf Coast?

I'll be out all weekend with my camera's shooting the events and the people who know how to dress and adapt to conditions. Y'all stay inside and wring your hands over the constant weather warnings on your widescreen TV.

Finally, we've got some Winter for Winterfest!


Oh if they have it still, I will be there. I love the cold but not everyone has Baby Seal skin boots and Polar Bear coats. Just because people live here doesn't mean they have the Arctic Gear needed for this. Just us dummies that love snowmobiling in Sub-Zero weather.


I was thinking of taking the snowmobile into town tonight, too bad we aren't allowed to do that here, yet.


No not yet :(. It's hard to stay legal anywhere right now too, they want us on the banks with the flow of traffic within the easement. Most of the Deputies understand we pretty much have to ride the shoulder because the banks are a mess and the driveways are piled up (which is fun for jumping them). According to OCSD there is no written law about riding in Ottawa county but they enforce the DNR laws. In the same breath he told me it is officers discretion though.

Make your way out to the pits sometime, just stay out of Riverside Park.


Yep, people are becoming wimps. Besides the fact that the road commission wont even dump sand at intersections or hills, this weather isn't bad at all. Even though I grew up on the east side of the state, I come from a large family of yoopers on both sides, and have spent many winters up there on the family homestead. That, coupled with working out in this stuff for 10 hours per day at my last job has gotten me used to the cold.

I have always been one of those weird ones that occasionally wore shorts out in this weather back in high school/college. Now days, its just simply jeans and a wool coat. I also have a Stormy Kromer Mackinaw Coat and cap, made by hand in the U.P. They keep you freaking warm. No need for ridiculous north face crap or anything like that; sometimes old technology keeps you much warmer.


Hey Jason, going completely off-topic here, but I was just got back from the Photography / poster open house and in one of the catagories there, was a very cool picture of a bike, sillouetted against a sunset. I think it got a 2nd prize award.
Having seen pics of your bike I thought, hey that looks like Jason's bike, but I didn't recognize the photographers' name so maybe it was just somebody else's bike. Neat shot for the wall, for a biker.
Lots of excellent images on display, definitely worth a stop in to the museum to check 'em out.


As far as I know it wasn't mine unless someone sneaked a shot. I really need to get back into photography. At one time I was shooting weddings and senior portraits as well as many grungy industrial scenes at the Steam Railroading Institute in Owosso, where I am a long-time volunteer (here are a couple low-res shots I have on the iPad:

And one local shot here in Grand Haven...

All were shot with a Canon 5d or 5d Mk2 with 24-70 2.8L, 70-200 2.8L IS, or 85 1.2L glass.

Once I find gainful employment once again, I may get back into it... For now though, I am shooting with a Panasonic LX7 (its the same as a Leica DLux 6); a damn impressive point and shoot. I was incredibly stupid though for getting rid of all my old gear when I burned myself out (shooting weddings gets incredibly stressful!). Only thing left is a few medium format antiques I shoot with for fun sometimes.

Im definitely going to have to stop in and check it out. Thanks for the heads up!


Nice work! I like the lighting on the railroad shots a lot.

If you're looking for old gear I've got a ton of Canon stuff I'm right in the middle of putting up on Ebay and Craig's list in the hopes of selling enough of it to get myself a new DSLR and a decent lens (or 2, or 3).

I've got 4 F-1's, 3 AE-1's and 3 or 4 AT-1's plus about a dozen Canon lenses, both fixed focal length and a bunch of assorted other things that I don't use any longer since they killed off Kodachrome.

I used to do the occasional wedding, mostly for friends and family as a gift, but nowadays with digital's, see what ya got right now feature, I'd be more inclined to get back into it. It was stressful waiting a week for prints to come back to see if I nailed it or screwed it up.

As for the Photo/poster show, there was close to 300 images on display, from mundane to excellent. With the competition level I was surprised that I got a ribbon for one of my shots that I decided to enter at the last minute. I used to enter every year, back when it was a much smaller affair, at the community center, but nowadays there seems to be a lot more interest and the quality of the images has gone up too, so yeah, it was nice to get some positive feedback and it was an impressive display of the area's photographers work. Those in charge did a great job, putting it together and making tonight's presentation. Kudo's to them!


Believe it or not, that lighting was done with nothing more than several off the shelf halogen floodlights from Home Depot. With a bit of color correction in photoshop, you get great results.

Sadly, money is getting extremely tight, so I cannot get any new cameras at the time, but hopefully you end up selling them to someone who will take good care of them, appreciate them, and get a lot of use out of them. The AE-1's are excellent bodies. My grandfather gave me one when I was first experimenting with photography back in my teens. The shutter is starting to get a bit sticky, resulting in the occasional overexposure, but it still works to this day.

For the time being, I will have to stick to messing around with the medium format (have several ancient Kodak cameras), and the LX7.

I started shooting weddings for friends, but after I shot my sisters wedding, ALL of her friends (she has a ton of friends) wanted me to shoot theirs. The shots were a bit different and much more artistic than your average wedding shoot, and apparently everyone wanted theirs to look the same. After two and a half years of that, and dealing with bridezillas, I threw in the rag. It lost its fun once it turned into somewhat of a regular business. I started losing hair from the stress.

And then, I immediately started life on the railroad which brought on a whole different type of stress (doing the job of four people while on call 24/7/365). Not complaining, the physical work itself was in all honesty quite rewarding besides the politics and no time for family.

Im going to go check out the photos this weekend I think. I really need to get out of the house and this seems like a cheap way to spend a day. Other than worrying about some ultra top-secret fountain stuff ;) and job searching, I haven't been out of the house in a month. Congrats on the ribbon!



Get yourself out of the house for awhile this weekend and give yourself a good time. Everybody needs to take a break occasionally from their personal grind and more than likely it'll all still be there to take back up with when you get back home. Have some fun! The older you get the shorter life is.......


Call me what you want, Im staying in front of my big screen.


You are a 'what you want'. There.

Nothing wrong with staying in in this weather.
Have a hot toddy on me tonight in front of the big screen!


You gonna try and find me tonight? Where's Watchingyou? We will have to stop at Odd sides.


I went to college in Marquette, MI and dealt with much worse conditions that we'll ever experience here. If you bundle up right and maybe wear ski goggles if it's windy, you'll enjoy the outdoors! I'm dissapointed to miss winterfest this weekend, but Snowmobiling up north is calling my name. It just comes down to dressing correctly and being prepared.

Barry Soetoro

I'll take your word for it.

Grand Haven Happy

What? Cancel the "Shriver in the River"? Never! ha ha


The Human Sled pull has now been moved to the Harbor Front Parking Lot. Might be old news but I just found out about it from their site.


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