Thursday, March 10, 2011

Great Bear Chase: Ski Races, Square Dance, Brunch Ski March 11-13

Skiers climb one of Swedetown's great hills during the annual Great Bear Chase Cross Country Ski Race. (Photo © and courtesy Reprinted with permission.)

CALUMET -- The Great Bear Chase Cross Country Ski Race will take place on Saturday, March 12, at Swedetown Trails in Calumet. The race includes a 50-km freestyle race and separate 26-km classic and freestyle categories. Registration and bib pick-up are on Friday, March 11, between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. at Cross Country Sports in Calumet. (Online registration is now closed.) Bib pick-up only (no registration) is also possible between 7 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. on Saturday at Cross Country Sports.

Races begin between 9 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. on Saturday. The start and finish are along the snowmobile trail where it crosses Scott Street, not far from the old Depot.

The course uses the varied and gently rolling terrain of the Swedetown Trails. After the race, stick around for door prizes, raffles and a free lunch!

The 50-km freestyle is probably the most competitive race at the Great Bear Chase. Many master skiers use this as their last hurrah for the race season. Many racers from nearby college teams use this as a fitting end to their season.

The 26-km freestyle provides an excellent end-of-season goal for serious racers and mainstream recreational skiers alike. Many master skiers use this as a season-ending endurance test. Recreational skiers enjoy the 26-km freestyle because of the relaxed Bear Chase atmosphere and the forgiving course.

The 26-km classic features racers who want the traditional experience of a half-marathon, as well as those who like to "tour" for a morning rather than race in packs.

Visit the Bear Chase Web site for details and a schedule.

The Junior Bear Chase, a youth Nordic ski race for skiers up to 16 years old, will take place at 5 p.m. Friday, March 11, at Swedetown Trails in Calumet. Registration and Bib pick-up are from 4 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. at Swedetown Chalet.

Visit the Copper Country Ski Tigers Web site for details.

Saturday Night Square Dance at Calumet Theatre

The "Great Bear Square" Dance, with live music and a caller, will be held from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, March 12, at the Calumet Theatre Ballroom. Donations to cover hall rental and the band will be gratefully accepted. This is a community event. Everyone is welcome to enjoy the spacious wooden dance floor and music.

Sunday Brunch Ski

On Sunday morning, March 13, come out to Swedetown Trails for the Brunch Ski from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tickets are $15, available at the Swedetown Chalet. You must have a ticket to enjoy the food, even if you choose not to ski. Proceeds will benefit the Barbara Kettle Gundlach Shelter.

The brunch will include pannukakku, breakfast pasties, coffee, tea, juice, muffins, fruit -- and, again, s'mores! Tables will be set up along beginner trails with the opportunity to ski more challenging trails if so desired. The entire route will be 10 km from the chalet and back.

Thanks to generous donations from these businesses: Conglomerate Café, Toni's Country Kitchen, 5th and Elm Coffee House, Connie's Kitchen, Pat's IGA, and Louie's Superfoods.

For tickets or information call 337-5632.

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