MARQUETTE AND GRAND MARAIS, Mich. (WJMN) – After unexpected recent warm weather conditions, the UP200 Sled Dog Race and other accompanying events were forced to make last-minute changes this week. The end result is two community celebrations. One in Marquette, the other in Grand Marais.

The Festival of the Sled Dog will take place on Friday evening in downtown Marquette. The family-friendly event will take place beginning at 7 p.m. on West Washington Street between Front and Fourth Streets.

Northern Michigan University announced the following details about the event on Thursday:

Snow will be brought in and a short track will be created on Washington Street. Several mushers will be there with their teams. A sledding hill will be created on Third Street from Washington down to the Marquette Commons. With the addition of Double Trouble Entertainment as a sponsor, the event will also feature music, food and games for all. Additionally, the NMU and Michigan Tech mushing clubs are teaming up to provide dog sled rides thanks to the valiant effort of Oberstar Inc. by bringing in fresh snow for all to enjoy.

“While we are disappointed that the weather did not cooperate with this year’s running of the dog sled races, we will still come together as a community and celebrate what the UP200 means to the region,” said Ross Anthony, UPDSA board member. “We will have an event to remember.”

“NMU is proud to partner with the UP Sled Dog Association and pivot to the Festival of the Sled Dog,” said Derek Hall, chief marketing officer at NMU. “The unusual weather will not stop us from celebrating our community and connections across the UP.”

Grand Marais Winterfest will take place at the typical UP200 turnaround point in Grand Marais on Saturday. The following events will take place on Saturday: