This week ends the year of Clinton’s reign as the Kraft Hockeyville community.
While Clinton will always be the 2018 winner of the national contest sponsored by Kraft Heinz and the NHL, a new U.S. community will take over for the next year. Calumet, Michigan, tucked high up in the Upper Peninsula near the shores of Lake Superior, won the 2019 title.
Clinton Arena Director Mike Orsino, Patti Maxam, who will replace Orsino when he retires in December, and Patty Louise, publisher of the Waterville Times and co-chair of the Clinton Hockeyville committee, made the trip to Calumet to make the official presentation of the trophy and jersey. That will happen as part of the ceremonies at the Calumet Colosseum Thursday, Sept. 26 when the Detroit Red Wings play the defending Stanley Cup champions St. Louis Blues.
Calumet, a village with a population of about 800 people, won with the help of voting by the U.P. and all of Michigan. The 2016 Kraft Hockeyville winner, Marquette, is 130 miles south of Calumet.
The village’s nickname is Copper Town USA and is home to a Copper Museum down the street from the Colosseum. There is also a monument dedicated to the 73 victims who died in a 1913 Christmas Eve fire at Italian Hall.
The Depression of the 1930s closed most of the mines for good, although the village lies atop about 2,000 miles of the empty mines. A Pasty Fest every summer pays tribute to the food made popular by miners. (A pasty is a meat pie with potatoes and vegetables.)
Calumet’s Colosseum, which is where the pre-season NHL game will be played Thursday, is the world’s oldest indoor ice arena still in use. It was built in 1913 and the first game played on the ice a year later.
The facility is owned by Calumet Township. The Calumet Copper Kings, the high school’s...