Marquette’s Downtown Showdown Rail Jam Competition

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    Courtesy of yoopersteeze.com

    The second annual Downtown Showdown is taking place Saturday, February 15th. I caught up with Alison Silk, Marketing and Public Relations Director, for Travel Marquette Michigan to get the details on this awesome event. I’ll be there, and after seeing some photos and video from last year, I’m really looking forward to it!

    Could you tell me a little bit about the Downtown Showdown?

    The streets of Downtown Marquette will be covered with snow February 15 as Range Bank, the Ore Dock Brewing Company, and Monster Energy present the 2nd Annual Downtown Showdown Ski & Snowboard Rail Jam.

    The 100 block of East Washington Street will serve as the location for the event. Fans and competitors will be gathered less than 100 feet from Lake Superior, making for a scenic and unique location. The Compound Ski and Snowboard Shop is partnering with the Marquette Downtown Development Authority, the Marquette County Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Double Trouble DJs to bring the excitement of the Marquette Ski Hill to the historic streets of Marquette.

    Athletes will be able to participate in an Open Jam from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Those wishing to compete for up to $1,500 in cash and product prizes have the option to be part of the Ski Rail Jam at 6 p.m. or the Snowboard Rail Jam at 7 p.m., with Ski and Snowboard Finals held under the lights at 8 p.m.

    Competitors can register on the web at www.travelmarquettemichigan.com. The registration fee to participate in the Ski and Snowboard Rail Jam is $35 per rider until February 13. The Open Jam registration fee is $10.

    How many spectators were there last year? How many do you expect this year?

    Roughly 1,500 spectators were at the Downtown Showdown last year and we hope to have that or more for the 2014 event.

    Where do they get the snow for the event?

    The snow is hauled/pushed over from the UP 200 dog sled races.

    Courtesy of yoopersteez.com

    Could you tell me a little bit about last year’s event? Is there anything new or different this year?

    This year the VIP viewing area will take place on the parking deck of Range Bank and we will have a warming tent at the bottom of the hill for spectators, with Dia De Los Tacos serving tacos and refreshments! The end of the hill will cross Lakeshore Drive. The jumps will be bigger and rails will be longer! Prizes include cash, a helmet camera, and more.

    Do you have any tips or recommendations for people who may be coming from out of town to watch the event?

    Dress warmly for winter in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and come prepared for fun filled weekend in Downtown Marquette! Events will be happening all weekend long, starting with the UP 200. The race start will be held on Friday, February 14 at 7:00 p.m. and a warm up party will take place at the Marquette Commons with live music and hot cocoa between before the Midnight Run which will start at roughly 8:30 p.m.

    On Saturday swing by the Marquette Commons again to enjoy watching the Kiddie Mutt Races, a fun event where young kids become a “musher” for a day and hook their family dogs up to sleds and race down a mini track! Later that night the Downtown Showdown will take place on the 100 block of East Washington Street with an after party at Aubree’s Pizzeria & Grill.

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