Sunday, March 12, 2017

Chili Cook Off Showcases Local Talents

The Paradise Area Chamber of Commerce invited restaurant members and residents alike to participate in their second Chili Cook-Off.  One of the many activities of the 2017 Ice Festival held the last weekend in February.

The Chili Cook-Off provides Whitefish Township residents an opportunity to showcase the talents of many area cooks and ample opportunity for residents to ward off cabin fever.

At noon, chili tasters were encouraged to sample each of the  entries which included two "White
Chili" entries and one pulled pork variety.  All entries were anonymously identified including entries sponsored by area restaurants.  Tasters were provided a selection of soda crackers or corn chips to cleanse the palate and each sampling was served in a fresh cup to avoid a co-mingling of seasonings.


Scoville Scale Presented by Local Herbologist





True to form the Chili Cook-Off conventionally offers attendees information.  In its first year, basic chili concepts including chili pepper specifics was presented by local herbologist, Dianne Clark.  This year Dianne advanced the chili concepts to include scoville units, the scoville scale specifying chili pepper heat measurements,  and a Spanish Label Reading Contest.  The Spanish Label Reading Contest winner was Brendan Mather, Brimley, Michigan.

Many tasters found it frustrating to limit their selection to only "ONE" best chili.  Tasters commented frequently as to the quality of each entry. Conversation flowed as tasters attempted to identify ingredients!



People's Choice Recipient, Lorrie Bicknell
Tasters were wowed this year by the number of entries, nine.  Even though tasters struggled to select only one "Best Chili", they selected a White Chili entry submitted by Lorrie Bicknell.  Lorrie was thrilled to be recognized among all the delectable options.

The Judge's Choice was a more traditional chili submitted by the Berry Patch in Paradise.  Even though the crew was exhausted by a full day of service to tourists and residents they were delighted to be recognized for their entry.  The photo on the left (left to right) is Grace Hildebrant, Shirley Clark, and Donna Knox.
2017 Judge's Choice Recipient, Berry Patch

Sunday, February 19, 2017

2017, Your Year to Take the Plunge

9and10News/Fox 32
Local weather forecasters are predicting highs of 28 degrees, Saturday, February 25.  A significant downswing in the temperatures from the previous week.  In 2015 the observed temperature of the day was 4 degrees, which compares to 28 degrees in 2016.  Despite the weather conditions today, have no doubt,  winter is still here.  April 2016 brought in an additional 23.75 inches, a solid 15% of the season's snow fall.  Don't delay, 2017 is your year to take the plunge, next year's temperatures may fall into the realm of single digits or one can hardly image, the dreaded below zero range.  So take advantage of the forecast, make plans to Plunge with a family member or friend.

Township Trustee Forrester in 2016
This is the third year that the Paradise Area Chamber of Commerce has coordinated an Ice Festival that includes a menagerie of activities for area residents and visitors to the region.   Polar Plunge activities, a fund raiser for the Whitefish Township Fire Department, begins at 1 PM at Andrus Lake.  For your comfort, hot brats & beverages will be available at Andrus Lake (Just 5.6 miles north of the blinking light in Paradise, turn left on Vermillion Road and you'll see activities on your left.)  Ice fishing demonstrations will be available beginning at 1 PM.  If you are 16 years old and younger, give it a shot!  Our fishing expert will be there to answer questions about ice fishing in the Paradise area.


Brother & Sister in 2016
At about 1:15 pm, an Ice Safety Demonstration provided by recently certified Ice Rescue representatives of the Sugar Island Fire Department will begin.  Many of us have heard the reports of catastrophes throughout the state.  Given the type of weather conditions this winter and the wide range of ice possibilities in the Paradise area, members of the community felt it was time for an ice safety review on behalf of all ages.

Then the fun begins!  Who will accept the call to PLUNGE?  Polar Plunging will be begin shortly after the Ice demonstration!  You can pick up a pledge form at the Paradise Food Pantry, or download one here!  It is a great cause and you know you want to have fun!  Waivers to jump will be available at registration but you can download that here as well.

