January Events To Start The New Year Right

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    It’s a new year! January is the right time to enjoy great events throughout Michigan. This roundup is filled with many entertaining ideas. Family friendly outdoor festivals, dog sled races, and snowshoe races make January a great time to be in Michigan. No matter what you choose, you’re sure to find adventure and excitement throughout the Awesome Mitten!

    Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra
    Photo courtesy of the Grand Rapids Symphony

    Grand Rapids Symphony – The Romantic Concert: Schumann & Brahms: Grand Rapids, January 6

    Experience the romantic music of Schumann & Brahms during an evening with the Grand Rapids Symphony.  This community-supported orchestra performs over 400 concerts a year. It offers a wide-range of musical opportunities for all ages. Be sure to check out their concert calendar. It even includes an upcoming multi-sensory Harry Potter in Concert event!

    Tahquamenon Country Sled Dog Race
    Photo courtesy of Tahquamenon Country Sled Dog Race

    18th Annual Tahquamenon Country Sled Dog Race: Newberry, January 7

    The excitement of the Tahquamenon Country Sled Dog Race is coming to the eastern Upper Peninsula on Saturday, January 7. This unique event is the season kickoff for sled dog enthusiasts. It attracts mushers from across the United States, Canada, Africa, and New Zealand. Pet the dogs and meet the teams while huddling around a bonfire.  Most of all, you’ll get to experience the thrill of an authentic sled dog event in the Upper Peninsula.

    Bonfire at Straits Area State Park - St. Ingnace
    Photo courtes of the St. Ignace Chamber of Commerce

    Stomp the Park: St. Ignace, January 7

    Straits Area State Park will host Stomp the Park on January 7. This event’s partners are High County Pathway and North County Trail’s Hiawatha Shore-to-Shore Chapter.  Enjoy a lantern-lit snowshoe hike and a bonfire on the beach. Complimentary s’mores and cocoa will also be available for the perfect nightcap. Arrive at the beach in time to see the sunset while watching the evening lights appear on the Mackinac Bridge.

    Photo courtesy of Pixabay

    A Quiet Winter’s Night: A Campfire Under the Stars: Midland, January 19

    Learn about nature in winter while enjoying a cozy evening around the campfire at the Chippewa Nature Center. Hot chocolate and s’mores will also be provided. All ages welcome – under 18 must  be accompanied by an adult.

    Heikinpaiva Mid-Winter Festival
    Photo courtesy of the Finnish American Reporter

    Heikinpaiva Mid-Winter Festival: Hancock, January 10 – February 6

    Celebrate the halfway point of winter with the Heikinpaiva Mid-Winter Festival. Enjoy various events in the Hancock area throughout the season. Parades, cultural demonstrations, a Polar Bear plunge, and concerts are available for everyone. We also encourage participating in the authentic Finnish smorgasbord dinner and dance for an extra jolly time.

    2016 Bigfoot 5k and 10k Race
    Photo courtesy of Moxy Imagery

    Bigfoot 5k and 10k Snowshoe Race: Traverse City, January 21

    The annual Bigfoot 5k and 10 Snowshoe Race is a fun and challenging event that attracts snowshoers of all ages and abilities. Serious competitors and snowshoeing newbies alike participate in this event.  Furthermore, this Midwest qualifier for the National Championship Snowshoe race drew over 500 participants last year, so be ready to make friends. No snow? No problem! The race goes on no matter what the conditions. Bring hiking shoes if the weather doesn’t cooperate.  Bigfoot is an off-trail race. Therefore, you’ll need to be ready to climb hills while ducking branches and jumping logs!

    Russian National Ballet - Sleeping Beauty
    Photo courtesy of Lied Center for Performing Arts

    The Sleeping Beauty by Russian National Ballet Theatre: Jackson, January 21

    The Russian National Ballet Theatre brings the timeless classic Sleeping Beauty to life at the Potter Center. Beautiful music, lavish sets, and the grand tradition of the Russian Ballet are the highlights of this family friendly event. For ticket prices and more information, visit the event page at Experience Jackson.

    2016 Thunder Bay International Film Festival
    Photo courtesy of Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary

    Thunder Bay International Film Festival: Alpena, January 25-29

    While enjoying the end of January, take the time to view a variety of the best ocean and Great Lakes-inspired films from around the world.  Friends of Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary partner with the San Francisco International Ocean Film Festival to showcase these films. Visit the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary website for more information.

    Volunteers preparing for winter carnival - Paradise, Michigan
    Photo courtesy of Experience Michigan’s Paradise/TCPA

    Winter Carnival: Paradise, January 27-29

    This three-day event features many winter activities. Start with the pancake breakfast, then head out on a guided snowshoe hike, and finish with the snow sculpture contest. Additionally, check out the vintage snowmobile show, lantern-lit cross-country skiing, fish fry, and more. The Winter Carnival is sponsored by the Paradise Area Chamber of Commerce.  What better way to enjoy a beautiful Michigan weekend?

    What events do you plan on attending this January? Which events are taking place near you?




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    This content is brought to you by the generous partners of the Awesome Mitten. Organizations who are dedicated to helping people engage with our amazing state of Michigan. Visit our featured partner below and see a list of all partners here.