Letters

Letters 05-23-2016

Examine The Priorities Are you disgusted about closing schools, crumbling roads and bridges, and cuts everywhere? Investigate funding priorities of legislators. In 1985 at the request of President Reagan, Grover Norquist founded Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). For 30 years Norquist asked every federal and state candidate and incumbent to sign the pledge to vote against any increase in taxes. The cost of living has risen significantly since 1985; think houses, cars, health care, college, etc...

Make TC A Community For Children Let’s be that town that invests in children actively getting themselves to school in all of our neighborhoods. Let’s be that town that supports active, healthy, ready-to-learn children in all of our neighborhoods...

Where Are Real Christian Politicians? As a practicing Christian, I was very disappointed with the Rev. Dr. William C. Myers statements concerning the current presidential primaries (May 8). Instead of using the opportunity to share the message of Christ, he focused on Old Testament prophecies. Christ gave us a new commandment: to love one another...

Not A Great Plant Pick As outreach specialist for the Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network and a citizen concerned about the health of our region’s natural areas, I was disappointed by the recent “Listen to the Local Experts” feature. When asked for their “best native plant pick,” three of the four garden centers referenced non-native plants including myrtle, which is incredibly invasive...

Truth About Plants Your feature, “listen to the local experts” contains an error that is not helpful for the birds and butterflies that try to live in northwest Michigan. Myrtle is not a native plant. The plant is also known as vinca and periwinkle...

Ask the Real Plant Experts This letter is written to express my serious concern about a recent “Listen To Your Local Experts” article where local nurseries suggested their favorite native plant. Three of the four suggested non-native plants and one suggested is an invasive and cause of serious damage to Michigan native plants in the woods. The article is both sad and alarming...

My Plant Picks In last week’s featured article “Listen to the Local Experts,” I was shocked at the responses from the local “experts” to the question about best native plant pick. Of the four “experts” two were completely wrong and one acknowledged that their pick, gingko tree, was from East Asia, only one responded with an excellent native plant, the serviceberry tree...

NOTE: Thank you to TC-based Eagle Eye Drone Service for the cover photo, taken high over Sixth Street in Traverse City.

Home · Articles · News · Music · Blues at the Bear: Sleeping Bear...
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Blues at the Bear: Sleeping Bear Dunegrass and Blues Festival Reawakens

Andy Taylor - August 5th, 2004
Fans of good music and good company will want to head for the lake this weekend for the Sleeping Bear Dunegrass & Blues festival in Empire.
Everything from bluegrass to folk to reggae is sure to please even the most hardnosed music listener.
There is a tradition of sorts with the festival, but those who frequent Dunegrass might be surprised by a few changes made this summer. “1992 was probably the first one that we did, but my husband (Mike) does not like to call it annual in case we can’t do it anymore. We had to move to M-22 from near M-72 where we were, so now we’re behind the St. Philip Neri Church and we have overnight camping this year,” says co-director of the festival Carol Vanderberg.
The whole intent of the festival is to feature local music as Vanderberg states. “All the bands are from Michigan except one,” which, according to Vanderberg is known as White Chocolate and the Topless Manskirt Revolution (yikes).
Gates to the festival grounds open at 5 p.m. on Friday, August 6 with music starting soon after. A trio of eclectic bands will be performing on this first evening. “We have three bands on Friday night,” Vanderberg says. “Deedle - Edle and Beyond Potato Salad will play. Beyond Potato Salad are really wonderful. They are going to do a little mellow thing this year. We also have the Jah Kings.” The Jah Kings are a Kalamazoo-based reggae outfit.
Saturday is the main day of the festival that includes music starting at 10 a.m. with two hours of open mic, then performances by Cheri and the Violators, Bruce Irwin, Jay Webber and Blueswater, with an “extra special guest” rounding out the afternoon entertainment. After a dinner break, the music begins again with Ion Quest, Greensky Bluegrass and Grasshoppah. K. Jones and the Benzie Playboyz were originally scheduled to close the festival but recently cancelled, so a back-up is being located.
Greensky Bluegrass is a favorite in the area and is well-liked for their acoustic music that shows hints of bluegrass founder Bill Monroe’s style, along with jazz and reggae roots. Grasshoppah is a folk/blues/bluegrass trio that might be the most unusual and interesting act of the night. The band features a lead vocalist and guitarist who plays the drums with his feet using a number of contraptions and pedals, and can also perform harmonica solos.
But music is not all there is to offer. “On Saturday we are going to have a kids tent from 12-4 p.m. There will be face painting and chalk drawing and ice blocks to slip and slide on. We have food vendors and arts and crafts. Lots of good food. And the BATA bus will be there to take people to the beach because we are really close,” Vanderberg adds. “We have a visitor tent but bring a lawnchair or blanket if you want to sit out in the sun. Otherwise everything is provided, including porta-potties and security,” she says.
Tickets to the Dunegrass festival can be purchased at Deerings Market in Empire, Cedar City Market, East Shore Market in Beulah, Kejara’s Bridge in Leelanau, Oryana Natural Foods in Traverse City and Leelanau Coffee Roasters of Glen Arbor. They can also be purchased using a credit card by calling 231-326-5287. The cost is $20 for adults with an extra $5 per person if camping overnight. Children 12 and under are free.
Saturday-only tickets are also available for $15.
To get to the festival, take M-22 or M-72 to Empire, then follow the signs which lead to the grounds on the north side of town.
 
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