Second annual Hygge Festival to be hosted in Grand Marais Feb. 8-15, 2018

Voyageur Brewing Hygge Festival image

 Second annual Hygge Festival to be hosted in Grand Marais Feb. 8-15

Warm up your Valentine’s Day celebration with a fireplace tour Feb. 8-15 in Grand Marais, Minn. and surrounding Cook County towns

Cook County, Minn. – February 5, 2018 – The Danish concept of “hygge” (pronounced hoo-gah) has been around for a long time. It refers to the ritual of embracing life’s simple pleasures. Feeling relaxed, cozy and surrounded by the warmth of family, friends, community and fire all encompass the idea of hygge. It began to catch on in the United States last year.

Trend-setting Grand Marais hosted the first annual Hygge Festival last February. In honor of the second annual Hygge Festival Feb. 8-15, participating resort and restaurant owners throughout Cook County will keep their fireplaces blazing during the month of February, so visitors can drop by to warm their fingers and toes, and possibly enjoy a warm or cold beverage. A dozen or more fireplaces will be featured on the tour, including wood, gas, outdoor hearths and fire pits.

“The whole point of hygge is to slow down and get cozy,” says Linda Jurek, executive director of Visit Cook County. “After enjoying activities like snowshoeing through the woods, stargazing, drinking hot chocolate and watching Lake Superior, we hope visitors will take time to sit by the fire and snuggle.  And we hope some visitors rise to the challenge of relaxing next to all of the fireplaces featured on the tour.”

The second annual festival will feature some new events:

  • Fat tire biking demonstrations
  • Knitting lessons
  • Cross-country skiing tour at twilight
  • Fireplace tour featuring some of the most historic fireplaces in Cook County

Favorite events from last year will also be back:

  • Hygge themed menus
  • Bonfires with live music
  • Mukluk ball

For more info about the second annual hygge festival and for dates and times, please check out:

https://www.visitcookcounty.com/event/hygge-festival/

About Visit Cook County 

Visit Cook County encompasses the northeastern Minnesota communities of Lutsen, Tofte, Schroeder, Grand Marais, the Gunflint Trail and Grand Portage, commonly referred to as “the Arrowhead” and the “North Shore of Lake Superior”.  Grand Marais, Minn., has earned several national accolades — most recently it was named USA Today’s Best Midwestern Small Town, Outside Magazine’s The 16 Best Places to Live in the U.S. 2016, and Budget Travel’s 2015 Coolest Small Town in America. Rekindle your sense of adventure by exploring the Superior National Forest or paddling through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Discover what makes the communities of Cook County, Minn. “Naturally Unforgettable.” Connect on social media using #visitcc, Twitter @CookCoVisitors, Facebook, or Instagram @donorthmn. Learn more at www.visitcookcounty.com.

 

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Coming soon! April and May are peak months for waterfall season on the North Shore

View of the Aurora Borealis from High Falls at Grand Portage

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

April and May are peak months

Waterfalls in Cook County can roar from April through October

Grand Marais, Minn.January 30, 2018 – The North Shore of Minnesota’s unique geography provides perfect conditions for a vigorous waterfall season. As the ice on the inland lakes break up and the snow begins to melt, a deluge of water rushes toward the lowest point, Lake Superior, and through the ancient Sawtooth Mountain range.

The months of April and May are peak for waterfall season, but the rivers can begin breaking up as early as late March and continue at peak flow until June. Sometimes, as winter storms approach there can be a consolidated river rush in late October or early November.

Estimating peak waterfall season: Watching the weather forecast is a good way to narrow down the timeframe for waterfall breakup. The days need to be sunny and warm enough to melt the snow and ice up stream, generally 50-degrees Fahrenheit or higher for a few consecutive days.

 

“While they are at their peak in the spring season, waterfalls can be enjoyed all year long,” says Linda Jurek, executive director of Visit Cook County. “In the winter time, the waterfalls freeze and create scenic ice sculptures. In the summer, the rivers are warm enough to take a hike through. Using caution, you can find hidden falls that can’t be seen by a hiking trail. In the fall, the blue rush of water is the perfect contrast to the fall colors.”

