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Bay City State Recreation Area Hosts 16th Annual Winter Festival Feb. 14

Youth Ice Fishing Clinic, Fish Identification, Ice Safety on Program

January 21, 2009       Leave a Comment
By: MyBayCity Staff

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Bay City State Recreation Area is hosting its 16th annual Winter Festival on Saturday, Feb. 14, to coincide with the first day of Michigan's Winter Free Fishing Weekend, when anyone can fish license-free on Michigan's waters.

The Winter Festival is sponsored by Frank's Great Outdoors, the Saginaw Bay Walleye Club and Friends of the Bay City State Recreation Area.

Festival activities begin at 9 a.m. with a youth ice fishing clinic. Children can learn how to construct an ice fishing pole, tie fishing knots, rig their pole, design their own "lucky" ice fishing lure, practice fish identification and learn about ice safety from the U.S. Coast Guard.

Members of the Saginaw Bay Walleye Club and Captain Andy of Frank's Great Outdoors will be on hand to offer ice fishing tips.

From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., children can enter the Youth Ice Fishing Derby. Free bait and loaner poles, pre-drilled ice fishing holes, and free hot chocolate and popcorn near a warming fire will be provided, along with a kids' free raffle for ice fishing prizes.

The festival also features a traditional Native American game called "snow snake." From noon to 3 p.m., there will be a snow snake clinic, where families can construct their own snow snake and practice their sliding skills before entering the Tobico Snow Snake Competition at 4 p.m.

Guided snowshoe hikes, a presentation on winter bird feeding by Cherri Allen of Cherri's Feed 'N' Seed and tracking wildlife through a wetlands woods will be offered.

There also will be children's puppet shows, a snowman-building contest, Birdy Bingo, a kids' craft corner and ice crystal treasure dig. Sled pull races, a scavenger hunt and snowshoe relay races round out the activities. The festival concludes with a live animal program featuring owls by Wildlife Recovery, followed by an owl-calling hike.

For more information about this event, the park, accessibility, or persons needing accommodations to attend this event, contact the Bay City State Recreation Area unit supervisor at (989) 684-3020 (TTY/TDD 711 Michigan Relay Center for the hearing impaired) at least seven days prior to the festival, or go online to

All events are free; however, motor vehicles entering a state park or recreation area must display a Motor Vehicle Permit, available for purchase at the park entrance. Cost is $24 for a resident annual and $6 for a resident daily. A nonresident annual is $29 and a nonresident daily is $8. The DNR is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state's natural resources for current and future generations.

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