Snowfest in downtown Muskegon to feature Bloody Mary contest, chili cook-off, 1980s dance party & more

A previous cornhole tournament. Photo courtesy of JCI Greater Muskegon

From a chili cook-off to a Bloody Mary contest and a 1980s-themed dance party, the Greater Muskegon Jaycees’ annual Snowfest is giving residents plenty of good reasons to head outside this winter.

The ever-popular event will be held in downtown Muskegon on Saturday, Feb. 2, with the jam-packed winter extravaganza featuring snow volleyball and cornhole tournaments, winter-themed family activities, and more.

Snowfest is held by the Junior Chamber International [JCI] Greater Muskegon, a nonprofit comprised of young active citizens, aged 21 to 40 years old, who are committed to creating impact in the community.

“We are thrilled to kick off the year with Muskegon’s 34th annual Snowfest,” JCI Greater Muskegon President Brennen Gorman said. “Snowfest is JCI Greater Muskegon’s off-season labor of love to the Muskegon area as a group of passionate young professionals providing an opportunity for the entire community to come together. It is an ever-evolving event and 2019 is shaping up to present more winter entertainment than ever before.”

Snowfest Chairperson Jamie Hekker noted the organization is thrilled to partner with downtown businesses for the event.

“Snowfest means so much to our chapter because while it’s a fundraiser so we can continue our work, it’s an opportunity for us to invest in those organizations that work so hard every day to improve the lives of the people and families that live along the Lakeshore,” Hekker said.

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This year’s Snowfest festivities will be held as follows:

    • The cornhole and snow volleyball tournaments will run simultaneously on Western Avenue, between Third and Fourth streets. Registration begins at 9am, and the tournaments will kick off at 10am. Trophies and cash prizes will be given to first and second place teams in each tournament. The cost to play is $30 per cornhole team of two and $60 per volleyball team of four. Pre-registration is required; to register, please go to
    • The “Battle of the Bowls Soup and Chili Cook-off” will take place from 11am to 2pm at the Frauenthal Center’s third floor ballroom. During the competition, area restaurants will go head-to-head to see who has the best soup and chili around. Samples will be available for purchase. Participating restaurants include: Rootdown, Boar’s Belly, Third Street Grill, Se4sons Gastropub, Nipote’s Italian Kitchen, Ryke’s Bakery, Driftwood Cafe, Fatty Lumpkins, and Morat’s Bakery.
    • The “Battle of the Bloodies,” a challenge to find Muskegon’s favorite Bloody Mary drink, will be held at the same time, 11am to 2pm, at the Frauenthal Center’s third floor ballroom. Presale tickets are $25 or $30 at the door the day of the event; tickets will include a sample of each competitor’s entry.
    • Snowfest will conclude with a 1980s ski-themed dance party at Racquets Downtown Grill.

Volunteer and sponsorship opportunities are still available.  For more information on getting involved or event details, visit the website at or the Facebook page at

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