Snowfest in downtown Muskegon to feature winter beer festival, chili and soup cook-off, cornhole contest & more

A previous cornhole tournament. Photo courtesy of JCI Greater Muskegon

From a new winter beer festival to a cornhole competition and a soup and chili contest, the Muskegon Jaycees’ annual Snowfest is giving residents plenty of good reasons to head outside on Saturday, Feb. 1.

Held in downtown Muskegon, the popular yearly event will, for the first time in its 35-year history, offer a winter beer festival that will feature about 20 breweries. Participants will include Muskegon’s Pigeon Hill Brewing Company, Unruly Brewing and Rake Beer Project. (A complete list of the breweries is below.)

The event too will offer cornhole competitions on Western Avenue, between Third and Fourth streets, and local restaurants going head-to-head in a soup and chili cook-off inside the Mercy Health Arena (which just officially changed its name from the L.C. Walker Arena on Jan. 1).

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

“We are excited to kick off 2020 with Muskegon’s 35th annual Snowfest,” said Keria Shineldecker, the president of JCI Greater Muskegon. “Snowfest is JCI Greater Muskegon’s signature event that we have put together for the Muskegon area.”

Shineldecker emphasized that the Jaycees are a “group of passionate, young professionals” who have “come together to provide an opportunity” for the “entire community engage with one another during the cold weather.”

“With our newest additions, you won’t want to miss this anniversary event,” she said.

Lindsey Griffith, the Jaycees’ director of public relations and communications, said the organization is especially excited to add the winter beer festival.

“The addition of the many craft brew tastings inside the arena definitely takes things to the next level,” she said.

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

    • Registration for the cornhole tournaments begins at 9am. The competitions will kick off at 10am and will run simultaneously on Western Avenue, between Third and Fourth streets. Pre-event registration is requested, and the cost to play is $40 per each team of two people. Those who would like to compete are asked to register by clicking here.
    • The Battle of the Bowls Soup and Chili Cook-Off will take place from 11am to 4pm at the concourse of the Mercy Health Arena. During the competition, local restaurants will go head-to-head to see who has the area’s best soup and chili. Tickets are $25 ahead of time and $30 at the event. Each ticket provides 12 tasting tickets that can be used for the soup, chili and beer competitions. To purchase tickets, please click here.
    • The winter beer festival will also take place from 11am to 4pm inside the arena. So far, the confirmed participating breweries include: Pigeon Hill Brewing Company, Unruly Brewing, Rake Beer Project, Trail Point Brewing Company, Grand Armory Brewing, Big Hart Brewing Co., Cedar Springs Brewing Company, Fetch Brewing Company, Ludington Bay Brewing Company, Saugatuck Brewing Company, and The Mitten Brewing Company. Tickets are $25 ahead of time and $30 at the event. Each ticket provides 12 tasting tickets that can be used for the soup, chili and beer competitions. To purchase tickets, please click here.

For more information on getting involved or event details, visit the website at www.jcimuskegon.org/snowfest or the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/MuskegonSnowfest.

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