With the cold temperatures and snow on the ground, that can only mean one thing for those in Houghton Lake—the return of Tip Up Town.
The annual event will make its return Jan. 22-23 and Jan. 29.
“We have an ice slide for children, the snow sculptures, everything,” said Houghton Lake Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jay Jacobs. “We’re just so so very excited to be here.”
The weekend can’t come soon enough as volunteers prepare for one of the biggest events for the town.
“We’re going to have our grand parade, we’re going to have our village here,” said Jacobs. “We’re going to have side by side races, ATV races, snowmobile drag races, we’re just so excited to have everything.”
For volunteer Merle Warner, who’s been sculpting the Tip Up Town photo op, there’s still lots to do.
“We’ve been working on it for probably 6 days for 5 hours a day,” said Warner. “The more detail you put into it, the longer it takes.”
This year, Warner is sculpting an elephant next to a camera and photo album.
“Memories is kind of the theme for this year,” he said. “We figured an elephant would be a good start for that.”
He has been an ice sculpture volunteer for Tip Up Town for the past four years—but the event is so much more than that for him.
“I’ve been coming to Tip Up Town for 40 or 50 years now since I was a child,” said Warner. “My grandfather, my father, right on down the line have been here, so it’s kind of important.”
The chamber says the theme ‘Making Memories’ is important, espeically after having to scale down the festival last year.
“Last year was such a challenging year,” said Jacobs. “We did what little we could, but we’re just so glad to have it back.”
They’re especially excited to welcome almost 2,000 kids to the festival this year, who received free passes for the weekend.
“We want to make sure that every child in our county had the ability to come here regardless of their economic situation and make memories,” said Jacobs. “That’s what this is about. This is a family situation and we want to have every child make memories.”
You can find more information on both weekends’ events .