8 Below
Start the Ice Festival Weekend by enjoying a fine meal at one of the local restaurants then enjoy a free movie, 8 Below, at the Whitefish Township Community Center, 7 PM on Friday evening, February 24.  The movie is free and so is the popcorn.  Fun for the entire family!

Ice Sculptures are not out of the question   Families in our small community are already putting their imaginations to work and determining how they might out do their snow sculptures from January. The challenge in February not unlike January is a quick thaw that has developed.  Anyone hoping to have an entry in the Ice Sculpture contest is to call in their entry at 906-492-3219 or notify the festival coordinator, Nikki at 906-492-3266.

Saturday morning the Whitefish Township Emergency Medical Services Team will be offering a scrambled egg & sausage breakfast along with pancakes and sausage gravy and biscuits.  Serving from 8 until Noon at the Whitefish Township Community Center. This is an ideal opportunity to support the local EMS crew and to say hi to your neighbors.

Cross-Country ski trails are open as well as snow shoe trails.  Saturday the folks at Tahquamenon Falls State Park are offering a guided snowshoe hike, meet at the fact shack of the Upper Falls at 2PM.  If you don't have any snow shoes, they have a few that you could try to determine your level of enthusiasm.  The park is also offering lantern lit trails for your pleasure beginning at 6PM until 8:30.

Another winter market place is open (free) for you to set up either outside or inside the community center, beginning at 10 AM and ending at 2 PM  Participants in the Chili Cook-Off can start setting up in the community center at 11 AM.  Decorate your table and entice tasters to select your chili as the "Best in Paradise
Tasting begins at the Whitefish Township Community Center at Noon.  There is no charge to taste but we ask you to vote for your favorite Chili.  Tasting ends at 1 PM just in time for you to head north to Andrus Lake for the Polar Plunge festivities. 

Don't get cabin fever!  Enjoy a movie, meet with your neighbors at the breakfast Saturday morning, bring the grand kids to Andrus Lake to learn more about Ice Safety, better yet, plunge in and enjoy the fun!

Friday, February 3, 2017

Baking Talents Take Center Stage

Courtesy Sarah Wilde

Tahquamenon Falls Brewery & Pub Chef Noah Judges Competition

The 2017 Paradise Area Snow Bake - Off Baking Competition had 13 entries this year.  Contestants submitted their delectable creations Saturday, January 28, 2017, at the Whitefish Township Community Center.  Local baking enthusiast, Dianne Clark, organized the 2017 Winter Carnival activity and encouraged people within the community to participate.  The Tahquamenon Falls Brewery & Pub, Chef Noah served as the official judge.  After the judging contestants learn of their standings and the community is able to purchase cookies, breads, and pie at noon.

Penny Clark and Event Chairperson, Dianne Clark
 The 2017 event included two divisions, adult and youth.  The categories included Breads, Cookies, and Pies.  Contestants donate their entries to the bake sale and provide a copy of their recipe.  This is the second year of the event. The funds from last year's bake sale were mainly used to develop prizes and gifts for the first place recipients.

In a contentious bout of cookies, Penny Clark of Paradise took first place for her Molasses Crinkles in the Adult Division.  Donna Knox's Delightful Surprise took 2nd place and Linda Bitnar wowed the onlookers with her Double Chocolate Cherry Cookies and 3rd place.
Elsie and Isaac Holden

Always popular with children, the Youth Division had their own battle for best cookies in Paradise.  Elsie Holden took home the blue ribbon with her Wintertime Chocolate Moisties, while Gregory Mills of the Whitefish Township Community Schools, 5th grade took 2nd place with his Monster Granola Cookie Bites!  The Whitefish Township Community Schools 4th Grade Class members: James Johnson, Amber Moody, Wyatt Moore, and Keegan Planck took 3rd place with their Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Many thanks to Sonny Skeans for encouraging students to engaged in such an activity.




