Up North: Dogtoberfest rings in early Beargrease fun

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Before mushers take off in the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon January 30, buildup festivities and fundraising happens throughout the year.

Northlanders kicked off one of the events over the weekend with the second Dogtoberfest beer festival and Fur 5k at the Lake County Fairgrounds in Two Harbors.

"Its the kickoff to our mushing season," explained Beargrease spokesperson Monica Hendrickson. "We have our musher registration starting at noon, we have have our Fur-K that’s going on all day its a 5k fun run, and then of course our beer tasting and sampling.

Hendrickson went on to add, "we have over 30 different beers that will be here today for guests to try. We also have axe throwing, we have games, we have keg toss, and we have puppies. There are dogs everywhere, so in true Beargrease fashion there is a lot going on in a short period of time, but we want to kick off our season right."

Fun games, cold drinks, and cute puppies, were all many visitors could as for, and expectations were higher than ever this season.

"We are expecting a pretty full crowd like we had again last year. It was a great racing season for us and we are excited to have them back. The family is back together, that’s what it feels like like a big family reunion," Hendrickson said.

One of those family members who returned for the festival was the winner of the 2021 mid-distance race Erin Schouweiler. "We did the 5k this morning and we are just making sure it runs smoothly the rest of the day," she shared on Saturday.

"This is the first year, I organized the virtual 5k last year, and then this year since we can do a little bit more. We found this really great trail here in Two Harbors and we are excited to put on an actual in person 5k" Schouweiler added.

Although the official race is still a couple of months away, Schouweiler and her dog Possum are still hard at work training. Both are looking for back-to-back championships.

"We are going to sign up today, training is doing good a little bit of a warm fall but we are making due" she stated.

Registration is already full for the full Beargrease marathon. For more information, click here.