Tuesday, December 5, 2017

The Christmas Horses

When it comes to mentioning some of the very unique events that happen around the holidays in the Blue Water Area, the Old Fashion Christmas Horse Parade in Lexington makes the top of the list. This Saturday, people gather will gather in the village's streets to watch the horses dressed in holiday finery step lively by.

Photo courtesy of www.equitrekking.com

Don't take just our word for it though. Check out this article that horse lover and Michigan resident Karen Braschayko wrote about the 2016 parade.

A post shared by @fromthethumb on

Don't forget to share your photos of this years Horse Parade on Instagram and Twitter too. Use the hashtag #LexHorseParade and we can share them with our readers and social media followers.

Find out more about the Lexington Christmas Horse Parade at their website.

Along with the horse parade, there's also plenty of other things going on in the Blue Water winter. Check our events page to see all that is happening.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Take A Night Time Climb of the Fort Gratiot Lighthouse in Port Huron

Photo by Dale Merrill
The Christmas Candlelight Tours of the Lighthouse at the Fort Gratiot Light Station have become a holiday tradition in the Blue Water Area in just a few short years.

Though tours of the site are available in the warmer months during the daylight hours, these Christmas season night tours give visitors to the Fort Gratiot Lighthouse a unique, evening view from of the Blue Water Bridge, Lake Huron and the St. Clair River and everything else for as far as the eye can see

Your tour starts with the walkways leading up to Michigan's oldest lighthouse illuminated by many candles. The lighthouse itself is dressed up in twinkling finery with red lights wrapped around observation deck railings at the top and strings of white lights cascading down the sides of the tower. It's quite a sight.

As you climb the 94 cast iron steps of the 84 foot structure, a tour guide will give you bits of history and trivia about the lighthouse. They're well versed in their knowledge of the building and Great Lakes lore so don't hesitate to ask them any questions. Don't forget to bring your camera too because the view at the top is always something to behold and keep a memory of.

The Candlelight Tours of the Fort Gratiot Light Station will be held each Saturday evening from 5-8pm through December 16th. Find out more at the Port Huron Museum's website.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

TBT: Port Huron's Thanksgiving parade in 1954

People gather in Downtown Port Huron to welcome St. Nick to town in 1954. Following the parade, Santa would then set up a workshop in Sperry's department store and welcome children all ages to come a visit him throughout the Christmas season.

Santa Claus makes his first stop in Port Huron this year on Friday, November 24th.
(Photo courtesy of the Times Herald files)

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Santa Claus Is Coming To Town

Two things we all must remember this time of the year. That is to not pout or cry. Why? Because Santa Claus is coming to town.

As we all know before he makes his rounds dropping off gifts to good little boy and girls on Christmas eve, he likes to check in to places before that to make sure everyone is behaving. Thanks to some connections we have at the North Pole we're able to let you know when and where some of those stops will be in the Blue Water Area.

St. Nick's first stop will be in St. Clair on Friday, November 17th at 6pm. After riding his sleigh down S. Riverside Street in the parade he'll be given the key to the city and the tree at Palmer Park will be lit.

His next visit will be the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, November 21st when he stops in to help ring in the excitement of the season during Marine City’s Lighted Santa Parade!  

The night after Thanksgiving, November 24th, Santa kicks off the official start of the holiday season in the city of Port Huron with a parade too. Following the city's parade, he'll throw the switch that lights the McMorran Christmas Tree and leads the crowd in singing holiday carols. 

After a week back up at the North Pole he returns to the Blue Water Area to check on all the good girls and boys in Marysville on Saturday, December 2nd at 4pm their annual parade

The jolly man in the red suit has a bit of a tight schedule on that Saturday because he's also part of Harbor Beach's Annual Lighted Christmas Parade which starts at 5:30 on Trescott St.

Saint Nick give his reindeer a night off on Wednesday, December 6th and arrives on the back of a decorated in lights antique tractor for Algonac's Santa Parade and Tree Lighting.

On Saturday, December 9th, you may not see reindeer in Lexington but you will see a lot of four-legged creatures into the spirit of the season at the Lexington Old Fashioned Christmas Horse Parade. It starts at 2pm.

To find out about all the things happening around the Blue Water Area during the holiday season check out our events page.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

A Night Out in the Blue

Getting out with a date or some good-time friends?  Port Huron and the Blue Water region of Michigan is your playground!  Here are a handful of night-out ideas for you to run with: 

  Dinner & a Movie
Photo courtesy of Keith Macke

Dinner and a movie is a classic date-night event.  Now with Sperry’s Moviehouse right downtown, Port Huron is a great date destination with plenty of restaurants to choose from and the movie theater within walking distance of many places to grab a bite.Sperry’s own 2nd Floor Dinnerhouse (hint, hint: located on the 2nd floor of the movie theater) is a great option for dining.  Its second story vantage overlooks Main Street and may be the only public area to see downtown from this height.

