Monday, November 4, 2019

Santa Claus Is Coming To Town: Blue Water Area Winter Holiday Parades

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 22th at 6pmAfter riding his sleigh down S. Riverside Street in the parade, he'll be given the key to the city and then the tree at Palmer Park will be lit.

His next visit will be the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, November 26th 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 29th, Santa kicks off the official start of the holiday season in the city of Port Huron with a parade tooFollowing the city's parade, he'll throw the switch that lights the McMorran Christmas Tree and leads the crowd in singing holiday carols. 

Saint Nick gives his reindeer a night off on Wednesday, December 4th and arrives on the back of a decorated in lights antique tractor for Algonac's Santa Parade and Tree Lighting.

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 7th at 5pm 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.

On Saturday, December 14th, 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.

Monday, September 23, 2019

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, August 26, 2019

Labor Day Weekend in Michigan's ThumbCoast

Here we are at the end of August already. I know many of us are asking "Where did summer go?" Don't fret though, as there's always something happening in the Blue Water Area. 
Especially for Labor Day weekend which is this weekend. Check out some of the things going on.

Now in its 16th year, it is safe to say that ThumbFest has become a tradition in Lexington, Michigan.  The event highlights great local and regional musicians playing music, teaching workshops, and sitting in on jams. Bring your instrument (and maybe your lawn chair) and join in all the great music!

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. 

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. 

A wide array of mediums including everything from watercolor, oil, acrylic and photography to decorative ironwork, stained and fused glass, gourd art and much more will be on display.

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. 

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 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 19, 2019

Summer's Not Over Yet: What's Happening This Weekend in Michigan's ThumbCoast

August is winding down and September is just around the corner. While many are getting into back to school mode, that doesn't mean there still isn't a bit of summer left to enjoy. This weekend, the Blue Water Area has a lot of fun to take part in.

Led by guitarist, singer and songwriter Jamie James, the Kingbees made their mark on the charts with a song that helped usher in the rockabilly revival (and giving it a bit of new wave flash) with "My Mistake" and "Shake Bop" in the early 80s. 

Following that, the band then appeared on American Bandstand and in the film The Idolmaker. The band split in the mid 80s but reformed a few years ago and have been playing shows regularly since. This Saturday, they'll be heading lining Hot Wheels Weekend in Marysville.

Hot Wheels Weekend kicks off on Friday evening with a classic car cruise at 6:00 pm on Friday and then a showing of the 2004 remake film of the classic TV show "Starsky and Hutch." On Saturday, things kick off at noon. Along with many classic cars on display, there will be from The Volcanos, The Lords Of The Highway and more. Butch Patrick aka Eddie Munster and Paul Micheal Glaser, star of the original Starsky and Hutch television show will be on hand to meet with fans and sign autographs.  Find out more about Hot Wheels Weekend at their Facebook page.

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 Days, 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 ThumbCoast.

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 AustinThumbfest 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.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Smooth Jazz and Sweet Boats: What's happening this week in the Blue Water Area

From Sanilac County to St. Clair and points beyond, the Blue Water Area has some fun things to do this weekend.

This Friday & Saturday, August 16th & 17th take a stroll back in time at the Antique Boat and Vintage Show in Port Sanilac. The annual festival features a wide array of antique and classic boats and these beautiful wood vessels are a must-see if you appreciate craftsmanship. Tin Can Tourists will also be setting up their unique campers in the Harbor Park, adjacent to the Port Sanilac Marina.

The sounds of jazz fill the air this Saturday at St. Clair's Palmer Park.

The 4th Annual St. Clair Jazz Festival. Detroit based and world-renowned flutist Alexander Zonjic will be headlining the festival this year. There is no charge for this event which starts at 1PM and runs to 9pm.

Some other events this week include Rockin' The Rivers at Port Huron's Kiefer Park, Dave Bennett’s Rockin’ the 50’s at Lexington's Music in the Park on Friday and the Citadel Stage in Port Huron presents Shakespeare's A Midsommer Nights Dreame.

Looking towards next week Hot Wheels Weekend is happening Marysville, St. Clair County Farm Museum Harvest Festival is in Goodells and and Lexington will be having Maragarita Fest. Find out about them and plenty more at our events page.

