While Mother Nature may get a penalty for unseasonable weather, organizers of the Nautical Mile Pond Hockey Winter Classic are moving forward with plans for the Jan. 25-27 event.
Volunteers are still being recruited, partnerships are being forged and details are being finalized for what organizers hope becomes a county-wide winter event.
"The goal is to have this be an annual event that’s going to turn into a winter carnival for Macomb County," said Andrew DenBaas, of the St. Clair Shores Hockey Association, which is helping organize the event. "The hockey part is a starter. If we all work on this, we can have something in the winter we can all hang our hat on that is a Macomb County event we have here in St. Clair Shores."
The inaugural tournament on the canals next to Brownie's on the Lake had been planned for this past January, but unseasonably warm temperatures and a lack of ice led to the cancellation of the event.
Organizers report strong interest in the 4-on-4 tournament this year from hockey players, teams and other organizations in the community.
Additional details released about the event include:
- A Facebook page has been established to share event updates and tournament information.
- Shuttles will run between Jefferson Beach Marina and Brownie's on the Lake for participants and spectators.
- Nautical Mile Merchants Association, Brownie's on the Lake, Roy O'Brien Ford, Jefferson Beach Marina, Emerald City Harbor, Superior Ambulance and the St. Clair Shores Fire Department are among the sponsoring organizations.
- Brownie's on the Lake will have live entertainment throughout the weekend.
- Volunteers are still needed to clean the ice, keep score and referee the games. Compensation may be available for those working on the ice.
- A volunteer meeting will be held at 1:30 p.m., Jan. 20, at Brownie's. Lunch will be provided.
- The Optimists Club of St. Clair Shores in conjunction with the Nautical Mile Merchants Association will be conducting the 13th Annual Nautical Mile Chili Cook-Off on Friday, Jan. 25. For more information or an application call Sue or Niki at 586-772-4200 or log onto www.nauticalmile.org.
Temperatures to drop
While temperatures may reach 56 degrees Saturday, cold weather may return next week and through the end of the month.
The National Weather Service is forecasting "there is moderate to high confidence in a patter change towards much colder weather for the central and eastern United States starting around the middle of January ... with cold likely peaking in late January into early February. There is the potential for the coldest air we have seen in at least several years during this period."