Winter returns in time for Snow Jam

Marie Havenga • Feb 8, 2018 at 10:00 AM

SPRING LAKE — Spring Lake Rotary Snow Jam organizers are breathing a sigh of relief for this weekend's events.

Winter weather is on their side. There's enough ice for the alumni hockey tournament between Grand Haven and Spring Lake, and enough snow for the sledding hill.

“It's been three years since we had decent snow and ice,” said Michelle Dixon, co-chairperson of the seventh annual event. “Last year and the year before, we had to have the hockey game at the ice arena on Airline Road. Last year it was like 45 degrees. We had to shut off some of the heaters in the tent because it was too warm. This year, it's supposed to be 18-20 degrees.”

That means perfect weather for snow jammin'.

“We've gotten a few inches of snow and I do believe conditions will be perfect,” Dixon said. “We needed 10 days of freezing to get the ice rink ready and we're just at that level, so it should be good.”

Snow Jam kicks off Friday night with cornhole and euchre tournaments at the Grand Haven Elks lodge, then rolls into Saturday activities at Spring Lake's Central Park.

It is the Spring Lake Rotary's largest fundraiser of the year. Last year, it netted more than $21,000 for the club. Proceeds fund both local and international projects. Past proceeds have funded local school scholarships, Central Park improvements, Whistle Stop Playground and freshwater wells in Uganda.

The event includes a drawing for a $5,000 grand prize at 9:30 p.m. Saturday. Tickets cost $25 each or five for $100.

“You have about a 1-in-800 chance of winning, so the odds are pretty good,” Dixon said.

Saturday's fun also includes a fully stocked beer tent at Central Park, live music by Kalamazoo-based Drop 35, food by Righteous Cuisine and Butch's Beach Burritos, and a dart tournament. Typically, more than 400 people attend, according to Dixon.

“It will be a good time,” she said. “This is a close-knit community. We get a lot of locals that like to come out and enjoy winter and the community. Grand Haven has so many great festivals — this is one Spring Lake gets to enjoy in the winter.”

Here's the schedule:

Friday, Feb. 9:

Euchre and cornhole tournaments at Grand Haven Elks lodge, 15 S. Third St.: event registration at 6 p.m., play from 7-11 p.m. Teams can register in advance online or the night of the event. Prizes will be awarded throughout the night.

Saturday, Feb. 10:

Snow Jam Festival at Spring Lake Central Park: heated entertainment tent from 5-10 p.m. (drinks and food available for purchase, admission is free); ice skating and kids activities from 5-7 p.m. (bring your own ice skates); alumni hockey game, 7 p.m.; dart tournament, 7-9 p.m. ($10 entry for singles and $20 entry for doubles team, registration available in advance online or the night of the event, all skills levels welcome).

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