High Falls is the tallest and most majestic waterfall in Minnesota; it is located in Grand Portage State Park and is part of the Pigeon River north of Grand Portage. At 120 feet high, this beauty is unforgettable.

Another great waterfall resource is the Visit Cook County web site. See this page for the Cook County Waterfalls printable map of the top 15 waterfalls in the county and more touring details:

Waterfalls

About Visit Cook County 

 

Visit Cook County encompasses the northeastern Minnesota communities of Lutsen, Tofte, Schroeder, Grand Marais, the Gunflint Trail and Grand Portage, commonly referred to as “the Arrowhead” and the “North Shore of Lake Superior”.  Grand Marais, Minn., has earned several national accolades — most recently it was named USA Today’s Best Midwestern Small Town, Outside Magazine’s The 16 Best Places to Live in the U.S. 2016, and Budget Travel’s 2015 Coolest Small Town in America. Rekindle your sense of adventure by exploring the Superior National Forest or paddling through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Discover what makes the communities of Cook County, Minn. “Naturally Unforgettable.” Connect on social media using #visitcc, Twitter @CookCoVisitors, Facebook, or Instagram @donorthmn. Learn more at www.visitcookcounty.com.

 

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Kjersti Vick (218) 387-2788 kjersti@visitcookcounty.com Photos and video available for the story

2018 Gunflint Mail Run Sled Dog Race Results

Gunflint Mail Run

2018 Gunflint Mail Run Sled Dog Race Results 

Alaskan and Minnesotan lead 12-dog race, two women lead 8-dog race

 

Cook County, Minn. –  Jan. 7, 2018 – The Gunflint Mail Run kicked off the start of the dog-sled racing season in Cook County yesterday. The original event, which is a 12-dog, 100-mile race included two runs, approximately 50 miles each, over a two-day stretch, and an eight-dog shorter and faster race (65 miles).

 

The race started and finished at Trail Center Lodge, 7611 Gunflint Trail, on Poplar Lake, Grand Marais, Minn.  (Trail Center Lodge is approximately 30 miles up the Gunflint Trail).  See www.GunflintMailRun.com and https://www.facebook.com/GunflintMailRun/ for more details.

 

Here are the winners of the 2018 Gunflint Mail Run:

12-dog teams:

2018 Gunflint Mail Run Dog Sled Race 12-dog team winners

2018 Gunflint Mail Run Dog Sled Race 12-dog team winners!
Top five 12-dog race finishers from right to left are:
1st place Ryan Redington, Skagway, Alaska
2nd place Nathan Schroeder, Coon Rapids, Minn.
3rd place Matt Schmidt, Grand Marais, Minn.
4th place Denis Tremblay, Saint Michael des Saints, Quebec
5th place Ward Wallin, Two Harbors, Minn.

 

 

 

8-dog teams:

2018 Gunflint Mail Run Dog Sled Race 8-dog team winners

2018 Gunflint Mail Run Dog Sled Race 8-dog team winners.
Top five 8-dog race finishers from left to right are:
1st place Joanna Oberg, Ignace, Ontario
2nd place Martha Schouweiler, Irma, Wis.
3rd place Frank Moe, Hovland, Minn.
4th place Michael Bestgen, St. Cloud, Minn.
5th place Rita Whehseler, Tofte, Minn.

 

Video from the 2018 Gunflint Mail Run Sled Dog Race:

2018 Gunflint Mail Run Sled Dog Race. VIDEO “Ryan Redington and his sled dog team enjoying the race.”

Video courtesy of Andy DeLisi at Big Bear Lodge.

2018 Gunflint Mail Run Race Start – VIDEO “12-dog race winner Ryan Redington’s (#7) starts the race Saturday morning. Ryan is racing in the Alaskan Iditarod this year.”

Video courtesy of Jack Stone of Stone Harbor Wilderness Supply in Grand Marais.

