Tuesday, November 15, 2016

2016 Decorate the Township

At their November general meeting, the Paradise Area Chamber of Commerce agreed to sponsor a Decorate the Town Contest for the 2016 Holiday Season.  Last year's participants added so much warmth and enthusiasm to the community, that the chamber members decided to expand.  This year's contest includes all of Whitefish Township provided the decorations can be seen from a county maintained road.

So embrace the coming weeks and let the decorating begin.  Stay safe, enjoy yourself, and don't forget to register.

The contest guidelines are listed below.

  • A $100 cash prize to a resident.
  • A $100 cash prize to a business owner. 
  • Anyone in Whitefish Township wishing to compete must call 906-492-3219 to register.  
  • There is no cost to register 
  • Contestants will be added to a map. 
  • Decorations must be visible from a county maintained road.  
  • Judging will held between December 20 to January 2, 2017
  • You can not win two years in a row.
  • Prizes will be issued after January 2.
A few photos from 2015

Paradise United Methodist Church

Paradise Food Pantry

Paradise Hardware

Private Resident

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Thermal Imaging Equipment for Paradise

Despite severe winds and rains, the 2016 Wild Blueberry Festival held last August, raised sufficient funds to make two donations on behalf of the Wild Blueberry Festival Chair-people and volunteers.  Pictured above, left to right: Wendy Skeans, Wild Blueberry Festival Chairperson; Steve Guidebeck, Whitefish Township Fire Chief; Duanne Craig, Paradise Area Chamber of Commerce Treasurer.   Monday, November 7, Wendy Skeans handed Chief Guidebeck a check for $2,000.  The Whitefish Township Fire Department will be combining these funds with money raised selling raffle tickets, stickers, food and other grants to purchase thermal imaging equipment to assist in fire rescue.   A second donation of $281 was granted to Music on the Bay, a summer concert series held at the Whitefish Township Community Center, Tuesday evenings at 7:00 PM.  For more information about Music on the Bay visit their website at www.ParadiseMusicOnTheBay.org.

Grant recipients are designated by the Wild Blueberry Festival Steering Committee. Wendy Skeans expressed sincere appreciation to all the people that contributed to the success of the Wild Blueberry Festival including festival attendees from throughout the upper and lower peninsulas.  The Wild Blueberry Festival is one of several Paradise Area Chamber of Commerce sponsored events.  The 2017 Wild Blueberry Festival is scheduled for August 18 – 20, 2017 and promises to be a family fun packed activity in its 33rd year.  For more details about the Wild Blueberry Festival go to www.WildBlueberryFestival.org.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016


Lake Superior Magazine announced their Best of the Lake awards 2016 August/September issue.  The 2016 recipients in Best of the Lake Best Festival is the Wild Blueberry Festival, Paradise, Michigan; Best of the Lake Bird/Wildlife Watching is Whitefish Point Bird Observatory; and Best of the Lake, Best Rock/Agate Picking is Whitefish Point located just 11 miles north of Paradise, Michigan.  Lake Superior Magazine, produced in Duluth, Minnesota has provided readers an opportunity to recognize deserving establishments and locations since 1993. The four shores covered by the magazine include Michigan, Minnesota, Ontario, and Wisconsin.   Votes of fans and supporters were tallied and the results posted in the 2016 September issue and on their website, www.LakeSuperior.com.

The Best of the Lake Festival 2016 recipients included Bridgefest in Hancock Michigan and Soo Engineers’ Weekend of Sault Ste Marie, Michigan.  Identified as the best festivals in Minnesota were Tall Ships, and Bayfront Blues held in Duluth and the Fisherman’s Picnic, in Grand Marais, Minnesota.  In Ontario, Bushplane Days of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario and Live from the Rock Folk Festival in Red Rock, Ontario. While the Bayfield Apple Festival of Bayfield Wisconsin and the Fourth of July on Madeline Island completed the list of Best of the Lake Festival recipients for 2016.

