Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

Home · Articles · News · Features · Manistee Hosts an Old Christmas...
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Manistee Hosts an Old Christmas Weekend

If you have ever wondered whether time travel is possible, simply visit Manistee this weekend and you will find yourself instantly back in time.

Rick Coates - December 2nd, 2013  

Known as the “Victorian Port City,” many of the homes and buildings in downtown Manistee built during the Victorian era remain today. The community pays tribute to their history with the 25th Anniversary of the Manistee Victorian Sleighbell Parade & Old Christmas Weekend starting on Wednesday, December 4 and continuing through Sunday, December 8.

“I moved to Manistee nine years ago and this parade and weekend touched me,” said Catherine Zaring, event chair. “It is so magical, it is hard to describe in words, you really have to experience it in person.”

Event highlights include the Sleighbell Parade downtown on Saturday night starting at 5:30 pm. The parade attracts over 10,000 with the highlight being the Belgian draft horses pulling a 30’ Christmas tree down River Street. Event organizers encourage those wanting to see the parade to arrive early and enjoy the hot cider and fresh roasted chestnuts starting around 4 pm.

Additional events of note include the Gingerbread House Contest, Festival of Trees, and guided tours of Babcock House, a grand lumberman’s mansion.


Zaring, who serves on the city commission and is the mayor pro tem, jokes “Be careful what you ask for,” when asked how she ended up chairing the event.

“I am in my second year and at a meeting they asked for someone to chair this and I opened my big mouth,” said Zaring. “I am glad I did. First of all, the people who started this and organized this over the past 23 years did such a great job that it makes my life as chair pretty easy. I did it because I love this event. I have seen parades all over the country and this is hands down the best anywhere, anytime of the year.”

For Zaring, moving to Manistee was all about not hitting any deer.

“My husband took a job in Manistee several years ago but we moved to Traverse City and he commuted. Well, we had lived in lots of places where there were deer all over but never once hit a deer. One morning on his way to work he hit a deer. That was it. For me that was a sign and we moved to Manistee and have loved living here ever since.”

Zaring is happy to be a part of the renaissance of Manistee.

“Manistee is on the move. This past five years you really can feel the energy level and excitement rising. We are also seeing a lot of young people moving here. They see all of the opportunities here now,” said Zaring. “I think a lot of that has to do with our pro entrepreneurship mindset. There is a real feeling of place-making here. People are starting to realize that you can live, work and play here in Manistee County.”


But for this week all the focus is on the 25th anniversary of the Manistee Victorian Sleighbell Parade & Old Christmas Weekend, an event Zaring said is just as much for visitors as for locals.

“A little advice for the long distance traveler; book your hotel room now for next year. But people who live in Northern Michigan could certainly day trip it and enjoy the festivities,” said Zaring. “If you are coming for the parade, here is a tip: dress in layers. Make sure you keep your feet, fingers and face warm.”

The 25th Anniversary of the Manistee Victorian Sleighbell Parade & Old Christmas Weekend takes place December 4-8 in and around downtown Manistee. In addition to the numerous Victorian themed holiday events, Manistee is a great place to pick up shop and eat. Plus with all the carolers wondering about, decked out in period dresses, coats, and top hats, you will feel like you have traveled back in time. For more info and a complete schedule of events check out www.visitmanisteecounty.com.

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