No matter the season, you’ll always find a unique selection of events and festivals in the Keweenaw Peninsula. Many celebrate what we love best about the Copper Country: exploring the Great Outdoors, our rich history, and the abundance of snow each year! Some long-standing festivals date back decades while others are still pretty new. But they all have one thing in common: gathering with old friends (and making new ones) in the spirit celebration and making memories.
During Heikinpaiva, the Keweenaw’s residents tap into their Finnish heritage and celebrate the mid-point of winter. This multi-day festival held in Hancock includes a festive parade filled with costumes out of Finnish folklore, smorgasbord dinner & dance, concerts, Tori market, cultural demonstrations, the “Polar Bear Plunge” and even a “wife-carrying” contest (although women have been known to carry men around in this race for fame and fortune).
The Michigan Tech University Winter Carnival takes place on the campus and at various Houghton/Hancock locations. Events include the famous snow statues, sporting events, the queen contest, a torchlight parade, fireworks, the Sno-Ball, and more.
Winter Carnival includes towering snow sculptures, human sled dog races, fireworks, comic reviews, beard-growing contests, and more!
The CopperDog 150 features teams of ten dogs and covers 80 miles in three days, while the CopperDog 40/25 features teams of six dogs and covers approximately twenty-five miles in one day. The CopperDog 150/80 caps at thirty teams and the CopperDog 40/25 caps at fifteen teams.
Sled dogs pulling a musher in the Epic CopperDog 150
Come join us for the annual vintage snowmobile show and ride happening in February of each year. All proceeds to benefit Keweenaw random acts of community kindness.
The Annual Great Bear Chase Ski Marathon is held in early March. Choose between the 50-km skiathlon, and the 50-km, 25 km, 10 km freestyle races, or the 26-km or 50-km, 26 km, 10 km classic races. Registration and more information are available on the website.
Junior Bear Chase
The Junior Bear Chase Under the Lights Cross Country Ski race at the Swedetown Trails in Calumet. Race length varies with the age group.
The annual Mardi Gras Madness at Mount Bohemia takes place each March.
Not only is the Keweenaw Peninsula an extremely active migratory fly-way, but it offers a wide variety of bird habitats. Copper Harbor itself is a quiet place of refuge for many migrating species and even Sea Ducks. The Annual International Migratory Bird Festival in Copper Harbor offers a series of programs, dinners and birding activities throughout the migration period beginning the end of April and going through mid-May.
Ride the Keweenaw is all about exploring the amazing natural and recreational resources the Keweenaw region has to offer. Held over the Memorial Day Weekend each year, it's our way of kicking off another season of singletrack riding in the Copper Country. Best of all, you get to ride all of the Copper Country's amazing trails, from Söké all the way to Copper Harbor and everywhere in between. Guided rides are held in Houghton, Hancock, Calumet and Adventure Mine with races held in Copper Harbor.
The first of its kind in the area, this race is a 12-to-24-hour endurance run at the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge in Copper Harbor.. Runners wind their way through a 3.5-ish mile loop that is a mix of Back 9 trails, golf course, hills, mud, and forest with spectacular views of Brockway Mountain. Team members take turns running the approximately 3-mile course to pile up the distance. The event takes place during the Memorial Day Weekend.
Bridgefest was organized to celebrate the Portage Lake Lift Bridge, which officially opened in 1959. The Bridge is a vital link between the communities of Houghton and Hancock and is a gateway to the rest of the historic Keweenaw Peninsula. Come on out and see us for some great food, music, and lots of fun. You can find a detailed schedule of events by clicking here.
Each year there is an annual Walleye/Pike Fishing Tournament in Lake Linden. The tournament includes the waters of Lac La Belle, Torch Lake & Portage Lake.
Lake Linden-Hubbell Sportsmen’s Club Fishing hosts a fishing derby at Rice Lake each year. Enjoy a family day of fun with prizes, lunch & refreshments.
The Copper Country Volunteer Fire Departments work hard all year responding to fires and many other emergencies. Every year in June they compete on a local level before going to the state competition. Games, music, food, and lots of fun for everyone. The tournament is hosted by a different department each year.
Many Keweenaw communities, from South Range to Copper Harbor, have Independence Day celebrations with parades, children’s games, BBQs, entertainment and good old-fashioned family fun. There are typically firework displays in Lake Linden, South Range, Eagle River, and Copper Harbor each year.
The Copper Country Strawberry Festival, held in the downtown Chassell area, is two days of family fun. Events include an Arts & Crafts show, the Chassell Heritage Center Open House, a fish boil, live music and entertainment, a children’s parade, awards and auction, queen crowning and dance, a French Toast Breakfast, the parade, a chicken BBQ, the Friends of Fashion Vintage Fashion Show, children’s games and a quilt raffle. Strawberry shortcakes, brats, hot dogs, ice cream, and more will also be available.
Guts Frisbee™ is a high-speed sport in which players try to throw the disc so fast, or with so much movement, that members of the opposing team—lined up fingertip to fingertip 14 meters (15 yards, 11 inches) away— cannot catch it cleanly with one hand. Teams take turns throwing and catching. With speeds hitting over 80 mph, players can have less than one third of a second to react. Over the past 60 years, the intense, “original extreme sport” action of Guts Frisbee™ has fueled its spread around the world, with countries like Japan, Finland, Canada, England, Germany, Norway, and the United States all hosting major international tournaments. If you can throw the disc accurately and hard, have great hands, quick reaction time, and fearless diving ability, Guts could be the most exciting game you’ll ever play!
