On a day like today, most cities would be focused on removing snow from the roadways.
Not Buchanan, Michigan.
Buchanan likes snow so much; it will soon be manufacturing flakes of its own, and dumping those directly on Front Street.
“We’re having a blizzard in Buchanan, I don’t care what the rest of you guys are having,” said Donna Southwell, Special Projects Manager with the City of Buchanan.
Buchanan is planning the 2013 version of Thrill on the Hill. On Friday night and all day Saturday, a hilly section of Front Street will be closed to traffic, coated with snow, and opened to sledding and tubing enthusiasts (anyone and everyone is welcome).
Due to recent mild winter weather, those planning the downhill event saw it as a real uphill challenge. “It came down to the fact that we’re putting on an event and we didn’t have snow, and we couldn’t guarantee snow,” said Southwell. “Who thought, I mean we get 70 inches a year annually, yet we had to lease this wonderful snow machine so that we could make sure that there was enough snow for the fun we're going to have next weekend.”
Buchanan ended up leasing a snow making machine that it hopes to have up and running as early as tomorrow. “It's hooked up to pressure and water, and you have to have a pump with 300 psi” said Southwell.
While it will cost about $5,000 to lease the snow making machine, the bill will be paid with proceeds raised from Thrill on the Hill sponsors.
With some 6,000 visitors expected to show up, the city is anxious to make a good impression.
“I grew up here in this town, so I've been here for 52 years, so we used to have a bunch of stuff going on during the winter and the summer, well it kind of died down now, Buchanan is trying to pick it back, all back up,” said volunteer Eric Neff.
Thrill on the Hill runs Friday night from 5:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. There will also be a special ‘adults only’ session that runs from 11:00 p.m. until 1:00 a.m.
Saturday hours run from 11:00 a.m. through 9:00 p.m.
Inner tubes will be provided. There is a cover charge for the event.