PETOSKEY, Mich. — Weak ice has caused the cancellation of a popular event in northern Michigan: the viewing of an underwater crucifix.
The crucifix is under more than 20 feet of water in Little Traverse Bay near the Petoskey shore. It was brought to Petoskey in 1962 as a way to honor people who have died in bodies of water and moved to its current spot in 1986.
Dianne Dakins of the Petoskey Area Visitors Bureau cited the weather and risky holes in the ice. Temperatures in the northern Lower Peninsula lately have been well above 32 degrees
“Hopefully, next year will be a different story and once again guests will be able to make the trek out to see the 11-foot underwater crucifix that is a shrine to divers and a reminder to be safe,” the visitors bureau said on Facebook.
During the summer, divers can view white marble statue up close. The winter event attracts non-divers who want to see it. In 2015, more than 2,000 people stood in line on the frozen bay for a look.
“It becomes a very personal, emotional, almost mystical or religious experience for a lot of different people,” said Dennis Jessick, who worked for years with Rick Hoig to put on the annual event.