The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Ironwood celebrates winter with Jack Frost Festival


December 9, 2019

Richard Jenkins/Daily Globe

JACK FROST walks down Aurora Street in downtown Ironwood Saturday night during the city's Jack Frost Festival of Lights Parade.


Ironwood - As they have for 25 years, residents of Ironwood and the surrounding area came out to celebrate winter Saturday during the city's Jack Frost parade and surrounding activities.

Michael Meyer, the director of the Ironwood Chamber of Commerce, called Saturday's parade a success.

"(I'm) very pleased with how the parade went. There were more floats, but more importantly many more of the floats had excellent lighting," Meyer said. "(Entries) were more well developed, in terms of their presentation, than they have been in previous years."

Although there was no formal theme, Meyer said parade entries were intended to celebrate some aspect of the holiday season or winter in the Northwoods.

There were 34 entries in this year's parade, according to Meyer - possibly the most in parade history.

Although there was wind and blowing snow at the beginning of the parade, Meyer said the weather improved over time and didn't appear to keep people away.

"The wind died off as the parade went down (the route)," Meyer said.

Although the parade winners weren't available Sunday, Meyer said this year's parade featured some changes to judging criteria.

He said organizers decided to remove the distinction between motorized and non-motorized categories - as many entries featured elements of both - and increased the emphasis on lighting.

"That really paid off, because some of those floats were ... brilliantly lit," Meyer said. "That's what you want to see when you have a night-time parade, you want to see lights and fancy (decorations)."

Another sign of the parade's success for Meyer was the fact that all 200 of the Jack Frost raffle tickets were sold during the festival.

Along with the parade, Saturday's events included a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus to IncredibleBank, as well as the continuation of a holiday craft market and a screening of "A Christmas Story" at the Historic Ironwood Theatre. Other events Saturday included the Northern Elves Santa Dash down Aurora Street and the Ironwood Carnegie Library's annual open house.

"There was a pretty well-packed day, starting in the morning. There was stuff to do all day," Meyer said.

Although the weekend of the parade is certainly a central part of the Jack Frost Festival, festivities continue through the end of January. Information on upcoming events available on the chamber of commerce's website,


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