The Canal Run takes place in Hancock along the scenic Keweenaw Waterway. Drawing racers from across the Midwest, the Canal Run includes a half marathon, 10-mile run, 10-mile walk, 5-mile run, 5-mile walk, 2-mile run/walk, and a Kids Dash. Additional features include a beautiful course along the Portage Canal, early registration, and team discounts, participants receive an awesome Canal Run t-shirt and custom awards for top finishers.
The End of the Road Keweenaw Tour & Car Show brings car and truck enthusiasts to Copper Harbor. The Cruise leaves from Calumet and the Car Show is held in Copper Harbor with awards, live entertainment, food, and refreshments. The event is a benefit for the Copper Harbor school. For more information contact Matt at the Drift Inn at 906-337-3884 (ride questions) or Don at the Mariner North at 906-289-4637 (lodging questions)
The annual reunion of the former Central Mine M.E. Church is held in the historic structure, 18 miles north of Calumet along US-41 in Keweenaw County, and features two services, the first at 9 am followed by an 11 am service. For information visit the church website.
The A.E. Seaman Mineral Museum on the campus of Michigan Tech University in Houghton invites you to the Keweenaw Mineral Days. This is a week of mineral collecting and more including prepared surface collecting, underground collecting, datolite collecting, photography workshop, a mineral banquet and auctions, invited speakers, and more. For more information contact the Museum at 906-487-2572 or visit the website.
History comes alive in July at Fort Wilkins State Park on US-41 just east of Copper Harbor. Battery D, 1st Michigan Light Artillery, a Civil War-era living history group returns to Fort Wilkins for a weekend encampment. The weekend event is open to park visitors from 8 am to 8 pm on Friday and Saturday, and 8 am to 4 pm on Sunday. Battery D will interpret army life of the period demonstrating artillery and small arms drills, period cooking, and soldiers’ pastimes. A Michigan Recreation Passport or a day pass is required for entrance into the park. For more information, contact Fort Wilkins at 906-289-4215.
Main Street Calumet’s Pasty Fest is a celebration of the Cornish food staple, the pasty, which sustained Copper Country miners 100 years ago and satisfies hungry Yooper’s today. Attendees can enjoy a parade, street, live music, as wells as children’s activities in downtown Calumet. There will be food, fun, and music.
The Houghton County Fair is held the last full weekend of August at the Houghton County Fairgrounds off Birch Street in Hancock. Exhibits, carnival, demolition derby, logging show, draft horse pull, and much, much more. For information call the fair office at 906-482-6200 or visit the website.
It has been over 50 years that the CCAA is hosting the Eagle Harbor Art Fair, and it will continue to be as spectacular as ever. There will be over 60 artist vendors, selling their wares; photography, pottery, jewelry, painting, woodworking…just about anything you can think of. Goodies to eat are provided by the Eagle Harbor Township to raise money for various projects. There are several lovely hotels in the area, a swimming beach and restaurants can be found in Eagle Harbor as well as a few miles up or down the road in Eagle River or Copper Harbor. The Art Fair is held at St. Peters by the Sea on M-26 in Eagle Harbor. For information and entry forms call 906-337-1252 or visit the website.
Great Deer Chase is held in Calumet, Michigan at the Swedetown Recreation Area. Run on that special breed of trails the Great Deer Chase is a mountain bike race that is fun for everyone – from first-timer to expert.
Held at the Grant Township Community Center and Park in Copper Harbor, this two-day craft fair features local and regional artists, food, and live entertainment. For information contact Johanna at 906-289-4363.
The annual epic MTB festival during Labor Day Weekend features short and long Enduro races, short (~15 miles) and long (~30 miles) XC courses, Downhill Race, and a Junior Fat Tire event (for kids 14 & under), and a 10K Trail Run. Enjoy music, beer, and good times on Saturday and Sunday! The long Enduro and Downhill are part of the Lake Superior Gravity Series. We’ll see you there!
Keweenaw Mountain Lodge Copper Harbor Trails Fest is one of the Midwest’s most beloved MTB events.
The Parade of Nations strives to promote worldwide culture and national awareness in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula through a community-wide annual event that includes a parade and a multicultural festival. Everyone is invited to march with their country. The procession winds up at Dee Stadium, a historic waterfront venue transformed into a global marketplace featuring dozens of food and craft booths and performers from around the world.
Mount Bohemia is well known for being one of the premier adventure ski resorts in the nation. Trails consist of a combination of single track, double track, rolling hills, and a few “good climbs.” The ½ Marathon and 10k will gradually climb to the peak of the mountain and offer spectacular views from near the top of the chairlift. The 5k will offer a more gradual but still challenging terrain that traverses a scenic trail around the mountain. There is a net elevation gain of approximately 2,100 ft and a net loss of 2,100 ft in the half-marathon. The course for the 50k ultra is currently in development. It will include the trails that are traveled in the ½ marathon, as well as brand new trails on our property near Lac La Belle.
The Red Jacket Cycling Team is proud to present the annual Keweenaw Cup Cyclocross Race, a two-day cyclocross extravaganza! Held in conjunction with the UPCROSS Points Series. This October event again brings cyclocross racing to the Keweenaw. Prizes to be awarded to overall weekend champions in five classes.
The Poor Artists Sale is an annual juried holiday art fair hosted by the Copper Country Community Arts Council as a benefit for the Community Arts Center in Hancock. It’s a great place to do your holiday shopping. More than 60 artists and fine craftspersons will be selling their work. Shoppers will find handmade jewelry and pottery, holiday wreaths, ornaments, baskets, wood art, glass, rugs, fiber arts, photography, and many other special items made by local artists. Shop and visit with friends in a relaxing, social atmosphere and enjoy homemade treats at the hospitality table. This event is held at the CLK Gymnasium in Calumet.