 

Next up: John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon Jan. 29

 

Dog sled racing fans can also look forward to the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon on Sunday, Jan. 28 – Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2018.  This is the longest dog sled race in the lower 48 states and is a qualifier for the famed “Iditarod” in Alaska.  Over 60 world-class mushers are expected at this year’s race, vying for cash prizes totaling $20,000.  The races will traverse the Sawtooth Mountains in Cook County, going as far north as Gunflint Lake near the Canadian border. For a spectators’ map, visit https://beargrease.com/driving-directions/

 

The Beargrease marathon will start just outside of Two Harbors, then head to Trail Center on the Gunflint Trail and back, while the shorter, mid-distance race goes one-way on the route. The marathon typically takes three days to complete. Close to 500 volunteers from around the country come together each winter to support the event. For more race details, visit beargrease.com.

 

About Visit Cook County 

Visit Cook County encompasses the northeastern Minnesota communities of Lutsen, Tofte, Schroeder, Grand Marais, the Gunflint Trail and Grand Portage, commonly referred to as “the Arrowhead” and the “North Shore of Lake Superior”.  Grand Marais, Minn., has earned several national accolades — most recently it was named USA Today’s Best Midwestern Small Town, Outside Magazine’s The 16 Best Places to Live in the U.S. 2016, and Budget Travel’s 2015 Coolest Small Town in America. Rekindle your sense of adventure by exploring the Superior National Forest or paddling through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Discover what makes the communities of Cook County, Minn. “Naturally Unforgettable.” Connect on social media using #visitcc, Twitter @CookCoVisitorsFacebook, or Instagram @donorthmn. Learn more at www.visitcookcounty.com.

 

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Katie Krantz Visit Cook County MN ph# (218) 387-2788 email: katie@visitcookcounty.com

Visit  Website

Baby Bear Cubs Rescued From Dumpster in Lutsen, MN

Bears Cubs Rescued From Dumpster in Lutsen, MN

Two bear cubs were rescued from a dumpster at the Cascade Vacation Rentals campus in Lutsen.

Baby bear cubs rescued from dumpster

Lutsen, MN, October 25, 2015 – Two bear cubs had gotten trapped inside of a dumpster at the Lutsen campus of Cascade Vacation Rentals early Wednesday morning. The mother of the cubs had managed to escape on her own but the two juveniles were trapped inside the dumpster. CVR employees worked to free the two cubs and they were reunited with their mother by Wednesday afternoon.

  •  At 7:31 AM Cascade Vacation Rentals employee Bara Raah Gregoire was going to dispose of her trash in the dumpsters at the Cascade Vacation Rentals Lutsen campus, where she lives. Although the dumpster was secure with two bear bars, which were securely in place, Bara opened the lid to find a bear within.
  •  “I just went to dumpster and both bars were on it and when I opened it the bear was sitting in the dumpster!! I wonder how that is even possible with it being barred shut?!? I ran off with my trash but didn’t put the bars back on or look to see if the bear jumped out.” That is the text Bara sent to the CVR maintenance team.
  • Around 9AM CVR owner Steve Surbaugh went up to the campus building, located two blocks behind the main office building along Highway 61 in Lutsen, to investigate. Upon going to check the dumpster for damage he spotted two cubs trapped inside. They were too small to escape on their own. An adult bear was in a tree nearby.
    For release 6:00 PM CST, October 25, 2017
  • With the help of employees Andrew Beavers and Mike “Chili” Groth, they fashioned a
    ladder out of a broken futon frame which was then lowered into the dumpster. From
    the other side Andrew and Chili create noise and banged against the side of the
    dumpster until one of the cubs slowly ascended the make-shift ladder and leaped out of
    the dumpster. The cub quickly joined its mother in the tree. The second cub was more
    reserved, popping its head out but then going back in a couple of times before it finally
    made the leap out and was reunited with its family.
  • Cascade Vacation Rentals employees Sarah Somnis and Sarena Nelson captured the
    rescue on video, which can be viewed at
    https://www.facebook.com/CascadeVacationRentals/videos/10154892050091406/
  • None of the bears were harmed in the rescue and all three quickly descended from the
    tree and ran off into the nearby woods. The staff is investigating how the bears
    managed to get into the dumpsters with the bear bars attached and the lid secured. It
    just goes to show how tricky it can be to keep the bears at bay as they try to fatten up
    for their winter hibernation.

