“I don’t know if he was in the army, but they teach them to zigzag,” Willard said.
Viewers didn’t seem to mind that the dogs hadn’t had much practice.
“I liked watching the dog pull. It was nice seeing all the different types of dogs,” said Spencer Kaastra, 11, who was in town from Maple City to visit his grandmother, Ellen Golec.
Marlee Smith, 8, wanted to enter the family dog in the race, her mom Kelly said.
“Our dog likes to drag us over the snow anyway,” she said.
Once she came downtown, Marlee’s favorite activity was the zipline.
A mini-golf course was another new addition to the festival. Gleaming ice sculptures created transparent obstacles for the golfers.
“Both the adults and kids love the golf, and they love the sculptures. It’s a chance for everybody to have a photo op,” said Frank Bennett, a Traverse City resident who volunteered to man the course.
Sharon Manahan, from Indiana, visited Traverse City and was pleasantly surprised to find a festival underway.
“This is so neat. The ice sculptures are awesome and the zipline is cool,” Manahan said.
Traverse City’s signature cherry had the spotlight at Grand Traverse Pie Company, where kids learned to bake their own cherry pies.
“It was fun,” said CJ Upham, 9, of Traverse City. “The best part is when you get to eat it.”
Temperatures that stayed in the teens provided a boost to local businesses. Momentum, a store that sells warm clothing, sold out of hats and gloves by Saturday morning and had to refer people to buy scarves and earmuffs instead.
Stacy Crawford, the store’s supervising manager, said sales increase every year.
“I feel like it’s because there’s so much going on, especially events like this where they use the street,” Crawford said.