UP Michigan Ice Fest001

UP Michigan Ice Fest, photo by ebaillies

The annual Michigan Ice Fest takes place January 30 – February 2, 2014 in and around Munising. This annual festival takes place the 1st weekend of February every year and gives you a chance to look at and demo the latest and greatest equipment, meet some of the worlds best climbers and see what they’ve climbed all over the world. There’s also climbing socials and even intro to ice climbing classes using the ice climbing paradise that surrounds Munising.

Click the link above and be sure to check out their Michigan Ice Fest photo gallery on Facebook including galleries from 2009, 2010 & 2012 Ice Fests!

As the Ice Fest organizers note, the UP offers as much as 6 months of climbable ice! The Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Ice Climbing page tells more:

Ice climbing is becoming a popular winter sport at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. With ample lake effect snow, numerous waterfalls, porous sandstone cliffs, and the water which seeps out of the rock layers, curtains and columns of ice are common.

Snow and ice are generally present by the second or third week in December and remain until late March. While ice frequently forms along the Pictured Rocks cliffs above Lake Superior, these areas are not recommended for climbing due to hazardous exposure to the lake. The most accessible ice columns are found along the Pictured Rocks escarpment between Munising Falls and Sand Point along Sand Point Road.

Eric took this photo at the Ice Fest in 2012. Check it out bigger and see lots more great shots in his slideshow.

More ice climbing on Michigan in Pictures!

Goose Lake International Music Festival

Goose Lake International Music Festival, 1970, photo by Michigan State Police (courtesy Archives of Michigan)

The massive Goose Lake International Music Festival took place August 7-9, 1970 near Jackson. Seeking Michigan’s feature Michigan’s Woodstock relates:

Performers included Rod Stewart and Faces, Jethro Tull, Chicago, Ten Years After, Mountain, the Flying Burrito Brothers and prominent Michigan acts such as Bob Seeger, Mitch Ryder, the Stooges, and the MC5. Approximately two hundred thousand people attended.

It began with a man named Richard Songer. In 1970, Songer was thirty-five and the owner of Portland Construction Company, a successful business in Southfield, Michigan. He purchased 350 acres near Goose Lake, located outside Jackson.

Songer intended to turn his Goose Lake property into a permanent park and live music venue. He hired people to pave parking lots and build large concrete rest rooms. A permanent revolving stage was built. As a band performed on one side of the stage, another band would be behind them, preparing to go on. When the first band finished, the stage would turn, and the second band would immediately appear.

You can read on for more and here’s several more links:

Photo caption: A crowded parking area at the Goose Lake International Music Festival, 1970. Photo from State Police records, RG 90-240, housed in the Archives of Michigan

SUP Yo?!

SUP Yo?!, photo by Rudy Malmquist

I’ve been doing a lot of stand-up paddleboarding this summer on Grand Traverse Bay courtesy my friend Michael who owns The River of Traverse City. I have been pleasantly surprised at how much fun it is and also what a great workout it is.

In a couple of weeks Traverse City will host the TC Waterman. It takes place on Saturday, August 17th and is the largest paddle board event in the Midwest and also the site of the 2013 Great Lakes Regional Championship. In addition to a variety of races and skills challenges for all ages and skill levels, the event features 50 booths by local and national SUP organizations and companies, free clinics, seminars, and demonstrations. The weekend also features two events from Porterhouse Productions: Paella in the Park on Friday (wine, music & paella) and the Great Wakes Festival Saturday (water-themed activities, organizations, music & fun).

Check this photo out background bigtacular and see more in Rudy’s slideshow.

More Traverse City on Michigan in Pictures.

"Bridge to Nowhere" Foggy Mackinac Bridge - Mackinaw City , Michigan.

“Bridge to Nowhere” Foggy Mackinac Bridge – Mackinaw City , Michigan, photo by Michigan Nut

“Unless we move without delay to halt the deterioration of our land, our water and our air, our own children may see the last traces of earth’s beauty crushed beneath the weight of man’s waste and ruin.”
~Governor William Milliken to the Michigan legislature, January 1970

While “environmentalism” has become a polarizing term, it seems to me to be a concept that’s at the core of loving & caring for the Great Lakes State. One of my personal heros, Michigan Governor Bill Milliken, recognized this and he and his wife Helen fought strongly throughout their careers to enshrine protection of the natural bounty that they loved into the fabric of Michigan’s laws. It’s no surprise that every year the Michigan Environmental Council recognizes an individual for outstanding leadership, enduring commitment and extraordinary public service in protecting natural resources at the local, state and national levels with the Helen & William Milliken Distinguished Service Award.

The 2013 recipient has been announced, Dave Dempsey. Dempsey is the author of numerous books, a former member of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, environmental policy adviser to former Michigan Gov. James Blanchard, and member of the state’s Natural Resources Trust Fund Board.

