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 · News · Spring Fever Hits the Ramsdell
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Spring Fever Hits the Ramsdell

Kristi Kates - March 17th, 2014  

Shoveling snow during the drab late winter days inspired Brian Garcia to spread around a little sunshine in Manistee last March.

Garcia used the website Kickstarter to rally 80 backers, funding the first-ever Spring and All Festival at the historic Ramsdell Theatre.

Now, he’s about ready to launch round two on March 22.

“I wanted a way to bring people together … to honor the community’s hard work at keeping Manistee alive,” Garcia said about the event, which celebrates the arts through music. “Live music is emotional and inspiring.”


Garcia said he was initially inspired by “The Manistee River Song” by Michigan native Jim Crockett and “Spring and All” by folk singer Greg Brown.

“Both are music heroes, and their songs became the vehicle for the festival,” he said. “Music has got me through a lot of tough times, and helped celebrate good times too. That’s what I hope this festival does for people, and why it’s so powerful to me.”

The festival’s underlying mission is to bring the Manistee arts community together.

“Having musicians, organizations, and businesses all at the Ramsdell is what we are all about,” said Michael Terry, executive director for the 111-year-old theatre.

“It’s a place for people and artists to interact with each other. Our mission is to provide meaningful and memorable life experiences through the arts and community.”

And that’s just what Garcia and his festival hope to do.


In addition to the music, there will be exhibits in the theatre’s Grand Ballroom that feature canoe builders, artisans, photographers, painters, wildlife experts, local conservation groups, and Manistee National Forest Service representatives – even Smokey the Bear.

“Lake Michigan, the Manistee River and the surrounding forests are part of what makes us and this area unique,” Terry said. “The exhibits and the music celebrate those who work to preserve these natural resources, and help make our community sustainable.”

Admission to the Ballroom is free to all, and local food resources will be on site, too, at the Spring and All Food and Beverage Garden, a farmer’s market featuring local Michigan foods from regional farms, including soups, salads, and sandwiches, plus a selection of non-alcoholic beverages.


The musical performances kick off at noon with Jim Crockett appearing first, performing “The Manistee River Song.”

Following Crockett is Goodboy! featuring Patrick Niemisto, Lindsay Lou and the Flatbellies; then Australian musician Harper; with local musicians on stage from 5 to 6:30pm.

Michigan-born Drew Nelson, an Americana/roots rock storyteller, follows; then Lansing band Lincoln County Express, a roots and blues outfit featuring Jen Sygit and Sam Corbin, goes on.

“There will be live music in every corner of the Ramsdell as people ‘busk’ in hallways and stairwells,” Garcia said. “You won’t be able to go anywhere in the Ramsdell without hearing live music.”

The festival is expected to end at 9pm with the day’s final concert, Joshua Davis and Friends.

“Davis’ show will be a great way to end a day filled with great music,” Terry said. “And I’m looking forward to helping create an environment and event in which people can enjoy and feel welcomed. That’s what I like about my job.”

Garcia said he’s looking forward to shining a light on his community theater, while seeing new and familiar faces come and enjoy the arts.

“What will also make this event meaningful to me is seeing all the diverse parts of our community come together and celebrate,” he said. “There are no strangers in this town – that’s the feeling here. Whether you were born and raised here, or just arrived today, you are part of Manistee.”

Manistee’s Spring and All Festival will take place at the Ramsdell Theatre on Sat., March 22. Doors open at 11:30am. Tickets are $15 in advance/$20 at the door, available at MyNorthTickets at (800) 836-0717 and online at ramsdelltheatre.org.

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