Monday, August 5, 2019

Miles of Treasures and much more: What's Happening This Week in Michigan's ThumbCoast

The Blue Water Area and all of Michigan's Thumb will see a lot of hunters this weekend. Bargain Hunters that is as it is time for the 17th annual Yard Sale Trail

Starting in New Baltimore and Clay Township to the south and Port Austin and on to Sebawaing to the north, the trail covers around 200 miles of yard and garage sales on along M-25 and M-29 on Michigan's eastern coast.

From kitsch to classics and everything in between can be found along the route which begins about 8 a.m. on Friday and lasts throughout the weekend.

M-25 and M-29 are state highways and will be busy and law enforcement offer a few bits of advice for those shopping and checking out the trail.
  • Give vehicles in front of you a more bit of extra space as many will be slowing down and pulling over to check out the many locations having sales  
  • Pay extra attention to pedestrians crossing the highway. There will be many out there and some may be in a blind spot.
  • Don’t park near intersections as it can obstruct other drivers vision for a time to cross the road.
  • Remember that drivers cannot park on a fog line or be over the fog line in the road, or park less than 15 feet from a fire hydrant.  

If your adventure on the sale trail finds you in Harbor Beach on Saturday, check out AG Venture Day where you can stroll the downtown streets to get up close to the equipment and talk with local farmers.

Along with the Yard Sale Trail during the day this weekend, there are quite a few live shows happening in the evening. On the theater scene, The Citadel Stage has a production of A Midsommers Nights Dreame and the Riverbank Theatre In Marine City hosts Grease!

Live music this week includes Eagles tribute band Hotel California at Rockin' The Rivers in Port Huron on Thursday and Lynyrd Skynyrd member Artimus Pyle and his band play the Lexington Village Theater on Friday.

Looking towards next weekend Port Sanilac has their Antique Boat and Vintage Show and St. Clair hosts their annual jazz festival.

Find out more about all the things to see and do when you Discover The Blue at our events page

Monday, July 29, 2019

First Week Of August Happenings In The Blue Water Area

August is almost upon us. Don’t worry though, there’s still plenty of summer left and the Blue Water Area has a lot of events going on.

Michigan has more lighthouses than any other state. This weekend, the 4th annual Michigan Lighthouse Festival will be celebrating those in the ThumbCoast. Things kick off this Friday at the Fort Gratiot Light Station in Port Huronwith barbecue buffet dinner, entertainment from Empty Canvas and more. Over the weekend, lighthouse aficionados will be taking tours of the lighthouses in Harbor Beach, Pointe Aux Barques and Port Austin. Visit the Michigan Lighthouse Festival website for all the details.

The boogie is going to be full effect this weekend along the lakeshore. The Port Sanilac Blues Festival kicks off at 2pm on Friday with food vendors and a beer tent and runs through Saturday evening. 

It's a battle of the Blue and the Grey in Port Sanilac this weekend too. Check out Civil War Days at the Sanilac County Historical Museum and Village on Saturday & Sunday for battles and skirmishes, an artillery demonstration, fashion show and more.

Promising a fantastic atmosphere with a wide variety of two dimensional and 3-D professional artists, the Lexington Fine Arts Street Fair will provide spectacular music, tasty food vendors and raffles. It runs this Saturday and Sunday.

Starting on Friday and running through Sunday, Marine City's Maritime Days features live music, a lighted boat parade, a sidewalk chart art contest food and a whole lot more! It starts on Friday and runs through Sunday. Find out more at

Other events this week include Rockin' The Rivers at Port Huron's Keifer Park on Thursday. Saturday finds St. Clair having a Mardi Gras Party and the Bi-Yak-A-Thon in going on in Harbor Beach.

Looking towards next weekend, the Yard Sale Trail is happening.

Find many things to do and see around the Blue Water Area at our events page.

Monday, July 22, 2019

There's Still Plenty Of Summer Left: What's Happening This Weekend in the Blue Water Area

Even though this weekend is the last one for the month, there's still plenty of time left to celebrate summertime. The Blue Water Area has quite a few things happening over the weekend to finish up July and welcoming in August.

Come see what Port Huron has to offer, view the many cars, see old friends and make new ones this Saturday. The MainStreet Memories Car Show will many have sweet machines of the past up to modern times to check out downtown starting at 10am and through the afternoon. Find out more at their website.

Also in Port Huron this weekend, the Blue Water Volleygrass Festival is at Northern High School is Friday through Sunday.