Cascade Vacation Rentals is Northern Minnesota’s largest local vacation rental company. They
rent vacation homes in along Lake Superior’s North Shore from Duluth to the Canadian border
with over 170 vacation rental properties. Cascade Vacation Rentals is owned by Steve
Surbaugh of Grand Marais, MN and Mike Larson of Lutsen, MN
For more information please contact Jaye White or Laura Muus at 218-663-7971.

by Jaye White For more information please contact Jaye White or Laura Muus at 218-663-7971. Jaye White

Visit Minnesota Monthly Website

Vote for Grand Marais in Minnesota Monthly’s Best MN Town Contest

sail boat on the water in Grand Marais

sail boat on the water in Grand Marais

MEDIA CONTACTS

Kjersti Vick | Visit Cook County, Marketing Manager | PH#: 218.387.2788 + Email:  kjersti@visitcookcounty.com

Or

Lynn Nelson | LIN Public Relations, Inc. | PH#: 612.990.0126 + Email: lnelson.linpr@gmail.com

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Vote for Grand Marais in Minnesota Monthly’s Best MN Town Contest

 

Grand Marais, Minn. – Sept. 20, 2017 – This week, Grand Marais, Minn., was chosen as a contender for the “Best MN Town” contest sponsored by Minnesota Monthly Magazine.  Grand Marais is competing against nine Minnesota towns, including Owatonna, Walker, Duluth, Hopkins, Waconia, etc.  See www.bestmntown.com for more contest details and to VOTE!

“Grand Marais has won three national contests in the past three years,” said Linda Jurek, executive director of Visit Cook County. “These contests are about far more than just driving tourism to our area. As a born-and-raised ‘local gal’, I’m excited about the hometown pride these sorts of awards have inspired.

“When we won the Coolest Small Town in America award in 2015, we weren’t sure what to expect. We anticipated an increase in visitor traffic and media attention, but the biggest win was the boost in community pride. Over 35 businesses have made substantial improvements to their buildings since then, which has improved the look of our town, but more importantly has reinvested money directly back into our local economy. That has been the most significant benefit of these awards.”

Grand Marais Mayor, Jay Arrowsmith DeCoux suggests that “Residents and visitors to join us in showing how proud we are of this little town near the big lake. There aren’t many places that are located right in the midst of a protected wilderness area, an ancient mountain range, and the largest fresh water lake in the world, Lake Superior. There are many other reasons that Grand Marais is unique, but our natural amenities can’t be beat!”

 

About Visit Cook County

Visit Cook County encompasses the northeastern Minnesota communities of Lutsen, Tofte, Schroeder, Grand Marais, the Gunflint Trail and Grand Portage, commonly referred to as “the Arrowhead” and the “North Shore of Lake Superior”.  Grand Marais, Minn., has earned several national accolades — most recently it was named USA Today’s Best Midwestern Small Town, Outside Magazine’s The 16 Best Places to Live in the U.S. 2016, and Budget Travel’s 2015 Coolest Small Town in America. Rekindle your sense of adventure by exploring the Superior National Forest or paddling through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Discover what makes the communities of Cook County, Minn. “Naturally Unforgettable.” Connect on social media using #visitcc, Twitter @CookCoVisitorsFacebook, or Instagram @donorthmn. Learn more at www.visitcookcounty.com.

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Minnesota Monthly MEDIA CONTACTS Kjersti Vick | Visit Cook County, Marketing Manager PH#: 218.387.2788 + Email:  kjersti@visitcookcounty.com Or Lynn Nelson | LIN Public Relations, Inc. PH#: 612.990.0126 + Email: lnelson.linpr@gmail.com

Newly renovated Canyon 9 course opens for limited play at Superior National Golf Course on September 7, 2017.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Newly renovated Canyon 9 course opens for limited play at Superior National Golf Course on September 7, 2017.

