Grand Haven WinterFest still on, despite thaw

A truck delivers snow for the Grand Haven Winterfest on Jan. 26, 2018 in Grand Haven, Mich.

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WOOD) — A key ingredient to a Pure Michigan winter weekend is missing.

On this 40th anniversary of the blizzard of 1978, West Michigan doesn’t have any fresh snow.

Friday, Karen Avery was outside in short sleeves, washing the windows to her Grand Haven sandwich shop, The Toasted Pickle.

“It makes you think spring is right around the corner,” she said.

Organizers of WinterWest canceled Saturday’s event at Mulick Park in Grand Rapids.

But the unusually warm temperatures aren’t stopping organizers from pulling off Grand Haven’s Winterfest, which includes snow-dependent events like a snow angel contest, cardboard sled race and the Intergalactic Human Sled Race.

“It’s Winterfest, not Snowfest. So we’ll haul it in. You can see the trucks coming in right now,” said Kevin Galbavi, director of Winterfest.

The same trucks used to haul the snow away a few weeks ago were carrying it in Friday.

“We get a lot of snow here in Grand Haven and it’s been snowing a lot this year. So this year when they find some clean stuff that doesn’t have all the salt in it, they pile it up and put it off to the side for us so we can bring it in,” explained Galbavi.

Surprisingly, Friday’s thaw wasn’t the impetus for the snowy delivery. Truckers haul in snow every year for the Intergalactic Human Sled Race.

Winterfest is on and Grand Haven is open for business no matter what the forecast is.

“Don’t worry about the snow– we’ll take care of that. Just come out and enjoy the sunshine,” said Galbavi.

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