Saturday, June 14, 2014

Chain Drive mountain bike races, parade, highlight Bridgefest weekend

By Michele Bourdieu

Mountain bikers head across the Portage Lift Bridge this morning, June 14, on their way from Houghton to Hancock for the 16- and 30-mile Chain Drive Festival races at Maasto Hiihto. At left, spectators Lynette Potvin and her nephew, Jameson Manders, 4, watch for Jameson's Mom, Elise, of DePere, Wis., who is participating in the race. (Photos by Keweenaw Now)

HANCOCK -- Cooler than normal June weather didn't discourage the mountain bikers participating in the Chain Drive Festival races today at Maasto Hiihto or the many local residents who turned out for the Bridgefest Parade from Hancock to Houghton yesterday. Here are some videos and photos of the events:

They're off! Over and under the bridge ...

A large number of mountain bike enthusiasts turned out for today's Chain Drive Festival. As the 16- and 30-mile races begin, participants ride from Houghton to Hancock across the Portage Lift Bridge and then under it -- heading for the Maasto Hiihto Trails. (Videos by Keweenaw Now)

Lynette Potvin, U.S. Forest Service researcher at Michigan Tech, and her nephew, Jameson Manders, 4, of DePere, Wis., watched the mountain bikers cross the Lift Bridge so Jameson could see his Mom, Elise, ride by. Jameson is ready with his bike to head for the Junior Chain Drive, being held at Portage Health this afternoon. "He's excited about it," Potvin said. 

Bridgefest Parade ...

Musicians from the Houghton and Hancock High School bands play a lively tune as they march down Quincy Street in Hancock during the Bridgefest Parade, which attracted a large crowd of local residents.

A City of Houghton Fire Truck participates in the parade, with firefighters on the truck following the tradition of tossing candy to children watching the event.

Painesdale residents recall their mining history with a float that announces the Copper Country Historic Fair being held at Dee Stadium in Houghton from June through August 2014.

Houghton County Democrats, including State Rep. Scott Dianda (walking behind float) remind people to vote. The Michigan Primary Election will be held Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014.

Members of the Copper Country Skating Academy proudly display their banner.

Roller skating enthusiasts head down Quincy Street in Hancock, looking forward to skating across the Portage Lift Bridge as the parade continues to Houghton.

Celebrations, a boutique specializing in wedding and formal dresses, reminds spectators that June is the month of weddings and proms.

More Bridgefest events ...

Bridgefest activities continue through the weekend with fireworks, sponsored by Portage Health, at dusk tonight, Saturday, June 14 (weather permitting) on the Portage Lake Waterway. Tomorrow, Sunday, June 15, helicopter rides will be offered from 10 a.m. to sunset at the Ramada Inn in Hancock. The Yooper Sprint Triathlon begins at 10 a.m. Sunday at Hancock Beach.

Click here to read more about Bridgefest.

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