By Rick Coates
On September 10-12, you can enjoy the heritage of the Great Lakes with
A Great Lakes Celebration and the 2010 Michigan Schooner Festival on
West Grand Traverse Bay.
On Friday night, the Traverse City Opera House will feature Song of
the Lakes along with storytellers to benefit area cultural
organizations via the Michigan Humanities Council. The evening starts
at 8 pm and tickets are $12 adults and $6 for students K-12. A special
Patron Seating is available at $75 which includes entry in a drawing
for one of three of Greg Sobrans Schooners on West Bay giclées to
be awarded at the concert.
The concert is the capper for a tall ship parade on Friday afternoon.
The Schooner Festival begins at 4 pm Friday, September 10th when the
tall ships leave the Maritime Heritage Alliance pier in Greilickville,
and sail north up West Grand Traverse Bay, said Karen Smith, a
celebration coordinator. The Grand Parade of Sail will end about 7 pm
as the ships dock at Clinch Park Marina for the weekend activities.
The concert begins at 8 pm, a short walk from the Open Space to the
historic City Opera House.
Smith says the event will be educational as well as entertaining.
We are fortunate to have internationally acclaimed folk band, Song of
the Lakes and their 25-plus years of making music that honors the
Great Lakes. This highly interactive family show will feature
traditional songs and sea shanties of the Age of Sail. Song of the
Lakes will also incorporate material from their new schools program,
Paddle-to-the-Sea, she said.
In addition, Doug Stanton of the National Writers Series has teamed
up with musician and storyteller Norm Wheeler on the creation of a
student research/writing/performance project that will premier at the
concert. The stories will keep with the Great Lakes theme, the lakes,
the land, the people, reflecting its rich history, its present, its
Students participating in the story project will include Kate Little,
a 2009 graduate of Leelanau School and former Poetry Out Loud school
winner, Katie Stanton and Caroline Smith from TCCHS.
Collaboration best describes how events in Northern Michigan are
coming together lately, and A Great Lakes Celebration is a great
example of this as the Michigan Humanities Council, Maritime Heritage
Alliance, National Writers Series, City Opera House, Greg Sobran
Gallery, John Robert Williams Photography, McMillans Custom Framing,
2010 Michigan Schooner Festival and various cultural organizations
have teamed up to make the evening possible.
A Great Lakes Celebration will also incorporate a visual arts aspect
of the evening with a special Schooners on West Bay painting by
artist Greg Sobran.
Greg is a Michigan artist, with galleries in Glen Arbor and Ann
Arbor. His passion for painting area landscapes is a true gift to the
history of our area, said Smith. Greg has graciously leant his
talent to this benefit by allowing us to create giclée prints of his
For more information on A Great Lakes Celebrations and obtaining
one of the limited edition giclées contact Karen Smith (231) 590-5615.
Tickets for the evening are also available online at
www.cityoperahouse.org or by calling the box office at (231) 941-8082.
Tall Ship Events:
The 2nd annual Michigan Schooner Festival sails September 10-12 on
West Bay in Traverse City at the Open Space Park and Clinch Park
On Friday, the Grand Parade of Sail will travel down West Grand
Traverse Bay and dock at Clinch Marina. Saturday events include ship
tours, food, entertainment, a Ring of Steel pirate reenactment troupe,
artist vendors, kids games, and ticketed sailings, including a special
gun battle sail aboard the Armed Sloop Welcome. Sunday starts off
with a Pancakes with Pirates breakfast at the Open Space with more
fun to follow.
A total of seven schooners will be on hand for the festival. These
include Maritime Heritage Alliances three ships - Madeline, Welcome
and Champion -- as well as four tall ships from around the region.
A $5 general weekend admission pass grants a tour of the three
Maritime Heritage Alliance ships that are docked. For children, $5
grants them admission on the ships and also five tickets for carnival
Food vendors will be on-hand all three festival days. Art exhibitors,
as well as non-profit agencies, will also be on hand throughout the
For complete details call the Maritime Heritage Alliance at 231 - 946
- 2647 or visit www.michiganschoonerfestival.org.