Best of the Lake Bird/Wildlife Watching included not only Whitefish Point Bird Observatory but Brockway Mountain in Michigan.  In Minnesota, Hawk Ridge in Duluth, Gunflint Trail in Grand Marais, and Sax-Zim Bog near Forbes were highest honorees.  In Ontario, Best Bird/Wildlife Watching kudos went to the St. Marys River waterfront in Sault Ste. Marie and Sleeping Giant Provincial Park near Thunder Bay.  Wisconsin’s Madeline Island and Apostle Islands National Lakeshore were recognized for their bird and wildlife watching features.

Where are the Best of the Lake, Best Rock Agate Picking?  Little Girl’s Point near Ironwood along with Whitefish Point rounded out the recipients for Michigan.  In Minnesota, Brighton Beach near Duluth and Beaver Bay were recognized by their rock hounders.  While in Ontario, be sure to stop at Goulais Bay and Nipigon’s Agate Beach.   Wisconsin’s Along Big Bay off Madeline Island and Saxon Harbor completed the list of Best Rock Agate Picking of the Lake.

Be sure to pick up your copy of Lake Superior Magazine for a broad spectrum of Bests.  This 2016 edition is the Tall Ships Collector’s Edition and filled with information and images to delight your spirit.  The folks in the Paradise area have always known that the Wild Blueberry Festival was special, rock hounding at the point ideal, and bird watching at Whitefish Point Bird Observatory surreal.  It is just really nice to be endorsed by others through such a fine tribute.

Monday, June 20, 2016


PARADISE, Michigan   The 4th annual Whitefish Point Marathon was held on Saturday, June 11, 2016. At seven A.M the field of 70 runners started their 26.2 mile journey at Sawmill Creek Park on the Whitefish Point Road. From there, the course runs north on the Whitefish Point Road with an out and back on Vermilion Road, then continuing on Whitefish Point Road to the turnaround at the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum, then back along the Whitefish Point Road, making a loop along North Superior Drive and returning to Paradise along Whitefish Point Road and continuing along M-123 to the finish at the Whitefish Township Community Center. The cool weather and overcast skies, along with a pleasant breeze were accompanied by high humidity. At Whitefish Point the fog off Lake Superior enveloped the scene.  

According to Nikki Craig, Registration Coordinator, several records for the event were set including the number of finishers which was 68. Setting a new course record for the men was Simon Reidsma, 22, of Wyoming, MI with a time of two hours, 39 minutes, and 44 seconds. The runner up Jake Gillette, 30, Goshen, IN finished in 2:44:34, and third Evan Griffith, 23, Calumet, MI 2:51:28 also broke the previous course record. Winning the women’s division was Amy Frauhammer, 21, of Saline, MI posting a course record time of 3:10:51.

The Whitefish Point Marathon course is certified by USA Track & Field and those runners meeting or exceeding the Boston Marathon qualifying time (BQ)  are entitled to register for entry into the next Boston Marathon which will be held on April 17, 2017. A total of 16 marathon finishers accomplished this goal which represented 23% of this year’s finishers.

This year there were finishers from 14 different States with most of the field hailing from Michigan. The other States represented were Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin. J. Dewar, 53, of Gloucester, Ontario finished in 3:57:43 becoming the first international finisher in the event’s history.
Three Countries:  Canada, USA, Japan
Hajime Nishi, 67, of Chuokitainzai, Japan finishing in 6:38:42 became the first Asian finisher. This was Hajime Nishi 686th international marathon run.  Tim Mutterer, 56, Kaukauna, WI sang the National Anthem prior to the start and posted a 6:22:45. Rob Bannan of Paradise recited an Irish Blessing before honorary starter, Ruth Holthuis of Paradise set the field in motion.

Race Director, Bill Sved reported that all finishers received a Lake Superior stone medallion with the Whitefish Point Marathon logo. and overall and age group winners were presented with a Lake Superior stone, each with a different scene representative of the area, hand painted by Sherri McLellen of Paradise. Those winners of each category were as follows:


Overall 6 Amy Frauhammer, 21, Saline, MI 3:10:51
29 & Under 13 Madelyn Cox, 26, Grandville,MI 3:34:54
30-39 11 Leah Stormont, 31, Louisville, KY 3:30:13
40-49 33 Jill Richard, 45, Garden, MI 4:08:35
50-59 19 Karen Nelson, 51, Gwinn, MI 3:51:17



Overall 1 Simon Reidsma, 22, Wyoming, MI 2:39:44
29 & Under 3 Evan Griffith, 23, Calumet, MI 2:51:28
30-39 2 Jake Gillette, 30, Goshen, IN 2:44:34
40-49 7 Charles Fritz, 41, Dewitt, MI 3:12:36
50-59 5 Clark Reed, 50, Ligonier, IN 3:05:32
60 & Over 29 Bill Pyle, 65, Marquette, MI 4:03:06

Complete results and more information can be found at the Whitefish Point Marathon website at www.WhitefishPointMarathon.org.

