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CopperDog races canceled due to conditions

Courtesy of Visit Keweenaw The dogs won’t be getting the thrill of competing at the CopperDog 150 this year. An unseasonably warm winter and lack of snowfall has forced the race’s cancellation.

CALUMET — CopperDog organizers announced Monday that due to current and forecasted weather conditions, there have been major modifications to the events, which are scheduled for March 1-3.

While the CopperPull and CopperDash will still occur, the CopperDog 150, CopperDog 80, CopperDog 30 and CopperDog 15 have been canceled.

“It is not the kind of news we wanted to share,” a release on the CopperDog social media page states, “but right decisions in regard to safety will always be our No. 1 priority. And of all the factors there were in the balance, the dogs were what made us make this decision at this time. In the simplest of words; we will not ever put any of these super athletes in a position where there is great chance of injury. No ifs, ands, or buts.”

While the races have been canceled, CopperDog still has plenty going on to attract visitors.

Village Council President Pro Tempore Pamela Que said it is sad that the races had to be canceled, but the events that are still scheduled will provide fun and entertainment for the people attending.

“I’m so happy CopperDog is back in Calumet,” Que said. “For a number of years, the race began in Calumet and ended in Calumet, but recently, it ended in Keweenaw County.”

Village and township residents circulated a petition to bring the race back to Calumet, said Que, and this year, it was scheduled to return, but the unusual winter prevented that.

“We are having a street party with music, food and fireworks,” the release states. “We are having kids’ sled dog rides. We are having a mushing-related movie at the Calumet Theatre. We are having the Crafty Dog Vendor Fair at the Copper Country #404 Elks Lodge. And we are even having a fundraiser dinner at the Keweenaw Heritage Center!”

A detailed schedule is expected to be released by the end of the week.

Mushers, sponsors, and volunteers will all be contacted in the next few days in regard to what is next, says the release.

“Join us, and let’s make some lemonade!!” the release says. “And thanks for understanding; we tried. We really did.”

The CopperDog becomes the third UP race behind Marquette’s UP 200 and the Tahquamenon Country Sled Dog Race to be cancelled this year.

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