Winter Festival to be Held at Bay City State Recreation Area Feb. 18

Get outside and explore Michigan’s great outdoors at Bay City State Recreation Area on Saturday, Feb. 18, as the Department of Natural Resources hosts the 19th annual Winter Festival. The annual Winter Festival is offered on the Saturday of Michigan’s Free Fishing Weekend and is one of many “Winter Project GO Get Outdoors” special events offered throughout the state for the entire family. The festival runs from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The annual Youth Ice Fishing Clinic will kick off the festival. As part of the clinic, participants construct a fishing pole, learn how to rig it, design an ice fishing jig, learn about ice fishing safety and get a few tips on how to ice fish. An ice fishing derby starts at 9:30 a.m. Bait and loaner fishing poles will be provided. Pre‑drilled holes for ice fishing will be offered to all children participating.

Winter Festival will offer activities for all ages, including morning bird hikes and bird-feeding workshop, a “snowball” tournament, live wildlife presentation, snow snake clinic and tournament, ice crystal treasure dig, snowshoe hikes out to the beaver lodge and an evening owl-calling hike. Participants will be eligible for many prizes and trophies awarded throughout the day. The festival is cosponsored by the Saginaw Bay Walleye Club and Frank’s Great Outdoors of Linwood. For a complete schedule, visit the Saginaw Bay Visitor Center page on the DNR Web site at www.michigan.gov/saginawbayvc.           

"The Winter Festival is a great opportunity for area families to try out traditional outdoor winter recreational activities – equipment and instruction provided,” said Park Interpreter Valerie Blaschka. "I encourage families and youth groups to get out to the park and explore Michigan’s great outdoors!”

The Bay City State Recreation Area is located at 3582 Park Drive in Bay City. For more information, stop by the Saginaw Bay Visitor Center, located within Bay City State Recreation Area, or call 989-667-0717.

This event coincides with Free Fishing Weekend, so no fishing license is required; however, all fishing regulations still apply.

There is no cost for this event; however, a $10 State Park Passport is required for all vehicles entering the park. Michigan residents can purchase the Recreation Passport ($10 for motor vehicles; $5 for motorcycles) by checking "YES" on their license plate renewal forms, or at any state park or recreation area. Nonresident motor vehicles must still display a valid nonresident Recreation Passport ($29 annual; $8 daily) to enter a Michigan state park, recreation area or state-administered boating access fee site; these can be purchased at any state park or recreation area, or through the Michigan e-Store at www.michigan.gov/estore. To learn more about the Recreation Passport, visit www.michigan.gov/recreationpassport or call 517-241-7275.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state's natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. For more information, go to www.michigan.gov/dnr.