Lutsen, Minn. – August 17, 2017 – The much anticipated newly-renovated Canyon 9 course at Superior National at Lutsen is opening for play on September 7, 2017. This is the last phase of a $4.5 million improvement plan to enhance the 27-hole course.

Superior National Golf Course opened in 1992. It quickly became known as one of the premier destination golf courses in Minnesota. The Lake Superior adjacent 27-hole championship course with nearly 6,900 yards of sloping fairways and grand elevation changes earned it the title of “#1 Public Golf Course in Minnesota” by Golf Digest magazine. After several years of superior play, renovations began in 2014 on the River 9 course.

The multi-phased improvement project was designed by renowned golf course architect Jeffrey Brauer. The improvements to the courses include “Ohio’s Best” white sand, five sets of tees, wider fairways and idyllic greens. The new tee box design offers beginner friendly forward tees as well as an opportunity for a greater challenge to the veteran long-hitting golfer with extended back tees.

The River 9 course was completed in 2016 and play will be from River to Canyon. Advanced reservations for tee times are recommended due to popular demand.  Conditions of daily play will be determined by management as growth of the new turf will be monitored closely. The Mountain 9 course is also open for play through October. A grand opening for the completed project is scheduled for the spring of 2018.

Book your tee times and Stay and Play packages online at superiornational.com.

Superior National at Lutsen is owned by the Cook County/Grand Marais EDA whose mission is to diversify the economy, create employment through retention and expansion of existing businesses and development of new businesses, support the development of housing and increase the tax base.

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Media contact:

Heath Ekstrom, 218-663-7195 snlproshop@gmail.com

Superior National Golf Course aerial view

Media contact: Heath Ekstrom | Ph# 218-663-7195 | email: snlproshop@gmail.com 

WTIP gearing up for 10th annual Radio Waves Music Festival Sept. 8 to 10

Radiowaves Music Festival Grand Marais

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WTIP gearing up for 10th annual Radio Waves Music Festival Sept. 8 to 10

Grand Marais, Minn., Aug. 1, 2017 – Music fans get ready! WTIP Community Radio is gearing up for the annual Radio Waves Music Festival, Sept. 8 to 10, at Sweetheart’s Bluff in the Grand Marais Recreation Area. This marks the 10th year of the family-friendly festival, which features three days of live music from a diverse mix of local and regional artists.

 

Twenty-nine acts will take the stage at this year’s festival, with eight new bands, and six that have not played in several years. The weekend will feature performances by local and regional favorites, including: Dusty Heart (Americana, roots), Earth Wind & Todd (Early ‘70s rock, pop funk soul and disco), Floydian Slip (classic rock, rock), Plucked Up String Band (Astroturf), SplinterTones (eclectic dance music), the Step Rockets (indie alternative) and more.

 

The full music lineup is online at www.wtip.org – just look for “Radio Waves Music Festival” under the EVENTS drop-down menu. Festival hours are Friday, 4 to 10 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

 

A favorite of both visitors and area residents as well as performing musicians, Radio Waves is held rain or shine – with two stages housed under a large tent – and includes on-site food as well as children’s activities for a portion of Saturday and Sunday. Admission – available at the gate – is $10 per day or $20 for the weekend, and free to children 12 and under.

 

The Radio Waves Music Festival is made possible in part with funding from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, and is also supported by a grant from the Grand Marais Area Tourism Association and Visit Cook County.

 

About WTIP:

WTIP is an independent, nonprofit radio station broadcasting from the north shore of Lake Superior in Grand Marais since 1998. This community radio station features local news, weather and events as well as eclectic music and programming highlighting the arts, culture and history of the region. Listeners can tune in at 90.7 FM Grand Marais/North Shore, 90.1 FM Grand Portage, and 89.1 FM Gunflint Trail, or stream online – via computer, tablet or phone – at www.wtip.org.

