by Peter Jakey–Managing Editor
“Everything is coming together,” said Paul Dubbs, Nautical Festival Committee chairman, hours before the first scheduled event of the 2013 Nautical City Festival.
The kick-off dinner Tuesday was the first of many activities, dinners and events running through Sunday’s fireworks display at 10 p.m.
Dubbs was pleased to report that the final space for the arts and craft show was sold Tuesday to a vendor from Mancelona. The arts and craft show is on the Presque Isle County Courthouse lawn through Sunday afternoon.
The 2013 festival has a tough act to follow, after last year’s air show, but there are many new events that are bound to create a buzz among local community members and visitors.
There will be lumberjack shows Thursday, Friday and Saturday and parasailing rides available at the marina Saturday and Sunday.
“We are getting a lot of response, more than I expected, on the parasailing,” said Dubbs. “In fact, I talked to the owner last night (Monday). We have a pretty slick set up for him down at the harbor.”
Mackinaw Parasailing will be set up at the first slip near the boat launch area. The lumberjack show is out of Escanaba, but has appeared at various state fairs in the Midwest. It will be at Lakeside Park.
Another highlight will be the appearance of the Budweiser Clydesdale horses in Sunday’s parade. Kenny King of Alpena Beverage facilitated the arrival of one of the teams from the St. Louis, Missouri farm.
“The horses are in northern Michigan,” said Dubbs Tuesday afternoon. The Clydesdales last appearance in a Presque Isle County parade was in 2009 during the Posen Potato Festival parade. It is their first appearance ever in Rogers City.
Leading the parade will be grand marshals Beth and Art Getzinger, as well as Miss Rogers City Rebecca Myers and her court. It starts at 12:30 p.m.
There were 23 men’s softball teams earlier in the week and 12 women’s teams. All softball players will be given passes to enter the tent Friday and Saturday.
“We need them in the tent, because that is our only big source of revenue,” said Dubbs. He said it helps pay for major events that are offered at no charge, including this year’s lumberjack show and the fireworks. Additionally, the parade costs about $8,000 to pull together.
“We give a lot back during the festival that is just unseen,” said Dubbs.
Schmidt Amusements opened a five-day run Wednesday and more rides were expected this year, but that had not been confirmed earlier this week.
A first-time activity will be the outdoor yoga class today (Thursday) at Trout River Park along Forest Street.
For the second year, narrated tours of the Calcite Plant are being offered Friday and Saturday. Tickets can be purchased at the Presque Isle County Historical Museum gift shop. Tours leave from the museum.
The museum will be opening their new exhibit, “Our Best, Our Brightest, Our Nicest…and a Few Villians,” Friday.
There is music at the tent every day, food around every corner, including many festival favorites and other assorted family activities to entertain.
Festival brochures are available at the Rogers City Area Chamber of Commerce office along Bradley Highway, as well as the adjoining festival office.