For a touch of old-time movie house magic, visit The Mariner Theatre of Marine City which shows classic movies and films.  An antique popcorn machine, peanut roaster and period theater seats add to the ambiance of the throw-back scene.  Upcoming features include The Mummy, showing on October 14 and Bride of Frankenstein, showing on October 28.     

Live Theater

Live theater can be a riveting experience and the Blue Water region has excellent venues to catch a play, like the sister stages Snug Theatre and Riverbank Theatre in downtown Marine City.  Tickets are available now for the comedy Moon Over Buffalo playing at the Riverbank Theater October 20 thru November 4. 

Another lively performance will take place at McMorran Theater in Port Huron presenting the musical Rocky Horror Show on October 20 and 21.  Just down the street the quaint but talented Citadel Stage will put on Frankenstein October 13-29 and 12 Angry Jurors November 10-19. 

Challenge Your Wits

If out-of -your-chair fun is more your style, check out The Hallway Escape Room in downtown Port Huron.  The objective is to gather the clues and solve the puzzles in sixty minutes or less.  There are three themed rooms to choose from: casino heist, Thomas Edison time warp and murder mystery.  Are you and your date or a group of friends up for the challenge?  It’s a rush to escape!

Under the Stars

Get outside and wander the natural beauty of your Blue Water evening.  Algonac, Marine City, St. Clair, Marysville and Port Huron have wonderful boardwalks and walking paths that stretch along the riverfront.  Further north Lexington and Harbor Beach’s break walls reach into Lake Huron for a beautiful panoramic view.

Kick your feet up at St. Clair’s Riverview Plaza where their open air courtyard grants a gracious lawn, Adirondack chairs and gas lite fire pits for visitors to gather at and enjoy.  Just across the street is the longest freshwater boardwalk in the world, so take a stroll!   

There are many more great things to do on a night out in the Blue Water region.  The most important thing is to enjoy yourself and your company!           

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Frightful Fun For October

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 world's record for the most simultaneously carved pumpkins is 1,060. This Saturday, October 7th Marine City plans on breaking that record. 1,200 pumpkins will be set up in Nautical Mile Park and people are invited to join in to set a new Guinness World Record at the Pumpkin Palooza Party. Along with the plan of setting a new world's record, there are plenty of family fun events in store too. To register to take part in the pumpkin carving and to see the schedule check out the Pumpkin Palooza Party website.

On Fridays and Saturdays in October you can tour a haunted forest....if you dare! You can visit a haunted house if you aren't afraid! St. Clair's Panic at Stump Hollow invites you to come out and be paralyzed with fear! 

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 14th and the 21st, 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.  There will be three shows altogether. Friday, October 20th at 8 pm and Saturday, October 21st at 8 pm and midnight.  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!

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 Loft 912 and Sperry’s Moviehouse on the 27th & 28th. Check out what movies will be showing and how to get tickets at the Desmond District Demons website.  Also, read an interview with the film festival organizers over at the Keel.

Halloweekend in St Clair will feature a costume parade, outside movie, yard decoration contest, hayride through old town, a community Jack O Lantern display as well as a 5K Zombie run. It runs Thursday, October 26th through Saturday, October 28th. Find out more about it at their Facebook page.

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!

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 25, 2017

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.

While in St. Clair this Saturday to check out the whistles be sure to take a walk across the street from Palmer Park to the Riverview Plaza to Chalk The Walk and put your artistic mark on the sidewalk.

Chalk the Walk will have kids, teens, adults and young-at-hearts filling the sidewalks and the downtown streets of St. Clair with imaginative imagery.  

Both these events start around 9am on Saturday and admission to both is free.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

It's Apple Picking Time

Photo by Dale Merrill

When Laurie Peltier and her husband Ray purchased McCallum’s Orchard in March of 2017 they knew they had a lot of work ahead of them. Over the past decade parts of the 77 acres, which originated as a peach farm in the 1930’s and expanded from there, was in need of some TLC.

Photo by Dale Merrill

Not afraid to roll their sleeves up and get their hands dirty, the two, along with their two young daughters, started right away in sprucing the place up. Along with clearing up and tearing the overgrown brush and grass around the 25 different varieties of apple trees they have on the land, there was also the pruning of berries bushes and that the planting of pumpkins and Christmas trees as well as much other produce that visitors will be able to pick themselves in futures seasons.

Photo by Dale Merrill
Along with the farming and planting the Peltier family has been doing this year, they also took on a project the painting and expansion of the play area they have for children to frolic in when they visit and as well as tending to the goats, bunnies, chickens and ducks that reside in the petting zoo area and wander the property. It's common knowledge that goats like to be eat but along with feeding them don't be suprised if a chicken moseys up to you looking for a snack as well.

