IRON RIVER - Preparations for the second IronLine sled dog race, set for Friday and Saturday in Iron River, are in full swing, according to organizers.
"A lot of the vision from last year's race is coming together this year," said Josh Brindle, one of the race directors.
Events begin at the Mushers Village on Friday at 5 p.m. The Iron River RV Park near the Iron County Chamber of Commerce will be converted into the Mushers Village before the start of Friday's race, featuring vendors and warming tents. Sled rides for kids, hot beverages, food and merchandise will be available.
Opening ceremonies begin at 6 p.m. with mushers taking off from the starting gates at 6:30 p.m. Brindle said that spectators can expect 20 to 25 mushers for the main race. Mushers from all over will be competing, including a few from Michigan.
The Musher's Village will reopen at 9 a.m. on Saturday. Spectators can enjoy a walk around the village before the four-dog recreational race begins at 10 a.m. The race is a small 12-mile race, 6 miles out and 6 miles back. According to the IronLine website, the four-dog recreational is for up-and-comers, young mushers and those just wanting to have fun running dogs. No veterinarian checks will be required, but veterinary records are.
The second stage of the main race will begin at 1 p.m. at the Iron River RV Park and is expected to last around two hours.
"Only 50 percent of the event is about the actual race," Brindle said. "The other part is about building the community, building Iron County."
The event will conclude at the Musher Awards Banquet at the George Young Recreational Complex at 6 p.m. Saturday. "The complex is also a great viewing station for watching racers as they mush across the snow-covered golf course adjacent to Chicaugon Lake," Brindle said. Winter warmers and food will be available there.
"This year has come together much quicker and easier because of all of the volunteer and community support and having extra people on staff to carry the load, not to mention a bang-up trail crew that is absolutely on top of everything," race directors Josh and Grace Brindle wrote on their website.
For more information, visit theironline.com or call 906-284-2592.