On Saturday, Feb. 10, the annual Torchlight Parade and Fireworks took place at Mont Ripley to celebrate the end of another successful Winter Carnival. Participants who volunteered to hold flares in the Torchlight Parade converged with ski patrollers in front of the chalet. They were given a rundown on the route down the mountain and told how to safely hold the flares.
At 8:30 p.m. the flares were lit and the show began. Near the bottom of the hill, the skiers and snowboarders raised their flares as a salute to the crowd then put them out in the snow. Fireworks started to ignite over the top of the Copper Chairlift. The Houghton-Hancock community came together at the base of the mountain and across the canal to watch the spectacle.
When asked what this event meant to him, General Manager of Mont Ripley, Nick Sirdenis said, “I think that the best part, in my opinion, of the Torchlight Parade is its history, it has been happening here at Mont Ripley for many many years… I’ve lived in this area for 25 years when I came here to manage this hill, and there really isn’t, for the most part, anywhere else I’d rather be on this February day than in Houghton.” The crew at Ripley is still hard at work making snow and maintaining the hill for the rest of the season. For more information on events at Mont Ripley go to www.mtu.edu/mont-ripley/.