UPPER PENINSULA, Mich. (WJMN) – The UP200, Midnight Run and Jack Pine 30 Sled Dog Races hold a special place in the Upper Peninsula. The scene on the Friday night of that weekend is truly magical as the both sides of Washington Street fill up with hundreds of fans to see these dogs put there best paw forward.

The Local 3 News Team was live from Downtown Marquette Friday night to show viewers one of the biggest events the U.P. has to offer.

In this special, not only was there live coverage but the news team was out in the community beforehand meeting the people and dogs that help make this event possible.

Haley Schoengart was able chat with Al Orazietti, a former musher in the races and judge and race marshal who couldn’t be there this year due to COVID restrictions as he lives in Canada. Haley also spoke with Al’s partner in crime, Brenda Ransom who has the inside scoop of all things UP200 related.

With hundreds of people from near and far coming to this event, Tor Thorne spoke with Dave Lorenz of Pure Michigan on what an event like this means for tourism and the local economy.

Brianna MacLean traveled to the Eastern U.P. to meet Laura Neese. The 25-year-old musher who competed in the Midnight Run and tells Brianna about her love and dedication for the sport. Neese is even opening her business, MIDOG – Michigan’s Summer Sled Dog Center in May to show people what these dogs do during the winter month’s

What university would have a mushing club? With lots of snow and the perfect climate for it, of course that would be Michigan Technological University. With their club having three teams in the Midnight Run, Rebecca Bartelme made the trip to the Copper Country to see these student put their passion into this sport.

Jake Durant covers athletes across the Upper Peninsula and these dogs are no different. Jake went to the vet checks prior to the race to see what it takes to make sure these dogs are healthy to compete in such an intense sport.

The magic that happens on Friday night takes many helping hands. Local 3 News was able to get coverage of volunteers setting it up earlier in the day. Some of those helpers come from the transition program at the Marquette Alger Regional Educational Service Agency (MARESA).

These sled dog races are a staple community event that brings everyone together. Local 3 is proud to be there every trot of the way at the races and telling the stories behind the event.

To keep up with all things UP200, Midnight Run and Jack Pine 30 related, click here.