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.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Paradise Experiences An Increase in Population!

The sparsely populated community of Paradise added 10 new residents during the last weekend in January, special visitors to the 2016 Winter Carnival.

The Paradise Area Chamber of Commerce experienced such a great success in their Decorate-the-Town December Contest, they decided to challenge the residents to create Snow Sculptures this year with the theme Snow People. Last year the event limited entrants to building their art forms on the community center property on the day of the event. After the grand success of the Decorate the Town Contest, the venue changed to anywhere along M-123 and Whitefish Point Road within Whitefish Township. The sculptures were to be built during the week before judging, visible from the road and manage to survive snow plows before the judging deadline. The added time to build projects yielded vastly larger sculptures and more talk within the community. It was exciting to watch the projects develop as families worked together in this outdoor activity.

The 2016 Judge determine the winner as a tie, The Snow Family built by the Holden family and the always popular Hulk built by the Moore family. Donations given by Silver Creek Grill and Pub, The Inn, and The Berry Patch were evenly divided between the two entries. After such a great time building, this gives the families even more quality time, an opportunity to dine in a few of Paradise area’s finest restaurants.

Saturday, February 27, Paradise is in the midst of their 2nd Annual Ice Festival. Keeping a good thing going, there is an Ice Sculpture Contest. The requirements to participate are essentially the same. The sculpture should be visible from M-123 and North Whitefish Point Road within Whitefish Township and you must complete by 2:00 PM, Saturday, February 27. In order to be including in the judging though, you must call 906-492-3219 and let us know where your sculpture is located. Contestants may begin this Saturday, 2/20. Then keep adding it to! This year's theme is "Reach for the Stars"! We hope you will join us in Paradise!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Snow Bake-Off Baking Contest Warms the Hearts as Well as the Kitchen

The Paradise Area Chamber of Commerce added a new activity to Paradise’s Winter Carnival, a Snow Bake-Off Baking Contest and Bake Sale. Winter is an ideal time to heat up the oven and enjoy the fragrance of freshly baked breads, pies, and cookies. The 2016 Bake-Off surpassed all expectations in this first annual event. The baking contest offered two divisions: adult and youth (Aged 18 and under).
Dianne Clark, Snow Bake-Off Chairperson, wanted to provide families and schools an opportunity to utilize this event as a learning and encouragement activity for children as well. Within each division there were three categories: Breads, Pies, and Cookies. The greatest challenge was that no box mix was allowed. This baking had to be completed from scratch. Each entrant had to include their recipe willing to share with spectators.
In the adult division Breads, 1st place went to Penny Clark of Eckerman for her Easy Crusty Bread, 1st Place Pies went to Laurel Graham for her Apple Pie. In the adult division Cookies, Linda Culbert took the cake or rather the blue ribbon for her Molasses Crinkles. Sarah Wilde is pictured here with her ribbon winning Shortbread Cookies. In the junior division there were no bread entries. In junior division Pies, the blue ribbon went to Rachel Holden for her Snicker Doodle Reese Cream Cheese Pie and the Whitefish Township Community Schools Art Class earned the blue ribbon for their Smores Stuffed Cookies. Wyatt Moore is pictured here with his yellow ribbon and chocolate Brownies.

Discussions are already in place for the 2017 Snow Bake-Off; the last Saturday in January, 2017. Put your best foot forward and start practicing. Funds raised in the 2016 Bake Sale will be used to cover costs and prizes for 2017. Thinking in the long term, there is even talk of a 5th Anniversary Snow Bake-Off Cookbook. The Paradise Area Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a Chili Cook-Off the last Saturday in February as a part of their Ice Festival activities. You can find details about the contest or festival at

Decorate the Town!

For many years, Whitefish Township residents hung lighted Christmas wreaths, and assorted decorations from the utility poles. Cloverland Electric enacted a recent policy denying access to the poles for this purpose. Undaunted, the chamber board quickly proceeded with a Christmas Light Contest awarding a $100 cash prize to the best decorated property along the route of M-123 from Cloud 9 Cabins south of central Paradise to Village Fabrics and Crafts located west of Paradise. Former Deputy Sheriff Tom McBride reported that he would check his stash for more lights when he was handed the flyer encouraging residents and businesses alike to participate in the contest. Peggy Moore of Moore's Cabins thought they might join in the program, adding more lights this year as well.
The Reason for the Season

Paradise is a community that depends on snow to boost their local economy through the winter months. This year the snow hasn't arrived as yet, but residents are using this time and opportunity to get into the spirit of the season. Motives to participate in this effort are mixed, the community had a wonderful tourist season in 2015 and feels like expressing their joy. Many have commented as to the exceptional darkness during the holiday times last season and wish to avoid that this year, while other members of the community are moved to celebrate the Christmas. Regardless of the reason, everyone within Paradise is pleased to see the number of lights increasing night after night.

There was so much excitement generated by the contest, that at their December meeting the Chamber members decided to offer two $100.00 cash prizes, one to a resident and one to a business. After much deliberation, the finalists were chosen.  The finalist for the resident prize is Debbie Brown and the finalist for the business category is the former Paradise Hardware store recently purchased by Jack and Renee Grimes.  Jack and Renee Grimes, offered the $100.00 cash prize back to the Paradise Area Chamber of Commerce Christmas Fund. Thank you to all of the residents and businesses that participated in this contest.  It was a great time and enjoyable holiday season living in Paradise.
Former Paradise Hardware Store and Post Office
Residential First Place with Moon in the Background