As you probably already know, in the U.P., we don't just face winter—we embrace it. This is why so many of our favorite annual events take place from December through February. From holiday festivities to extreme outdoor activities, find your new wintertime tradition in Marquette, MI.



NYE Ball Drop

December 31

Make this New Year’s Eve a night to remember—ring in the new year with locals and visitors alike at the NYE Ball Drop in Marquette.

Commemorate the start of 2022 with a live countdown, music, laser lights, and dancing from 11 PM to 1 AM on Washington Street in the heart of downtown Marquette. 




Upper Michigan Ice Races

January 8 - March 12

Hosted by the Upper Michigan Ice Racing Association, races take place every Saturday from mid-January to mid-March at Forsyth Township Ball Park in Gwinn, MI. Cheer on the racers as they complete laps on an icy loop on rigged motorcycles and quads while competing for the best times.


The Fat-Ish 

January 15-16

Did you know Ishpeming’s Al Quaal is home to epic snow bike groomed trails and Olympic Ski Trails? A winter celebration you won’t want to miss, The Fat-Ish is packed with fun for everyone all weekend long.

From Saturday’s pick between a 10 and 20-mile fat bike race to Sunday’s Skinny-Ish cross country ski 5 and 15k. And did we mention free tube slide sledding on Saturday?


135th Annual Ishpeming Ski Jumping Tournament

January 18

See skiers soar like never before at the 135th annual Ishpeming Ski Jumping Tournament. Local and international skiers meet in Negaunee at the Suicide Ski Bowl to compete for the greatest distance.

Watch in awe as they launch off a 90-meter ski jump displaying their courage and technique while tailgating around some of the biggest bonfires you’ve probably ever seen. 


Noquemanon Ski Marathon

January 21-23

The Noquemanon Ski Marathon is not only the Midwest’s premier cross country ski event but also one of the largest point-to-point ski marathons in the country.

Whether you sign up for the 12k or 50k, you’re in for a journey that’s as scenic as it is epic, skiing some of the freshest and finest trails in the Upper Peninsula.


Heikki Lunta

January 28-29

Celebrate all things SISU and snow at the Heikki Lunta festival in historic downtown Negaunee.

This year’s fest features annual classics along with fresh events such as the inaugural “Irontown Rail Jam.” Whether you spectate or participate, the ski and snowboard competition kicks off Friday evening (1/28) on Rail Street.

Saturday’s activities include the South Shore Ice Fishing Tournament at Teal Lake—followed by fun at Lucy Hill Luge Track, Suicide Hill, and throughout the downtown.

Duck into local restaurants and pubs to fuel up and warm up between the weekend’s events. 




Polar Roll

February 12

The Polar Roll is the ultimate winter adventure race. And while the 15 and 30-mile mass start options sold out on the opening day of registration, there are still a few ways to participate.

From the night roll/double trouble which is a 30-mile mass start race—which like it sounds, takes place at night, to the Polar Roll Ex Format, where you can ride 15-30 miles on your own time or tackle the 30 or 60-mile duathlons.

Looking for something on the lighter side? Check out the snowshoe sampler featuring three short 2-5 mile loops.



February 18

Cheer on mushers and their packs at one of the most anticipated events of the year. The UP200 sled dog race is among the top 12-dog mid-distance races in the Midwest, as well as an Iditarod qualifier.

The excitement begins at the starting line, Friday (2/18) on Washington Street in downtown Marquette, as the teams embark on their snowy 230-mile journey to Grand Marais and back. Then Sunday morning, show your support as the teams return to cross the finish line in Mattson Lower Harbor Park.


Meijer Winter State Games

February 25-27

Marquette is excited to host the Meijer Winter State Games for their inaugural U.P. event in February 2022. Don't miss the Opening Ceremony on 2/25 followed by fireworks and the first-ever Carp River Rail Jam at Marquette Mountain. Once the events commence, check out over eight winter sporting events across six different venues all weekend long in Marquette County.