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Firefighters' tournament to return to local area

July 28, 2014 - Nikki Younk
After a five-year absence, the annual Upper Peninsula Volunteer Firefighters’ Association Tournament returned to the local area last week.

Breitung Township firefighters were excellent hosts, as they organized and oversaw three parades, five different firefighter races, and two street dances in Quinnesec.

If you happened to miss this year’s festivities, have no fear. The tournament won’t be farther than 45 miles from Iron Mountain in each of the next three years. Crystal Falls is slated to host next year, Iron River in 2016, and Florence in 2017.

Both Crystal Falls and Iron River are old pros at hosting — Crystal Falls has hosted three times, the first being in 1901, and Iron River has hosted nine times, the first being in 1919. Florence first hosted in 2009, which was also the first time the tournament had ever been held outside of the Upper Peninsula.

It’s good to see the tournament stay close. For one, it’ll be easier for me as a reporter to cover it. More importantly, though, this area is roughly the geographic midpoint for the departments involved in the firefighters’ association. The vast majority of departments fall between Ironwood in the west and Munising in the east. A fair amount of travel for everyone.

Who knows, maybe we’ll keep the tournament in the area for even longer. Norway’s about due for another one, and maybe Breitung Township will want it again in five years’ time.



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