How long will a cardboard boat float? How fast can an outhouse move? And, most importantly, who will be the next King and Queen of Bologna. All these questions and more will be answered at the Yale Bologna Festival this weekend. This 3-day weekend event closes the streets of Yale's downtown and transforms the community of just under 2,000 to a gathering of over 20,000 Bologna starved party-goers! Find out more at the Yale Bologna Festival website

The water is gonna roar and there's a party on the shore at St. Clair's Riverfest this weekend. 

On the St. Clair River thundering powerboats charge in a race to be the fastest machine on the water! 

On land, there will be a carnival midway along with live music from headlines Spin Doctors on Friday and Blue Oyster Cult on Saturday. Admission to the races and concerts are FREE! See the whole schedule of the action at the Riverfest website.

Port Crescent State Park takes a blast to the past this Saturday at the annual Vintage Camper ShowLast years saw Tin Can Tourists bringing close to 100 cool, classic and kitschy vintage trailers and campers to the park to show off and have people check out. Visit and see how your grandparents luxury camped. 

Another port along the eastern shores is having a party too. Starting Friday at 5pm with a barbecue and a beer tent, The Port Sanilac Summer Festival kicks off and runs through Sunday. Find a full schedule at their Facebook page.

Looking towards next week, the Robinson Memorial International Tennis Tournament starts in Port Huron on July 31st. 

August 2nd-4th finds the Michigan Lighthouse Festival happening in the Blue Water Area. That's also the weekend Maritime Days in Marine City. August 2nd & 3rd is when the Port Sanilac Blues Festival is going on too.

Find out the more about many things going on in Michigan's ThumbCoast at our events page

Monday, July 15, 2019

Set Sail For A Blue Water Adventure: What's Happening July 15-21 in Michigan's ThumbCoast

Festival time is in full swing in the Blue Water Area and this week, the celebrations are plenty.

Photo courtesy of the St. Clair County 4-H's Facebook page

Happening now and running through Saturday, July 20th, The St. Clair County 4-H Fair is going on in Goodells. 

The fair offers not only carnival rides and snack along with the many other things 4-H activities youth are involved in. Throughout the week attendees can also take in a Monster Truck show, visiting the petting farm, tour the Farm Museum and much more. See the full schedule here.

Port Huron's biggest event of the summer returns this week too. Featuring live music, food, boats and more, Blue Water Fest is an area tradition and this year provides the fun for the entire family.

Things kick off Wednesday, July 17th with the International Rotary Day Parade at 6:30pm. The parade route starts at Huron and Glenwood Avenue, runs through downtown Port Huron and ends at Oak Street.

Photo by Dale Merrill
Thursday, July 18th and Friday, July 19th will feature live music, beer tents, vendors, food, a carnival and more!

Thursday is Family Night. Among the things happening that evening is Operation Transformation's Outreach from 5:00 – 9:00 p.m. by the 10th St. Bridge. It will include live pony rides, a petting zoo, Detroit Tiger mascot PAWS, grilled food & drinks and a whole lot more!

Family Night caps off with fireworks over the St. Clair River!

During Blue Water Fest Q Country 107 and WHLX "The Hills" presents a two-day country concert event with Boats and Boots!

Thursday night it's Lonestar and on Friday Reckless Kelly takes the big stage. You can get tickets for these two shows here.

Along with Lonestar and Reckless Kelly, there will be stages featuring local and regional musical artists playing throughout the weekend too.

Saturday morning is the Bell's Beer Bayview Port Huron to Mackinac Race. See the boats head out to the course throughout the morning along Black River and the St. Clair River and heading north to Lake Huron.

Photo by Dale Merrill
Get full details on the race at the Bayview Yacht Club page.

In Harbor Beach this Saturday experience exciting cart derby race in the same vein as the American Soapbox Derby Association at the Downhill Cart Derby.

Looking towards the rest of July:
Find out detail about these events and much more when you Discover The Blue at

Thursday, July 11, 2019

TBT: Port Huron's International Day Parade 1969

For this Throwback Thursday we go back to 1969. On that year, the International Day Parade was held on July 16th on that year which also happened to be the same day that the Apollo 11 was launched for it's a journey to land on the moon. None the less, people filled the streets of downtown Port Huron to watch the floats, marching bands and, as in this photo, the Lionettes majorettes passing in front of the Harrington, go by.

The parade in Port Huron this year is on Wednesday, July 17th. It serves as the kick off for the Blue Water Fest and Boat Weekend.

What are some of your favorite Blue Water Fest memories?

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

14 Great Beaches and Splash Pads In Michigan's ThumbCoast

Summer is upon us and cooling down from the heat is on the top of the list for families and kids.

