Monday, October 8, 2018

Where's the scares? Here's some October frightful fun for the Blue Water Area!

Halloween is creeping up closer every day. The ghosts and ghouls will be making the bumps in the night often through the month of October and the Blue Water Area has quite a few things happening where you can be part of a hauntingly good time.


The buildings of the Sanilac County Historical Village and Museum in Port Sanilac all have a storied past. Did you know some of them might be ghost stories though? On the evenings of Saturday, October 13th and the 20st, spirits of the past lurk the grounds and structures at the Haunted Village and Spook Walk. Come warm up around the bonfire and sample goodies at the Food Boooooth after getting chills from a walk through the cemetery in the woods and meeting the likes Wicked Witch, Dr. Loop, the Mad Hatter and the Grim Reaper.


Would you like to take a straaange journey? How about one into the world’s favorite rock’n’roll musical! The Rocky Horror Show Live! returns for its eighth season to the McMorran Place Theatre in Port Huron. Running October 19th, 20th, 26th and 27th, tickets are now available at the McMorran box office and Ticketmaster. Come down and be a part of one of the Bluewater Area's favorite Halloween traditions!


It's wouldn't be Halloween without a hayride and a corn maze at an apple orchard...especially if they're said to be haunted. On Friday and Saturday evenings through October 27th, McCallum's Orchard in Grant Twp. will be presenting Haunted Nights. Find out more about the frightful family fun here.


As Count Dracula begins to exert his will upon the residents of London, they try to piece together the clues of his appearances—in a valiant attempt to save themselves from a hideous fate. Rich with both humor and horror, this stageplay at the Citadel Stage in Port Huron paints a wickedly theatrical picture of Stoker's famous vampire. This production runs through the month of October. Get your tickets here.


What would October be without some scary movies? This year enjoy two full nights of them at two different locations in Port Huron. Desmond District Demons will be presenting horrifying competition of independently produced horror films from all around the world at the Sperry’s Moviehouse on the 26th & 27th. Check out what movies will be showing and how to get tickets at the Desmond District Demons website.


On the last Saturday of October (and just a couple days before the trick or treaters come to your door) enjoy Halloween in Lexington with Children's Costume Parade, Pet Costume Parade, Children's Activities & More!


Also on October 27th, Port Huron City Rec invites lovers of candy to join them at Sanborn Park at 10am for a Halloween Stroll. To register for this event click here.


To find out more about these happenings along with plenty of other things going on around the area you can Discover The Blue at our events page.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Sound The Horn! It's Time For Whistles On The Water

One of the sounds that was characteristic of the shoreline of the Blue Water Area for centuries was that of steam-powered freighters sounding their whistles.



In the 19th and early 20th century when steamships were the royalty of Great Lakes trade, Ship captains would tune their steam whistles to create a unique sound so that their ship could be identified before it could be seen.  The whistle’s unique sound allowed another ship captain to identify the ship in bad weather and let people on shore know which ship was docking.


As the stream driven vessels gave way to petroleum powered engines, the steam whistle also found itself being replaced with horns and sirens to signal their positions and other notifications to fellow boats and people along the shore. With modern technology such as GPS doing the work these days, even those sounds have become heard less save for foggy conditions, to alert wayward boats that may be in the fishing channels or as a greeting to other ships they may pass.

This Saturday in St. Clair you can hear the sounds of those bygone days at Whistles On The Water. Powered by a giant custom-made steam generator, a plethora of steam whistles will be sounded as well as the history of each whistle given and what different series of toots and blasts meant a message being sent out. One of the crowd favorites whistles includes a whistle that was originally on The Boblo boat SS Columbia. It also really cool when a passing freighter sounds their horn back to those on shore checking out the event.


Along with the many whistles that will be sounded off by the professional collectors, the general public can have a chance to blow off steam along Palmer Park's boardwalk with a variety of smaller whistles too.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Boat The Blue in Port Huron this weekend

When crossing over Port Huron's 7th and 10th street bridges this week, your eyes may spot what looks like quite a few vessels dating from the 1940's and possibly even before.