Radio Waves Music Festival Grand Marais

Radio Waves Music Festival Grand Marais

CONTACT: Jana Berka, Development Director WTIP North Shore Community Radio Phone: 218-387-1070 Fax: 218-387-1120 jana@wtip.org www.wtip.org

After 20 successful years, ‘Crossing Borders Studio Tour’ replaced by ‘Art Along the Lake: Fall Studio Tour’ Sept. 29 – Oct. 8

Betsy Bowen at work in her studio

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

After 20 successful years, ‘Crossing Borders Studio Tour’ replaced by ‘Art Along the Lake: Fall Studio Tour’ Sept. 29 – Oct. 8

Cook County, Minn. – August 9, 2017 – A group of local artists and gallery owners joined with Visit Cook County to revive and reimagine the Crossing Borders Studio Tour, which retired last year after 20 successful years.

 

The new event, Art Along the Lake: Fall Studio Tour, will feature 14 stops and more than 40 artists along one of the most scenic fall color drives in Minnesota. The event will give visitors an opportunity to meet with artists in their home studios, as well as visit with guest artists at local art galleries. The dates for the Fall Studio Tour are Sept. 29 – Oct. 8, 2017.

 

Artists on the fall tour include Betsy Bowen Gallery & Studios in Grand Marais, Dan and Lee Ross of Hovland, who helped start the Crossing Borders event 20 years ago, and painter Hazel Belvo and other artists at Frykman Art Studio in Grand Marais. Click here for the complete list of artists and galleries.

 

For many of the featured artists, these 10 days will be the only time they open their studios to the public all year. “We have had customers fly in from around the country to come to the Studio Tour,” said Dan and Lee Ross, who are sculpture and print artists. “When it comes to the new tour there is an added sense of discovery this year with 11 new stops and 35 new artists. Painters are joining the tour for the first time. The tour is moving forward, and we are excited about it.

“Lake Superior is the backdrop, the boreal forest is the setting and the artwork is the centerpiece. This fall come and experience new sculpture, prints, wood turning, paintings, weavings, and more in the setting that inspired them.”

 

Visit Cook County supports many art events throughout the year, including the Grand Marias Arts Festival, Plein Air Grand Marais, Unplugged, and Art Along the Lake: Spring, among others.

 

The name for the Fall Studio Tour is derived from the spring art tour event, which occurs on Memorial Day weekend and features events and demonstrations at Cook County galleries. Visit Cook County Executive Director Linda Jurek sees art events as an important part of the local economy, noting that a 2015 regional study shows that “The Arts Economy in Cook County is the third largest in the state per capita, behind only Minneapolis and St. Paul, contributing almost $900 for each of the county’s more than 5,000 residents.”

 

A few weeks before the Fall Studio Tour, the Grand Marais Art Colony will host the annual Plein Air 2017 Painting Competition.  The competition allows Cook County visitors to participate or watch 60 artists depict scenes from 3,000 square miles of North Shore beauty from the Canadian Border to the Caribou River in Schroeder Friday, Sept. 8 – Friday, Sept. 15, 2017.

 

About Visit Cook County

Visit Cook County encompasses the northeastern Minnesota communities of Lutsen, Tofte, Schroeder, Grand Marais, the Gunflint Trail and Grand Portage, commonly referred to as “the Arrowhead” and the “North Shore of Lake Superior”.  Grand Marais, Minn., has earned several national accolades — most recently it was named USA Today’s Best Midwestern Small Town, Outside Magazine’s The 16 Best Places to Live in the U.S. 2016, and Budget Travel’s 2015 Coolest Small Town in America. Rekindle your sense of adventure by exploring the Superior National Forest or paddling through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Discover what makes the communities of Cook County, Minn. “Naturally Unforgettable.” Connect on social media using #visitcc, Twitter @CookCoVisitorsFacebook, or Instagram @donorthmn. Learn more at www.visitcookcounty.com.

 

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MEDIA CONTACTS Katie Krantz | Visit Cook County Ph# 218.387.2788 katie@visitcookcounty.com OR -- Lynn Nelson | LIN Public Relations, Inc.  Ph# 612.990.0126  Email: lnelson.linpr@gmail.com