The Whitefish Point Marathon is an event hosted by the Paradise Area Chamber of Commerce and had additional sponsors from Paradise, Newberry, and Sault Ste. Marie. The major goals in hosting this event were to provide a quality marathon race to attract visitors to the area and create more awareness of the Eastern Upper Peninsula and all that it has to offer. All the volunteers who provided support for this event along with the sponsors and the services provided by the Whitefish Township Office, EMS, and Fire Department were essential to the success of this race. A huge THANK YOU to all those that helped support the marathon.

Submitted by
 Nikki Craig, Registration Coordinator, 906-492-3266
 Bill Sved, Race Director, 906-361-5059

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Yes, my dear. There is a parade in Paradise!

Photo Courtesy Village Fabrics & Crafts in Paradise
     There has been a lot of concern in the past six weeks as to whether or not there will be a fourth of July parade in Paradise. All of the community can rest assured.   Yes my dear. There is a parade in Paradise, July 4, 1:00 PM starting at the blinker light located on the corner of M-123 (the Tahquamenon Scenic Byway) and Whitefish Point Road. 
     July 4 is a grand holiday throughout the United States. In Paradise, July 4 is culture-rich tradition that has blessed so many families and has been included in so many summer plans for several decades.  As a small community, Paradise is conveniently located at the southwestern edge of Lake Superior's Whitefish Bay.  Many people travel to the eastern Upper Peninsula for their summer vacation to enjoy the sights and sounds of the mighty Tahquamenon River, and to escape the heat that tends to settle across the county in July.  Many people are amazed at the Fireworks show held at the Whitefish Township Community Center at dusk.  How could such a small community put on such a grand show!  Well it is the 4th of July and the folks in Paradise are more then pleased to celebrate the birth of the nation!
Whitefish Township EMT's Preparing Breakfast

     The July 4th Festival in Paradise begins with Breakfast, 7:00 - 11:00 AM. We are talking the full meal deal: pancakes, sausages, scrambled eggs, biscuits and gravy, coffee, and juice, prepared and served by our Whitefish Township EMT's.  Breakfast is a free will donation, so please give freely.  
Photo Courtesy of Terry Humphrey

     The parade begins at 1:00 PM at the blinker light.  This year the parade is being sponsored by RE/MAX NorthStar Realty.  Garth MacMaster Jr. has been involved with the Paradise community for years, and recognizes the heritage and value of the parade to the community, he encouraged his associates, Randy and Leslie Kooienga (Outstanding Agents, Outstanding Results), in coordinating the parade.  If you have any questions about entering your float, or participating in the parade, just give them a call at 906-492-3513.  When asked by this writer whether RE/MAX NorthStar Realty would have a hot air balloon in the parade, Garth stated that it may be a possibility!

     In preparing for the Fireworks, the Paradise Area Chamber of Commerce is organizing a bevy of exhibitors offering food and snacks at the community center from 5:00 PM - 9:00 PM.  A popular bake sale will again be hosted by the Paradise Area Community Foundation, and several organizations will have exhibits at the center as well.  If your organization is interested in setting up a display, contact PACC member, Rick Bicknell in claiming a space, 906-492-3219.  Don't miss Music On The Bay's FREE concert that begins at 7:00 PM and runs through 9:00 PM.  A south eastern Michigan based country/rock trio, Seven Bridges, kicks off the 2016 Music on the Bay season. Check the 2016 schedule at www.MIMusicOnTheBay.org