Photo by Dale Merrill

Photo by Dale Merrill

While the orchard market does offer the varieties of apples currently available along with their famous donuts and cider as well as many other local products, a small cafe and the occasional guest foodie serving up things such as woodfire pizza, the family adventure of walking the orchard and find the perfect apples to take home is a long time family tradition. To get back to where the apples grow you can drive your own car back as well as walk, but we suggest hopping on the farm tractor pulled trailer to take you on the tour of the grounds and guiding you in the direction of where your favorite kind of apples can be found.

Photo by Dale Merrill
When apple season is ending that doesn't mean the McCallum's locks the doors and posts a sign that says "See you next year" either. Offering different events through Christmas, such as a corn maize and haunted hayrides during the Halloween season and more to follow, the Peltier's intention is to have a place that will create memories for families that will last a lifetime. Their work is paying off as people are travelling near and far to visit.

McCallum's Orchard & Cider Mill is located 5697 Harris Rd in Jeddo, Michigan. To find out more about them check them out on Facebook, visit their website or call 810-327-6394.

Monday, September 11, 2017

From History and Heritage to Hobos and Hounds: Ten Things Happening This Weekend In The Blue Water Area

Now that Labor Day has passed and school is back in session, many may think that it marks a slow down of things to do and see in the Blue Water Area. That isn't the case though as this upcoming September weekend has plenty happening in our region. Here are ten things to check out for an eastern shores of Lake Huron adventure.

Bach, Baroque and beyond. That's what to expect in Port Huron and Lexington this weekend at the annual Bach Festival. The celebration of the composer starts Thursday in Port Huron with noon and 7 pm performances at SC4's Fine Arts Theater with the Festival String Quartet performing a varied program of music from Bach to light classics.

Friday evening, the fete moves to Lexington where the Trio Phoenix will perform an evening of music for violin, cello and piano including works by Bach, Beethoven, Rameau and Debussy at the Lexington Village Theater. The music continues on Saturday and Sunday with the Festival Orchestra offering two concerts in St. Denis Catholic Church.

To find out more and to get tickets visit the Lexington Bach Festival website.

The music of Bach isn't the only sounds they will be hearing in Lexington this weekend either. The legendary B.J. Thomas, known for the hits such as "Hooked On A Feeling", "Rock-n-Roll Lullaby" and, of course, the #1 smash "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head" will be playing two shows at the Lexington Village Theater on Saturday.

If your musical tastes run a bit more on the rockin' side of country music, make plans to be in Port Huron on Friday night when Scott Manery & The Barnburners turn up the heat at McMorran Place.

Also in Port Huron this weekend, the PH&DDR Historical Society celebrate Port Huron’s history as a vital international transport center, the city’s struggle to overcome the economic depression and the courage and resourcefulness of those that rode the rails seeking work and adventure with Hobo Fest on Friday and Saturday.

If seeing how people traveled by water in style is your thing, feast your eyes on the many vintage floating vessels (quite a few of which were built in the Blue Water Area decades ago at Chris Craft and Gar Wood) at the Blue Water Antique and Classic Boat Show. It's happening this Saturday at Port Huron's River Street Marina.

Throughout this upcoming weekend, Marine City is celebrating its sesquicentennial birthday on the grounds of their historic city hall for Heritage Days. Among the things happening at this jubilee include the Michigan 8th Volunteers setting up camp and remind us of our state's role in the Civil War, music ranging from ancient bagpipes to a swing band, a petting zoo, antique cars & tractors, horsedrawn wagon ride through town and more. Check out EBW's feature on Marine City Heritage Days here

Also in Marine City this weekend it's the premiere of Oliver! at the Riverbank Theater. This musical interpretation of the Charles Dickens classic. runs through September 30th.

One thing that September means to a lot of people is that it is harvest time. After the crops have been taken care of it is time to relax and then party. For many that means it's POLKA TIME. Especially in Kinde. Located a ten minute drive from Port Austin, the Kinde Polka Fest features ten polka bands over three days and brings people from all around the Michigan's Thumb to come and roll out the barrel of fun.

Harbor Beach is also having a harvest celebration on Saturday too with a Craft Expo 10 am-4 pm the on Murphy Museum lawn, a  pie & dessert contest 10:30 am at their visitors center and sampling of various chili recipes made at local merchants and organizations from 11 am-3 pm.

There's going to be good boys and cool pooches galore this weekend at Goodells County Park this weekend. The St. Clair Kennel Club's annual dog show is always a huge draw with area canine fans and friends and this year will be no different. The show starts Friday and runs through Sunday.

Discover all the Blue has to offer at Bluewater.Org

Monday, August 28, 2017

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 2017 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 an all party
celebration at St. Clair County’s largest public park. The 7th Annual BlueChiliGrass Festival at
Goodells County Park on Monday, September 4th and will feature continuous music on 2 stages and a chili cook-off by eight Blue Water area chefs and caterers.

Music and chili aren’t the only stars of the festival though as there will be artisan booths and displays along with a variety of food vendors.  Find out all that’s happening at the 2017 BlueChiliGrass Festival at their Facebook event page.

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.