2016 Winter Festival



Come celebrate winter in Mackinaw City during this year's 23rd Annual Winter Fest January 14th - 17th, 2016!! 

Please note Dates, Times & Events may change! Check back with us frequently or follow us on Face Book for updates!

Amateur & Professional Snow Sculpting competition, Sleigh/Wagon Rides, Outhouse Races, Poker Walk, Arts & Crafts, Chili Cook Off and Euchre Tournament at the Senior Center.  Enjoy the before, after and during party at the Dixie Saloon.  Saturday, January 16th 2016 ~ Ice Fishing tournament from 8am to 2pm at MDNR public access {Weather Permitting}, registration information found on the Paradise Lake Association website.  A “Warming Station” located at the Pancake Chef restaurant.  Many more Fun Winter Activities include: games for Kids, Tweens & Adults beginning at 11:30 am located at:  Central Avenue Playground / Arnold Line Park.

Additional information is below on each of the 2016 WinterFest Activities & Events happening in Mackinaw City.  Come enjoy the winter fun!


Mackinaw Pepsi International Outhouse Races


Outhouse Races: scheduled for Saturday at 2pm on the Shepler's Lot located on Huron Ave and Central Ave. This novelty event starts with the parade of outhouses which proves to be creative, colorful and entertaining - a must see!

  • 1st Place Cash Prize ~ $1,000
  • 2nd Place Cash Prize ~ $500
  • 3rd Place Cash Prize ~ $250
  • $100 Cash Prize for "Best In Show"

The races are open to Adult & Junior Teams.  Rules are as follows: The Outhouse must be 4x4x6 on skis.  Must have a 5 person team {1-must ride & 4-push or pull}.  The Outhouse must have a Toilet Seat and have Material to Wipe with.  Entry must have a Name. Entrants under 18 must have a parent's signature and all teams/participants must sign a waiver.  For more information and registration visit: or call 231-436-5493.

Music & Commentary for WinterFest by: G-Man Sound Productions ~ Gary Engles

Afterglow party and live music at O'Reilly's Irish Pub & Dixie Saloon.

*Friday January 15th 2016: DJ & Dancing - Racers Recption at the Dixie Saloon from 10:00pm - 2:00am

Chili Cook Off Competition!

Chili Cook-Off Competition: begins at Mama Mia’s Pizzeria located at: 231 East Central Ave. from 11:00am and runs till 1:00pm.  Come early to taste and vote for your favorite recipe. To place an entry a registration form is needed and only the first 5 registrations will be accepted due to space requirements. The Legion coordinates this Annual Event. Tasting and people's choice awards require a Winter Fest Button.  Rules and entry forms are available from the Chamber of Commerce 231-436-5574.

Euchre Tournament

Euchre Tournament: from 1:00pm to 3:00pm has a $5.00 entry fee with a Winter Fest button.  Action takes place at the Senior Center of Mackinaw City located: 205 Cedar Street.  Registration begins at 11:00am till Noon {Must be 18 yrs or older to participate in Tournament – verify location on event day}. For more information on this fun and warm event please call the Chamber of Commerce at: 231-436-5574.

Snow Sculpting


Snow sculpting competition {weather permitting} located next to Mackinac Bay Trading Company: will begin on Thursday, January 14th and continue through Saturday, January 16th.  Judging and awards for the sculptors will be Saturday at 1:30 pm.  Local snow sculptors can register for the competition until Tuesday January 12th, which is also the sculpting event cancel date.

Please note: Ice fishing & snow sculpting are the only weather dependent events.  For updates call the Mackinaw City Chamber office at 888-455-8100 or visit

Other Events & Admittance Information

Other events include: the Warming House at Pancake Chef, Poker Walk from 10:15 to 1:15pm at B.C. Pizza, Sleigh/Wagon Rides 11:30am - 2:00pm sponsored by Marshall's Fudge & Mackinaw Clothing Store.  Various restaurants and bars are offering Winter Fest specials and entertainment Thursday through Saturday.

Most of activities are free with a 2016 Winter Fest button.  Buttons can be purchased for $3.00 at the Chamber of Commerce Office, various businesses around town and at each event site during the festival until gone.  Check the number on back of your button and you can win from $2.00 to $20.00.   Winning numbers will be posted Saturday January 16th with prize pick up at B.C. Pizza till 1:30pm then Marshall's Fudge through Sunday January 17th.  Winner envelopes will be at the Chamber Office from 10:00am - 4:00pm located at: 226 East Central Ave. till January 22nd, 2016.

                                                             ***Please verify all locations on Event day****

See you there!!!

Winterfest Ice Fishing Tournament


Winterfest Ice Fishing Tournament - Carp Lake Marina, only 7 miles from Downtown Mackinaw City. Contestants will meet at the DNR Boat Launch Access at Paradise Lake.  All entry fees include a chance ticket valued at $5. The three categories to be judged are: heaviest pike, heaviest walleye and heaviest pan fish.  Each category carries a $300 top prize. Anglers may preregister from 3:00pm - 6pm on Friday, January 15th 2016 in the headquarters trailer located at the public access.  Registration on the day of tournament is from 6:30am - 8:00am at the headquarters trailer.  Good luck Anglers!  For more information call: (231) 537-4874

Paradise Lake Map

Mackinaw City Pepsi International Outhouse Races 2012 video