Chilly thrill returns to Buchanan

Leader file photo

Leader file photo

BUCHANAN, Mich. — You’ve heard about it from a couple family members or friends, you’ve been curious, and this year you tell yourself you have to go see what all of the excitement is about.

You park your car in downtown Buchanan and make the short walk to the ticket window to get your wristband. You pay your $5 and a volunteer hands you a tube. Then you turn to make your way to the hill and you see it, the 12-foot tall wooden ramp perched on top of the city’s main street.

At that moment something is pulled out of you, something you might not have felt in a long time but now feel as strongly as you did when you were a child.

The thrill.

Buchanan’s annual Thrill on the Hill snow-tubing event is quickly becoming a regional January tradition. The 2016 version of the event looks to be even better than year’s past and marks the fifth year of the Front Street festivities.

Like it has every year since its inaugural run in 2012, the event will take place the last weekend in January, this year on the 29th and 30th. Everything kicks off at 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 29, when the hill is officially opened for the weekend.

For children 5 years and younger there will be games and contests as well as a mini-hill, constructed near the bottom of the main hill. The hill is only open from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday night and wristbands are $3 for the three hours.

After a few hours of grooming, the ramp atop Front Street is reopened for the adult midnight run from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. Cost for the adult tubing is $5. Throughout the entire event tubes will be provided and bringing a personal tube or sled is prohibited.

Saturday there will be a full day of activities for people of all ages. The hill will be open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. but the cost of an all-day wrist band is still $3.

Smoke Family Vision Center will be hosting a snowman building contest in its parking lot between Front and Rynearson St.

It has been rumored that Frosty the Snowman, Rudolf the Red-nose Reindeer and Pete the Penguin will all be in attendance on Saturday.

For the second year, the Buchanan Area Chamber of Commerce is offering horse-drawn carriage rides around the downtown area. Carriage rides will be from 3 to 7 p.m. on Saturday only, $5 per rider. There will be a large fire pit near the bottom of the hill for riders who want to take a break and warm up a little.

According to Buchanan City Manager Bill Marx, this year the ramp will be placed higher atop the hill to lengthen the trip down for riders. The slide is approx. 800 feet from top to bottom this year, the longest it has ever been.

Volunteer firefighters will be on site and will be tossing stress relief “snowballs,” some of which will be marked to redeem for prizes, from their fire ladder. Throughout the entire weekend a DJ will be playing music and holding dance contests for people of all ages.

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Police Log: Sept. 13-14

Berrien County

Local emergency departments experiencing high volumes, wait times

Berrien County

Residents demand Berrien County commissioners take action on mask mandate

Business

Cassopolis hosts Cass County Leadership Summit

Business

Owners of vintage farm tractors invited to Under the Harvest Moon

Business

Edwardsburg welcomes new construction business

Cassopolis

Cassopolis organization to host walk honoring National Suicide Prevention Month

Business

PHOTO STORY: A-Mazing Acres opens for season

Buchanan

Niles teen builds Eagle Scout project on McCoy Creek Trail

Business

New short-term rental property group to offer guests ‘curated’ Dowagiac experience

Cass County

Two women injured in La Grange Township crash

News

Niles hosts town hall between community, law enforcement

Berrien County

Berrien County Commissioners respond to mask mandate

Berrien County

Local talent development leader honored by Michigan Works! Association

Dowagiac

SMC attracts more than $4 million in grants

Business

Downtown Niles to welcome new dance studio

Berrien County

MEC accepting applications for Strengthening Schools Grant program

Dowagiac

Dowagiac City Council, Cass County Transit Authority renew Transit Operating Agreement

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan reports 976,505 cases, 20,535 deaths

Breaking News

Dowagiac police arrest suspect in Monday hit and run crash

News

Niles City Council approves social district permits

Business

Niles muralist brightening downtown

Buchanan

Buchanan commissioners decline to pay annual dues to Greater Niles Chamber of Commerce

Berrien County

Man arrested after standoff in Niles