Frosty crowd turns out for Ironwood's winter parade
IRONWOOD - Many spectators viewed Friday evening's Jack Frost Parade in the comfort of downtown Ironwood businesses as wind chill readings of minus 7 sent them indoors.
Most of the parade watchers arrived just before the 6 p.m. start to line both sides of Aurora Street because frequent breezes combined with the zero-degree weather to make conditions brutal.
At Hitt's Fine Furniture, where the raffle ticket winners were announced at 5 p.m. Friday, spectators both young and old viewed the parade from the comfort of some sofas.
In the back room, Mary Hitt provided snacks and hot cider to warm up the spectators during Ironwood's kick-off to winter celebration.
Despite the cold weather, most of the float-towing vehicles ran without a hitch.
After parade participants from one ill-fated float walked by, rather than riding, Sam Davey explained the electric-powered vehicle that was to tow the float wouldn't run in the cold.
The numerous animals in the parade, like the adoptable dogs from the HOPE Animal Shelter, didn't seem to mind the cold.
There was plenty of snow for sled-themed floats, with 46 inches falling for the season.
Smokey Bear, representing the Ottawa National Forest, didn't have to warn anyone about forest fires on the frigid night.
The winner of the Jack Frost Festival raffle first place prize of $5,000 was Ron Tankka, with ticket number 164.
Other winners were:
-Second: $2,000, Phil Strong.
-Third: $1,000, Snow Country Construction.
-Fourth: $500, Dan Berg.
-Fifth: $500, George Rosario.
-Sixth: $250, Phil Schleinhege.
-Seventh: $250, Eric and Kevin Schneller.
-Eighth: $250, Bob and Joanne Bruneau.
-Ninth: $250, Kerri Duff.
The Jack Frost raffle, with 50 percent of the money collected going to the Ironwood Chamber of Commerce, is the chamber's primary fund-raiser of the year.
The Gogebic Range Concert Band performed in the cozy Historic Ironwood Theatre following the parade.
For those unable, or unwilling, to brave the cold Friday, Charter Communications will offer ample viewing opportunities.
Chris Whitburn said Charter viewers may tune in to channel 27 during Dec. 13-20 from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. daily to watch the parade.