     The Fireworks begin at dusk, brought to you by Whitefish Township and the Whitefish Township Fire Department. You will be amazed as you join this small community in celebrating the birth of a great nation, the United States of America.  Thank you to all of the organizations and volunteers in putting together the 2016 Paradise July 4 Festival:  Whitefish Township EMS, RE/MAX NorthStar Realty, the Paradise Area Chamber of Commerce, Whitefish Township, and the Whitefish Township Fire Department!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

2016 Paradise Area Polar Plunge

On February 27, 2016, the Second Annual Polar Plunge was held at Andrus Lake, near the intersection of North Whitefish Point Road and Vermilion Road, north of Paradise in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The Polar Plunge is one of several activities the Paradise Area Chamber of Commerce organized and promoted as a part of the 2016 Ice Festival.   By the end of February, residents of the Whitefish Point Region often finds spring to be elusive for another month or two. Cabin Fever starts to get a foothold infecting residents near and far.  The frigid temperatures of 2014 and 2015 substantiated the need for just such community activities to celebrate the conditions that make us unique and engage the entire family:  Ice Fishing Contest, Pancake & Sausage Breakfast, Ice Sculpture Contest, Chili Cook-Off, Snowshoe Hikes, Lantern Lit Ski Trails, Snowmobile Safety Class and Ice Swap Meet.  The Polar Plunge can not happen without the support of the Whitefish Township EMS and Fire Department.

Assessing the situation!
The Plunge
Returning to the top!Basking in the Glow!

The Polar Plunge serves as a means to raise additional funds for the Whitefish Township Emergency Services which includes the Whitefish Township Fire Department and the Emergency Medical Technicians.  This year the chamber offered participants two strategies to raise funds:   a challenge and or sponsorships.  While Internet social networking sites are popular and a lot of dialog included conversations about the plunge, official challenges had to be posted at Paradise Foods, downtown Paradise.  One resident could challenge another resident to JUMP for a specific amount of money.  

 The challenged has several  options:  a) reject the challenge, b) negotiate a higher amount, c) find someone else to jump on their behalf and maybe sweeten the pot, or d) JUMP.  In options c and d, the challenger has to pay up.  If someone wishes to jump, they may approach a business or organization and offer to wear a shirt with their logo for a negotiated amount of money.  A Jumper may collect as many sponsorships or challenges as possible.  All of the money goes to a great cause.  Community conversations related to the Polar Plunge preceded the event by nearly eight weeks as challenges, sponsorships, and nerves were collected.

A number of people contributed to this entire project:  Snow had to be cleared (Many thanks to Bolz Construction.)  The ice (8 inches thick this year) had to be cut, Charlie Jacques and his crew did a great job!  Joann Cook, PACC Vice President, oversaw the entire event including the validation of several challenges.  Sue Anway aided in getting the eager plungers to sign waivers and collect funds. Many were very grateful to Roger Clark and his ice shanty, the shelter, heat, and refuge that it provided was invaluable.  Two kind, local photographers contributed their skills capturing some mighty cold moves. Each of them caught by the other in these next two candid shots.

Photographer, Elliott  Photographer, Mullins 
$360 was raised by this tiny band of brave souls. Afterwards, ideas were shared among the coordinators as to how this event might be improved for 2017, the last Saturday in the month.  Ice cutters, emergency crews, and snow removal crews have been locked in.  Last year, the Yooper Sauna Company added to the festivities, may be they would return if we reached out earlier in the year. The action could start a little later in the afternoon.  The Chili Cook-Off participants wanted to get in on the fun, so next year we'll start at 2:00PM  maybe the air will be a bit warmer.  The T-shirt idea was great!  Nice work Tanya!  If we offered shirts to the brave souls that take the plunge in 2017, the plungers could wear the shirt as a badge of honor, so deserved!   For your enjoyment and our reminder of a great time, here are a few additional shots you might enjoy! (Note that very clear, reflective water!  Only in the Purest of Pure Michigan, the Upper Peninsula.)