Be assured, your eyes are not deceiving you as Port Huron is the host city for the Antique & Classic Boat Society's International Boat Show this year.


Dubbed Boat The Blue, this event will bring around 200 classic and vintage boats to the Blue Water Area, for a week full of events for its owners and then caps off with open the public show at Port Huron's River Street Marina this Friday and Saturday.



Among the events for the free show this weekend include a Cruiser Open House on Friday and Saturday from 11am – 2pm. There will free boat rides in a classic boat on Saturday from at that time as well.

Events for children including toy boat painting, face painting, Tootsie the clown, minnow races, knot tying, and much more are available on Saturday from 11am-2am.  Free Parking is located at the St. Clair Community College.  A vendor area featuring boat related art, crafts, parts as well as food and drinks will also be available.

Many of the boats on display this week do have plenty Blue Water Area history connected to them.

At the age of 13, Christopher Columbus Smith built his first boat in the city of Algonac. By 1881, his skiffs had been known across the Great Lakes, so he and his brother Frank went into building boats full time. In 1922, Smith and his family formed the Chris Smith and Son Boat Company, producing fast and economically priced runabouts for the general public. During World War II the company, now known as Chris Craft, the company 12,000 military vessels such as patrol boats, utility launches, and rescue vessels for the United States Navy and Army.

Following World War II, the American economy started to grow immensely. Families had more money to spend on fun things.  Boats were high on a lot of people's lists and the company's vessels, from the finest mahogany, their boats were considered to be the best available.

In 1948, Algonac based boat company Chris Craft promoted their new lines of pleasure boats for that year with this ad geared to those who were looking for to enjoy time out on the water.


Though Chris Craft built custom vessels for superstars such as Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley, even their lower-priced boats were known for their high quality by using woods like mahogany and teak as well as having many luxury items most other boats did not come with. Within ten years Chris Craft became virtually synonymous with pleasure boating, offering 159 different models and became the sales leader in many categories of small civilian powerboats.

Photo by Dale Merrill

If you're going to be checking out the boats docked at the marina this week or weekend and posting photos of them on Instagram or Twitter, don't forget to use the hashtags #BoatTheBlue and #DiscoverTheBlue when sharing them. On Instagram, you can also tag them with @boattheblue and @discoverthebluewaterarea.

Find out more about the 2018 Antique and Classic Boat Society International Boat Show: Boat The Blue at their website.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Relaxing Adventures For Labor Day Weekend

Though we most likely have quite a few warm weather days ahead of us still, Labor Day weekend traditionally marks the end of summer for many. There are many events happening over the long weekend to say farewell to the season.


Now in its 15th year, it is safe to say that Thumbfest has become a tradition in Lexington, Michigan. Featuring multiple stages, workshops, jam sites, children’s stage area, dance, craft/food vendors and a hootenanny at the end of the night, Thumbfest 2018 will be held in the village’s Tierney Park on
Saturday. It starts at 11 am and will have a wide variety of music ranging from Celtic,
blues, bluegrass and gypsy to New Orleans brass, Americana, roots and folk. Bring your lawn chair or blanket, your friends and family and voice and join in on the fun. Find the full schedule at the
Thumbfest website.


What started as a backyard party at a home in Fort Gratiot Township has now grown into a
celebration at St. Clair County’s largest public park. The annual BlueChiliGrass Festival is at
Goodells County Park on Sunday and Monday and will feature continuous music on 2 stages and a chili cook-off.


Before heading to BlueChiliGrass on Monday, why not Trek The Trestle? This five mile Labor Day
event has been held annually since 2007. The walk starts at 9 am at the at the Avoca Road Trailhead
in Downtown Avoca and crosses the 640ft. Mill Creek trestle, the longest bridge of its kind in the
state of Michigan. The Trestle Trek is one of the Labor Day Community Walks that are held
throughout the state in conjunction with the Mackinac Bridge Labor Day Walk. Community Walks help provide a similar experience to residents unable to participate in the annual walk across the Mighty Mac.