Located in Michigan’s ThumbCoast, the Blue Water Area offers many public beaches to enjoy a day at the lake at. Along with them, there are several parks that feature splash pads too. Here are fourteen great beaches and splash pads to get in the water and to “Discover The Blue” of Michigan’s eastern shores.

St. Clair County

Clay Twp. Splash Park
Located on Pte Tremble Rd in Algonac, The Clay Township Splash Pad and Park sees a flurry of activity from the children on the playground and the water splash pad every summer.

Marine City Beach
Known as the farthest south sandy beach in St. Clair County, the Marine City Beach offers a barrier-free sidewalk, restrooms,  picnic tables, barbecue grills and shady, grassy areas to kick back and relax.

Marysville City Park & Chrysler Beach 
Marysville City Park offers many great amenities for a great summer day. Along with an extraordinary splash pad, the park also has plenty of shaded picnic areas as well as covered pavilions, several playground romps, baseball diamonds and fitness areas. Located directly across the street on the park's east side is Chrysler Beach. As one of the few sandy beaches along the St. Clair River, the location also boasts a gazebo that's a prime location for freighter watching.

Goodells County Park 
In the center of St. Clair County is Goodells County Park. It not only includes a splash pad for the kids to play in but also the location for the county's historical village, a farm museum which represents over 150 years of farming, a butterfly garden and many more things that promise a fun day in the outdoors.

Lighthouse Beach and Park
Right next to the Fort Gratiot Light Station is Port Huron's Lighthouse Park is one of the most historic places in the area. The beach touts over 900 feet of waterfront and beach on Lake Huron as well as a play area and many picnic spots under large trees.

Lakeside Beach Park and Splash Pad
On the clear waters of Lake Huron sits Lakeside Beach and Park in Port Huron. Boasting 1050 feet of water frontage with clean, sandy beaches, Lakeside includes lots of playground facilities, splash pad, picnic areas and restrooms are available. Beach volleyball is a popular activity and on the weekends there are lots of boats anchoring offshore.

Fort Gratiot County Park
Fort Gratiot County Park is located in the northern part of St. Clair County, just off M-25 on Metcalf Rd. This 30 acre park offers breathtaking views of Lake Huron and 852 feet of shoreline and beach. Facilities at the park include beach access, restrooms, wedding plaza, picnic areas as well as a children’s playground, Biggo Solo swing (ADA accessible) and close to a mile paved of walking trails.

Lakeport State Park
Lying along Lake Huron, Lakeport State Park provides southeast Michigan residents access to the Great Lakes. The park has two distinct units separated by the village of Lakeport. A total of 250 sites are divided between the two campgrounds.

Sanilac County 

Tierney Park
Sitting next to the Lexington State Harbor is Tierney Park, a public park with a beach on the shore of Lake Huron. This quaint park includes restrooms, a stage for music concerts, BBQs, picnic tables, volleyball court, swings and kids playscape. 

Lexington County Park
Nestled on 27 beautiful acres just 3 miles north of Lexington along M-25, the Lexington County Park offer not only a beach but electric or rustic campsites and a pavilion available to rent as well.

Forester Park 
6 miles north of Port Sanilac on M-25 along the scenic Lake Huron shoreline is Forester Park. Covering 68 acres the park offers a day-use area along rustic cabins, RV or tent camping.

Huron County

Lincoln Park & Trescott Pier
Sitting at the east end of Trescott Street in Harbor Beach is Lincoln Park. It has a nice sandy swimming beach, playground equipment, a picnic shelter, picnic tables, and restrooms.  A lengthy pier, called Trescott Street Pier, extends from the parking area, offering a scenic view of the lighthouse and Lake Huron.  A kayak can be launched from the north side of the park.

Bird Creek Park
Bird Creek Park is a seven acre day use park located in Port Austin. The first thing you notice at Bird Creek is the wooden boardwalk that goes halfway around the park along the beach with roofed picnic shelters overlooking the beach and the water. 

Port Crescent State Park
Situated on 600 acres, Port Austin's Port Crescent Park is located along 3 miles of shoreline on Lake Huron’s Saginaw Bay. Activities within the park include camping, hiking, swimming, canoeing, hunting, cross country skiing, bird watching, fishing, and picnicking.  There's a kayak launch site which is part of the Tip of the Thumb Heritage Water Trail.

Find out more about Michigan's ThumbCoast at