“Dave Dempsey is the rare leader who is able to move effortlessly from talking about the arcane technical details of some issue, to explaining in vivid and powerful terms why that issue is so critical to the quality of life for the generations that come after us,” Chris Kolb, MEC president, said in a press release Monday.

“Dave’s contributions to a better Michigan through his public policy advocacy alone deserve our recognition and gratitude. However, when you add in his authoritative chronicling of Michigan’s environmental history through his books, it’s clear he has made a special, positive, and lasting impact on our state.”

There’s no doubt that Dempsey has been a champion of the Great Lakes, and this Sunday (July 14) you have a chance to do some championing of your own as dedicated groups from all over the state host Oil & Water Don’t Mix: A Rally for the Great Lakes to raise awareness about climate change and the dangers posed by an oil pipeline that runs through the Mackinac Straits. Enbridge Energy – the company responsible for the devastating July 2010 Kalamazoo River oil spill and over 800 other spills since 1999 – has been pumping oil through the Straits for 60 years. They are seeking to pump even more oil through the aging Mackinac pipeline – possibly including tar sands, the most toxic and hard to clean up if spilled.

The rally this Sunday, July 14 at noon at Bridge View Park in St. Ignace (just across the bridge) and there are numerous busses heading there from Kalamazoo, Lansing, Traverse City and other locations. Click for details or view the event on Facebook!

Check John’s photo out bigger and see more in his Bridges / Covered Bridges slideshow.

Yellow Tulips
Yellow Tulips, photo by srab44_2000

Holland’s annual celebration of Dutch heritage and culture, the Tulip Time Festival, starts Friday May 4th and runs through May 11th. While last year’s crazy March heatwave had tulips blooming in mid-April, tulips have been in the slow lane in 2013 due to a cool spring. The good news according to meteorologist Bill Steffen is that a well-timed warmup should have tulips in near perfect bloom this year.

Check this photo out background bigtacular and see more in E. Benson’s Tulip Time Festival 05/2009 slideshow.

More tulips and more Holland on Michigan in Pictures.

La Marche du Nain Rouge

March 11, 2013

Detroits Red Dwarf by Billyvoo

Detroit MI, photo by billyvoo

Over 300 years ago, around the same time the city of Detroit was founded, an evil was discovered in and around the city. An evil that has plagued the people and the city, and even wrecked havoc upon the founder of Detroit, Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac. This ‘evil’ was said to have been a Nain Rouge, other wise known as the “red dwarf of Detroit.”
~La Marche du Nain Rouge

La Marche du Nain Rouge is held every year on the Sunday following the spring equinox. That’s Sunday March 24, 2013, and they explain:

La Marche du Nain Rouge is an annual Detroit tradition that purportedly dates back to shortly after the city’s founding by the French in 1701. Annually held on the Sunday closest to the Vernal (Spring) Equinox, it is parade and street theater similar in sensibility to Mardi Gras and other Carnival celebrations. However the impetus for La Marche is different.

La Marche drives Le Nain Rouge (The Red Dwarf) out of Detroit, preventing its evil spirit from plaguing the people of the city for the rest of the year. By forcing Le Nain Rouge from the city (and into the spirit plane), Le Nain is banished, transforming Detroiters’ fears and doubts into the hopes of new life and the coming Spring season.

Tradition holds that a citizen of Detroit dresses up as Le Nain Rouge, temporarily embodying its spirit, wearing a mask to conceal identity. As Le Nain Rouge, this person accepts responsibility for leading people through the streets of Detroit to La Marche’s final destination.

Read on for more including pictures and definitely head over to Absolute Michigan to learn much more about one of Michigan’s spookiest stories, Nain Rouge: The Red Dwarf of Detroit.

Billy took this in March of 2011 at the 300th anniversary of La Marche. See it bigger and see more in his La Marche du Nain Rouge slideshow and also check out billyvoo.com.

More portraits on Michigan in Pictures.

Flying High at Suicide Hill

February 11, 2013

126 Suicide Jumps

126 Suicide Jumps, photo by PhotoYoop

Cory writes that he attended the 126th annual ski jumping tournament Friday night at Suicide Bowl in Ishpeming, where skiers have been jumping annually since 1887! It’s run by the Ishpeming Ski Club. You can get more photos on their Facebook where I also found a video by Under the Radar Michigan.

Here’s a feature by Bob Garrett of Seeking Michigan about the history of Ishpeming’s Suicide Hill from a couple of years ago on Michigan in Pictures.

Check his shot out bigger and see more in his ski slideshow. Be sure to follow him on Facebook too!

More skis and skiing on Michigan in Pictures.

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