When you dip a chip do you like it mild? Or perhaps spicy is your thing.No matter your flavor preference this Saturday's Salsa Tasting in Harbor Beach has something to tantalize your taste buds from 11 in the morning to 2 pm. Your tour begins at the Harbor Beach Visitor’s Center where you purchase a button and ballot for $2. Then stroll downtown following your map to be sure to stop at all salsa tasting locations. After you are done vote for your favorite.


Don't wait til noon to start your adventure in Harbor Beach this Saturday though. Hop on the boat taxi and take a ride out to tour the Harbor Beach Lighthouse. The taxi leaves the Harbor Beach Marina starting at 9:20 am and then about every 20 minutes until 40 minutes before closing time. Tickets are $20 each and also include admission to the Harbor Beach Grice House Museum, which houses the original Fresnel Lens from the lighthouse.  Find out more about the Harbor Beach Lighthouse at their website.

If browsing some art is your thing, the Blue Water Area has a couple shows that are just the thing for Labor Day weekend too.


Port Austin's Art In The Park will have many original artworks to look at and for sale for sale this Saturday and Sunday. With a wide array of mediums including everything from watercolor, oil, acrylic and photography to decorative iron work, stained and fused glass, gourd art, hand carved ice fishing decoys, and wearable art, there is sure to be something to catch your eye. Art In The Park is presented by the Thumb Arts Guild.


From one end of the Blue Water Area to the other the city of Algonac is holding its Annual Art Fair this Saturday and Sunday too. With the St. Clair River serving as a picturesque backdrop, the fair was started in 1972 and has continued ever since. With around 100 artists as well as entertainment for all ages this fair is a fine way to spend the day in the river flats region of the Blue Water Area. Find out more about the Algonac Art Fair at their website.


Just a quick ferry ride over from Algonac is Harsens Island. This weekend they'll be having days filled with family fun! The Harsens Island Lions Club Turkey Shoot happening includes parades, food and beer tent, live music, dancing, 50/50 drawings and daily raffles along with kids, teens and young adults games and activities. Find out more by visiting the Harsens Island Lions Club on Facebook.

Discover all the happenings around the Blue this month at our events page.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Celebrating Hot Wheels and Harvest Time: What's happening this weekend in the Blue Water Area

He's got a star on his car and one on his chest. That's the way Junior Brown starts out his story of the highway patrol.


This weekend him and his "guit-steel" (a double-necked hybrid of electric guitar and lap steel guitar that he fashioned himself) will be telling that tale along with many other honk-tonk yarns when he headlines Marysville's Hot Wheels Weekend this Saturday.



Along with Junior on several other bands, there will be many cool old cars on display along with an appearance from Catherine Bach aka the Daisy Duke from the original Dukes Of Hazzard TV series.


On the 4th weekend of August every year the St. Clair County Farm Museum gives you a taste of Yesteryear. It is a celebration of American heritage and a salute to our forefathers and women that made America great. At the Harvest Festival, which runs from Friday through Sunday, this weekend antique tractors, equipment, hit and miss engines, homesteading and fashions from the era will be on display and the history of daily life will be relived.


Looking for your lost shaker salt? You may find it in Lexington this weekend as it is MargaritaFest time in the village. It great time to get tropical on Michigan's eastern shores.


If craft beer and fine wine are more of your thing, visit Algonac for a Sip of Summer this Saturday. The Waterfront Beer, Wine & Cocktail Festival will feature 100+ beers and wines from over 40 breweries and wineries from across the state and around the globe. Get tickets and more info here.

Next weekend marks not only the end of the month but Labor Day weekend as well. Amongst the things to do over that three day weekend include art shows in Algonac and Port Austin, Thumbfest in Lexington, the Harsens Island Turkey Shoot, Harbor Beach's SalsaFestBlueChiliGrass in Goodells and the Trestle Trek. Find out about many of the things happening at our events page.