Monday, March 7, 2016

Chili Cook Off Declares Two Awards

The Paradise Area Chamber of Commerce added an activity to their second annual Ice Festival, Saturday, February 27, a  Chili Cook-Off.  It just made sense to offer a warm up during the plethora of activities, scheduled through the weekend: Ice Fishing Contest, Ice Sculpture Contest, Snowmobile Safety Class, Snowshoe Hike, Lantern Lit Ski Trail,and Polar Plunge.  
In this first event there were four entries, Vegan Chili, Cincinnati Chili, Chili Picante, and  D & B Chili. Contestants set up prior to noon, provided a copy of their recipes, and provided sufficient quantities of their chili to offer as many 50 miniature servings to taste testers.  From noon until 1:00 PM approximately 22 tasters stopped in and sampled this variety. Two tasters had been prearranged to serve as judges. The chamber provided insulated cups, spoons, napkins and soda crackers to cleanse the palette between samples.  One of the contestants provided corn chips and an assortment of sauces to either add heat or lower the temperature of the chili in accordance to your preference.  Contestants were encouraged to decorate their station as much as they wished and could visit with tasters or permit tasters to serve themselves.

2016 People's Choice Award
The biggest delight of the day was the relaxed atmosphere as people meandered about from crock pot to crock pot, asking the cooks/chef's a variety of questions and then tasting.  A number of conversations were struck among the tasters, oohing and aahing as they shared stories of family favorites.  

At the end of the journey the tasters wrote down the number of their favorite crock pot.  A few collected copies of  the recipe of their choice for another day.  

At 3:00 PM the awards program identified the Chili Cook-Off award recipients.  In this first year, two chili chef's were recognized through the Judges Choice and the People's Choice.  The Judges Choice went to Dianne Clark and her Chili Picante. Dianne offered to tasters her Chili 101 curriculum and shared with people information about chili peppers and temperature control of your chili. The People's Choice Award went to Deb and Bill Mangham for their D & B Chili.  Deb shared with the event coordinator, Nikki Craig, that quite often their chili takes on a different flavor, depending upon what herb is available.   Each contestant and taster seemed to be gratified by the experience and encouraged at the possibilities of a 2nd annual event in 2017. 

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Paradise Area's Ice Festival Chili Cook-Off

The Paradise Area Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a Chili Cook-Off event during their second annual Ice Festival weekend in Paradise, Michigan.  It just made sense to winter events coordinator, Nikki Craig to offer a warm up activity during the Ice Festival schedule.   Tahquamenon Falls State Park offers a Chili Cook Off activity during their Harvest Festival in October. The chamber hopes to model that activity while providing visitors to the area a tasty sampling of Chili to warm their spirits.

The Ice Festival’s Chili Cook Off is Saturday, February 27 from Noon until 1:00 PM.  Anyone interested in putting their chili recipe to the test, may set up between 11:00 and Noon.    You need to bring your prepared soup and be ready to serve at Noon.  Please abide by health department requests by using your best manners in preparing and serving the food.  You will have access to an electrical outlet and need a ladle to serve from 25 – 50 miniature servings (2 – 3 ounces).  Soup servers may decorate their table suitable for the festivities.  There is no charge for participating in this first year and there is no charge for soup tasting.  The chamber will provide soup tasters with soda crackers, serving cup, napkins, and spoon.  Soup tasters will vote on their favorite entry.  So invite your family and friends to participate in the soup tasting fun.  

Awards will be meager this first year but boasting rights abound.  A certificate of merit will be given to the People’s Choice.  A judge has been wrangled to provide an additional perspective so contestants, please have your recipe handy.   The judge’s choice will receive a certificate as well.    So bring in your TexMex, White Chili, Minnesota’s Twist, Cincinnati Style, or your grandmother’s best.  We’re looking forward to the camaraderie and tasty delights!

When you arrive early, you will be able to enjoy the Whitefish Township’s EMT’s breakfast and hang around for the Ice Festival Swap Meet.  If you have anything to sell, bring it to the swap meet from 11:00 to 3:00 PM.  The Chili Cook-Off awards will be handed out at the 3:00 Awards program along with the winners of the Ice Festival Sculpture contest.  There is a lot to do during the Ice Festival, so get out and about, say hello to a neighbor or two and have some fun in Paradise!

If you have any questions, give Nikki a call at 492-3266.  If you plan on submitting an entry the last Saturday in February, please give her a call so we have an idea for preparations and entry signs.  Come join in the fun!

Pictures and contestants will be featured in a post on this blog in March.  We're looking forward to seeing you.