MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN) – By the size of the crowd and the smiles on everyone’s faces, you could never tell that tonight’s Festival of the Sled Dog was a hastily put-together replacement for the venerable sled dog race. Downtown Marquette was turned into a winter carnival for all ages.

There were local bands, food vendors, sled dog demonstrations, and a sledding hill, that turned Third Street into a pretty respectable slope. All of this was created in less than two days by the never say die spirit of everyone involved with the original UP200.

The Festival of the sled Dog was a huge success, born out of disappointment, conceived and constructed in a matter of days, the entire community stepped up and put together a family-friendly event that drew a huge crowd, and embodied the sense of community that makes the U.P. so very special.