By Jack Stone
Those of us who live in Cook County have the same complaints as everyone everywhere: our weather forecasts are never right. It is even worse up near Lake Superior, in that it keeps us cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. When visitors come to town in the summer wearing shorts, it does not take long before they are looking for sweatshirts, even though it is 85 mid-trail. In the winter, there are times our visitors come to town and panic when they see little snow all the way to Cook County and into Grand Marais, even though just five miles north of town there may be lots and lots of snow with fantastic skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling.
Sometimes the word is hard to get out. A few years ago the John Beargrease race was cancelled because of lack of snow. In 12 days we put in the reincarnation of the Gunflint Mail Run because we had snow. And lots of it.
This year as the Beargrease was deciding where to start their race due to snow conditions, we started hearing gloom and doom from the media. But those of us in Grand Marais looked around and saw great conditions and wondered how to get the word out that we have snow. That next day there was a meeting of the Downtown Business Coalition and the alarm was sounded. What can we do to promote our snow? And the #GrandMaraisHasSnow photo submission was started.
Within two days, we had fantastic participation from many of the Grand Marais businesses and even one for the Gunflint Trail. We collected gift cards and certificates from about 10 businesses. And the reception was not a begrudged, ok-fine-if-you-insist but an enthusiastic response–everyone asked, contributed. And once it began, other businesses questioned why weren’t they asked? They would have been excited to help out. Well the answer to them was an apology that they were missed but time was short. We will get you next time and the response to the contest was such that it should become an annual event. There will be a next time.
So next time you go into one of the many establishments who have donated to this event, thank them for their participation. But don’t forget the few that were missed. They were not holding out. They will be there next year to make it even better.
Lastly, to those who participated with your pictures, thank you. And by the way, we still have snow.
Want to see the wonderful #GrandMaraisHasSnow photo submissions? Check out the photo gallery. There were so many photos that the gallery is three pages long.