On behalf of the 4th Grade Class, Wyatt Moore

This year there was an eclectic group of breads including Carrot Bread and Cinnamon Buns.  In the Adult Division, Penny Clark's Hungarian Nut Bread took 1st place, Marilyn Shooltz' Pumpkin Cake Roll came in 2nd while Jody Laub took 3rd with her popular Banana Bread. In the Youth Division Isaac Holden took first place with his Peanut Butter Muffins.

In the Pie Category, Adult Division, Linda Richards took first place with her Grandmother's Lemon Pie.

Chairperson, Dianne Clark (left) and Linda Richards

Sales from this year's event will be utilized to cover expenses for the 2018 3rd Annual Snow Bake - Off, scheduled for January 27.  Winter is the ideal time to fill the home with the smells of fresh baked breads and to serve the family treats through the winter season!  Encourage  your family or neighbor to participate in the next year's event. 



In the process of embracing the winter months, the Paradise area community is looking forward to their Ice Festival, February 24 – 26.  Starting with the classic movie, 8 Below, at the Whitefish Township Community Library Friday evening, a Free Winter MarketPlace Saturday, Pancake & Sausage Breakfast Saturday morning, Chili Cook-Off, Ice Sculpture Contest, and Polar Plunge, the entire weekend is filled with opportunities for snow mobiles, cross-country skiing, and snow shoe hikes.  Check the Ice Festival Information flyer for further details.


Blueberry Bread



2017 Snow Sculptures

Snow was more than just a little challenge this year in Paradise Michigan!  Hopes for the unlimited possibilities for snow sculpture visions soared as total snowfalls the area reached 110 inches.  Then the "January Thaw" proceeded, melting some five feet of snow and dashing designs of grandeur.  Several more inches fell a few days just before the contest deadline and temperatures dropped. Efforts and designs were underway again!

Our local contestant families went to work and showcased their skills in this year's 2017 Winter Carnival Snow Sculpture Contest.  What better way for a Snow Family to spend time together then ice fishing.  The Holden family architects added a couple of snow tunnels to the property as well.

Snow Family Ice Fishing
Serving as a member on the Wild Blueberry Festival Steering Committee and Chairperson of the Fish Bowl event, it makes sense that the Moore household would have visions of Blueberry Pies, but who would think it could look so appetizing in snow!  Congratulations to the Moores!

Blueberry Pie, Only in Paradise
Holden Family Architects Supporting their  Ice Fishing Family

Moore Family Recognized for the Snow Baking Skills


We thank this event's sponsors, the Berry Patch and The Inn, Gastropub and Smokehouse.

In the process of embracing the winter months, the Paradise area community is looking forward to their Ice Festival, February 24 – 26.  Starting with the classic movie, 8 Below, at the Whitefish Township Community Library Friday evening, a Free Winter MarketPlace Saturday, Pancake & Sausage Breakfast Saturday morning, Chili Cook-Off, Ice Sculpture Contest, and Polar Plunge, the entire weekend is filled with opportunities for snow mobiles, cross-country skiing, and snow shoe hikes.  Check the Ice Festival Information flyer for further details.


Thursday, February 2, 2017

2017 Paradise Vintage Snowmobile Show

Saturday, January 28 the Paradise Area Winter Carnival hosted a Vintage Snowmobile Show! The festivities started the night before with a free classic movie showing of Snow Dogs, but the riders did take part in the Pancake & Sausage Breakfast served by the Whitefish Township Emergency Medical Services team and the Snow Bake-Off Bake Sale

Courtesy Sarah Wilde

Setting Up for the Show


Paradise Vintage Jamboree Club
13 Sleds participated in this first inaugural event., Paradise Area Snowmobile Show. Passersby took advantage of the sights and sounds of these fine machines. The community Winter Carnival Snow Bake-Off was underway with their bake sale commencing at noon.


