Mackinaw City Winter Festival
January 20, 2024

Page 2- International Outhouse Races

2009 Mackinaw City Winter Trip Report
2008 Mackinac Island Winter Trip Report

Winterfest - Mackinaw City, Michigan
Mackinaw City Outhouse Races
Mackinaw City International Outhouse Races
2024 is the 31st year for Winterfest in Mackinaw City, Michigan. The 2024 festival will be a one day event with outhouse races, Kids Big Freeze Obstacle Course and a chili cook off. Winterfest has been smaller in recent years.

Chili Cook Off: 11:30AM-1PM
Kids Big Freeze Obstacle Course: Noon
Pepsi International Mackinaw Outhouse Races: 2PM

The Chili Cook Off is held at Mama Mia's Restaurant at 231 E Central Avenue. Tasting and voting for your favorite chili is only $5/person. There is also a cash bar and 50/50 raffle.

The Big Freeze Obstacle Course is in the Mackinaw Crossings parking lot, just west of South Huron. It is open to ages 5 to 17 and advance registration is available at (231) 436-5664 or On site registration is 10:30-11AM, but only if space is available.

The 2024 Pepsi International Outhouse Racec are held at Shepler's Parking Lot 556 E Central Avenue and will have a $500 grand prize. Registration is available at (231) 436-5492.

Mackinaw City in winter About Mackinaw
City in the Winter

'09 Mackinaw City winter trip report

These photos were taken during the 2009 Winterfest when the weather was beautiful but cold. Saturday was gloomy, but it didn't seem to dampen the enthusiasm of the people attending the outdoor events. The bars were packed with participants and snowmobilers. The sunny photos on this page were taken on Friday. The others were on Saturday afternoon.

Despite the cold, a record 151 people registered to participate in that year's ninth annual ice fishing tournament on Paradise Lake and around $1,600 was raised for marine protection programs and projects. The euchre tournament also had its highest number of competitors ever.

Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw ice sculpture
The sign next to this sculpture of the Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw pleaded for volunteers to help work on the sculpture.
Despite working late into the night, this sculptor did not add all the details he hoped to include. The actual retired
Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw is docked only a few hundred feet away.

ice sculpturing in Mackinaw CIty, Michigan
Andrew Brown ice sculpture team starting work on their abstract sphere

2nd place U.S. "Coast Guard cutter Mackinaw" by Larry Strouse of Carp Lake

abstract ice sculpture
1st place winning ice sculpture by Andrew Brown team of Central Lake, Michigan


Sailing ship ice sculpture
3rd place "ship in a bottle" - Tom Lalonde of Cheboygan, Michigan

Chili Cook Off held at Mama Mia's (2020 photo by AM)

Mackinaw City 2009 Ice Tower
Mackinaw City used to have an annual fundraiser where the person that predicted when the ice tower in front of the village hall would
melt won at least $1,000. The official time was when an electronic device frozen into the ice drops to the ground.
In 2008 it fell on April 24.  (Now one is grown on the shore in Gary & Gussie Williams Memorial Park.)

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Copyright 2009-2024 by Keith Stokes. These photos may not be reproduced without written permission. .