Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Updated: Calumet to host CopperDog 150, art, music, fireworks, bike races Mar. 2-3

CALUMET -- The third annual CopperDog 150 will again begin on First Friday, March 2, in Calumet, in conjunction with art gallery openings, street music, food and beverages, and winter fireworks.

At the start of the 2011 CopperDog 150 race, crowds along Fifth Street in Calumet cheer for mushers and their dogs. (File photo by Keweenaw Now)

"The volunteer army is ready, the mushers and dogs are fired up, the food is hot, music fills the streets, and downtown Calumet is ready to host the best winter festival yet," says Todd Brassard, race director. "At 5 p.m. the live music starts up on Oak Street with the The Wingnuts, and Tommy Katalin is rumored to play a few numbers on Portland Street. Food and beverages will also be readily available on the streets and at the storefronts. Everyone has worked hard this year to bring more food and drink to the festival. You can support their efforts by having a little dinner in town."

Emily Dekker-Fiala says, "We'll have our homemade burritos (and hot drinks) for sale in front of 5th and Elm in Calumet for the start of the CopperDog Friday night."

The first sled team leaves the starting chute at 7 p.m., so come early, have dinner, get some hot chocolate or beer, and check out the new artist shows at local galleries.

Oren Tikkanen reports the Backroom Boys will be playing traditional jazz, swing, and blues from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday at the Vertin Gallery.

At the Omphale Café and Gallery, Heaven Hawkins will exhibit her art and play her music Friday evening.

Following the exciting start of the race, Main Street Calumet will offer a treat for the kids -- a fireworks show over Calumet's Agassiz Park, Brassard adds.*

Copper Country Associated Artists to host face painting

Girl Scouts practice face painting with artist Ellen Torola. (Photo courtesy Copper Country Associated Artists)

The Copper Country Associated Artists (CCAA) Gallery is sharing in the spirit of volunteerism and love of animals that the CopperDog 150 race is known for by holding a fund raiser for the Copper Country Humane Society. CCAA will host a face painting event at the Gallery on First Friday, hoping to gather donations which will help the local shelter.

Ellen Torola, a well known local artist, worked ahead of time with two local Girl Scout troops, helping them prepare for this event by creating designs that reflect this awesome occasion. On the evening of the CopperDog 150, CCAA artist members will be on hand to assist these young artists in painting designs on the faces of those who would like this when they visit the gallery. Refreshments will be provided.

Saturday, March 3, will be a day of festivities and more races in Calumet. The CCAA Gallery will be open so stop by and visit at their new location: 205 Fifth Street!

Ed Gray Gallery to hold reception for "Icon, Shrine, and Reliquary" exhibit

The "Icon, Shrine, and Reliquary" show will open with a public reception at 6:30 p.m. March 2 at the Ed Gray Gallery in Calumet. This is a call for entry show which features local artists and their interpretations of icon, shrine and reliquary. The icon is a symbol which represents more than its literal interpretation. A shrine often houses icons or relics and is a sacred place. A reliquary contains a sacred object. Each artist has used his/her media of choice to translate these terms.

The Ed Gray Gallery is located at 109 Fifth Street, in Calumet.

Update: Vertin Gallery to exhibit paintings by Kathy Carlton-Johnson

This month local artist Kathy Carlton-Johnson will be featured in an exhibit at Vertin Gallery. Kathy's show "On Death and Dying" is a collection of paintings and assemblage that examine death in a matter-of-fact way -- a commonality among living things. Kathy's signature style and color palette are employed in a new way while her work remains recognizably hers.

"Last Known Address," by Kathy Carlton-Johnson.

The show is on display starting Friday, March 2, and Kathy will give a talk on her new body of work at 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 24.

This First Friday Vertin guests are welcome to park behind the Vertin Building (off 6th Street).

Artist Phyllis Fredendall's show "Mining Memories" remains on display through next Thursday, March 8. If you haven't had a chance to see this wonderful work, you've got time!

Red Jacket Cyclotron Saturday, March 3

In conjunction with the CopperDog 150 this weekend, the Red Jacket Cyclotron is scheduled for Saturday, March 3, in downtown Calumet. Snow-bike racers will be battling it out on the Calumet Snowdrome on 5th Street between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. A total of nine races are scheduled, including criteriums, four-cross sprints and miss-and-out. Pasties and t-shirts will be available for fat-bike racers!

Got a fat bike? Come race! (two classes for men, one for women). No fat bike? Come check it out! And/or bring a mountain bike for the Atomsmasher Mountain Bike Crit -- to be contested on the same course as the other races, but open only to regular mountain bikes.

A number of Calumet merchants are offering special deals throughout the day, and the Michigan House / Red Jacket Brewery has brewed up a special ale in honor of the race (Moonlander). Local and regional shops will be on hand with gear and demo bikes.

For those racing the Midwest Snow Bike Championships / GBC Snow Bike Race the day after the Great Bear Chase Ski Race (bike race: March 11), a pre-ride of the Swedetown race course will follow the Cyclotron.

For full details, see For additional information or if you have questions, please email Chris at

Copper Dog continues through Sunday, March 4

After leaving Calumet Friday, the dog teams spend the night in Eagle Harbor, heading out to Copper Harbor at 9 a.m. Saturday morning. Come cheer them on as they take off for Copper Harbor! They’ll arrive in Copper Harbor around 1 p.m. Saturday; and the festivities will continue there, with free sled rides for the kids from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., and a chance to meet the mushers and dogs.

Sunday morning they’re off again, heading straight to Calumet. The CopperDog 150 Sled Dog Race should finish in Calumet around 2 p.m. Sunday.

* Visit the CopperDog Web site if you wish to donate for the fireworks or learn more about the race. See Main Street Calumet for the complete schedule of CopperDog 150 activities, including street closures.

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