Bob Amber of Churubusco, Indiana
Sleds registered in the event included the following

2017 Vintage Snowmobile Show
1983 John Deere Sportfire
1982 John Deere Liquifire
1979 Polaris TX-C
1977 Polaris TX-2
1982 John Deere Trailfire
1979 Yamaha Exciter
1972 Evinrude Bobcat
1976 Yamaha SRA
1968 Evinrude Skeeter
1978 Yamaha Enticer 300
1974 Raider Double Eagle
1973 Mercury
1972 Ski-doo Olympic
A-1 Paradise Snowmobile Rentals donated two free fuel coupons, a synthetic oil blend, and synthetic oil for the Oldest Sled Award and the driver that traveled the furthest. Accepting the award for his 1968 Evinrude Skeeter, Ross Heavener was identified as having the oldest sled in the show. 

(L) Bob Amber of Churbusco, Ind; Ross Heavener, Paradise

Bob Amber accepted the certificate on behalf of the Paradise Vintage Jamboree club for the club with the most members participating in the show.  The certificate was provided by the Paradise Area Night Riders pledging to list the club's name on the foundation plaque of the groomer barn.








Elon and Diana Sumerix
A Piece of Paradise donated two snow mobile themed caps to this year's show which suited team Sumerix: Elon and Diana of Wolverine Michigan with their 1974 Raider Double Eagle and 1978 Yamaha Entice 300.
Tom Purdue

Tom Purdue honored his friend and long time community resident, Ed Byrd by bringing in Ed's 1973 Mercury! The North Country Trail's Hiawatha Shore-to-Shore Chapter provided the award for the Most Historically Significant Sled. Thanks Tom!


Mark Biesecker made it to the show! A special shout out to Larry, Mark, and Roger for their support in this initial event.  Many thanks to our sponsors this year: A-1 Paradise Snowmobile Rental, Paradise Area Night Riders, A Piece of Paradise, Silver Creek Grill & Pub, North Country Trails Hiawatha Shore to Shore.



Make plans today to participate in the 25th Annual Top of the Lake Show & Ride, Feb 17 - 19, 2017.
In the process of embracing the winter months, the Paradise area community is looking forward to their Ice Festival, February 24 – 26.  Starting with the classic movie, 8 Below, at the Whitefish Township Community Library Friday evening, a Free Winter MarketPlace Saturday, Pancake & Sausage Breakfast Saturday morning, Chili Cook-Off, Ice Sculpture Contest, and Polar Plunge, the entire weekend is filled with opportunities for snow mobiles, cross-country skiing, and snow shoe hikes.  Check the Ice Festival Information flyer for further details.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Chamber Announces the 2016 - 2017 Decorate the Township Contest Winners!

The Paradise Area Chamber of Commerce expanded their 2015 - 2016 Decorate the Town Contest to include all of Whitefish Township provided the property is visible from a Chippewa County maintained road.  The contest encourages area residents and businesses to decorate for the holiday season, offering a $100 prize to the Resident and Business property owners identified as the best decorated.

The judges had a bit of time picking their favorite but they were up to the task! The Paradise Area Chamber of Commerce extends a sincere appreciation to everyone that braved the snow and cold to decorate for the holiday season!

Jim & Jody Moore located at 5163 N. M-123 did a great job recognizing the meaning of Christmas and honoring those that have served and are serving in the Armed Forces.  They were selected as the Resident Award Winner of the 2016-2017  Decorate the Township Contest.

Moore Family, 2016 - 2017 Decorate the Township Resident Award Winner

Recognized for their decorating prowess is the first year business, The Falls Building Center located at  8196 N. M-123 in Paradise.  The building hosts the Paradise Post Office as well.

Falls Building Center, 2016 - 2017 Decorate the Township Business Award Winner






A number of Whitefish Township Residents and Businesses did an extraordinary job of decorating!  Each of the winners listed above will receive a check from the Chamber for $100.00.   The images below recognize talents throughout the township.  Many decorated places are not in these photographs but their efforts are no less, really appreciated.  Thank you to each of you and our judges for contributing to the beauty and celebration of Christmas and New Year's in the Paradise area.

Schooltz Family in Paradise

Kuehne Family on Whitefish Point Road

Indiana Williams Family

Berry Patch Gifts, Bakery, & Restaurant

The INN, Gastropub & Smokehouse