Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Kent Harvest Trails Offers Fresh Local Foods & Family Farm Fun Throughout the Autumn Season

Nearly 20 farms in the Greater Grand Rapids area are participating in this year’s Kent Harvest Trails, providing families the opportunity to enjoy loads of country fun. Activities and tours begin mid September and run through the end of October (although farms may actually open sooner and extend their season into early November, weather permitting).

Families can take tractor- or horse-drawn wagon rides through the orchards or to the pumpkin patch, visit with animals in the petting zoo, wander the corn maze and make a scarecrow to take home. Enjoy a fresh baked donut and watch as apples are pressed into sweet cider. Visit the farm markets for local produce or head out to pick your own fruit. Then, shop for baked goods, fall plants, home decorations and seasonal gifts. Admission for many farms is free, although there may be charges for certain activities.

Participating farms this year include At the Barn, Blok Orchards, Bos Greenhouse and Farm, Ed Dunneback & Girls Farm, Frozen Creek Floral & Farm, Fruit Ridge Hayrides, H & W Farms, Harder & Warner Nursery, Heidi’s Farm Stand, Honey Creek Farm, Klackle Orchards, Koetsier’s Greenhouse, Orchard Hill Farm, Paulson’s Pumpkin Patch, Post Family Farm, Robinette’s Apple Haus & Winery, Schwallier’s Country Basket, Sietsema Orchards & Cider Mill and Steffens Orchards & Market.

An updated map of participating farms, including directions and dates/hours of operation, will be posted online in mid August at KentHarvestTrails.org. Printed brochures will also be available for free at area Family Fare Supermarket or D&W Fresh Market locations starting the second week of September.

Like the Kent Harvest Trails Facebook or check out this YouTube Video from Marty ALL OVER Michigan!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Manistee County Visitors Bureau Launches Mobile App To Guide Tourists and Locals to Area’s Top Sites and Attractions

The Manistee County Visitors Bureau has launched a comprehensive new travel tool to guide visitors and locals to the area’s vast recreational, historical and natural attractions. Developed VisitApps, with content development by RIGHTside design in Manistee, this innovative mobile app offers turn-by-turn directions to more than 500 outdoor recreation sites, lodging properties, shopping destinations, restaurants and historic sites, as well as a list of area events.

“This resource will bring the Manistee County region into the new age of travel and tourism. It is one of only a handful of mobile applications in the State of Michigan that are this comprehensive and available for free to anyone with a smartphone or tablet device,” says Brandon Jensen, owner/creative director at RIGHTside design. “This has been an amazing project to be a part of and I commend the Visitors Bureau and its partners for creating such a valuable resource for locals and visitors alike.”

The Manistee County mobile app is available in Apple and Android platforms, and can be downloaded directly by using these links:

Apple
Android

“This will quickly turn into your most valuable four-season digital resource when visiting the Manistee County region,” says Kathryn Kenny, Executive Director of the Manistee County Visitors Bureau. “Along with the M-22 and U-Pick Farm tours, the mobile app provides launching directions and float times for the Manistee and Pine Rivers, as well as staging areas for the snowmobile trailheads.”

The app also provides quick access answers to popular questions including how to find the Little Mac Suspension Bridge, Gravity Hill, Nordhouse Dunes and the North Pier Lighthouse, among other unique destinations.

“No matter what you’re looking for, or the time of year, it’s ALL there at your fingertips,” Kenny says.

Local business owners are also praising the app, as it provides information for those looking to visit, work or live in the Manistee area.

“If you’re looking to rent one of our distinctive vacation homes or condos, just click on the ‘More’ section at the bottom of the screen and then on ‘Lodging’ to access the CENTURY 21 Vacation Rentals’ interactive website. We can help you find a place to stay awhile … or forever!” says Owner/Broker Suzanne Riley. “You can also learn about our historic 1873 building/office (113 Maple Street) by clicking on ‘Tours’ and ‘Historic Buildings Tour.’”

Located along 25 miles of sugar-sand Lake Michigan beaches, Manistee is a Pure Michigan destination nestled in the heart of the Manistee National Forest. The scenic M-22 highway begins here, at the intersection of US-31, as it heads north 116.6 miles through the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

The Manistee County Visitors Bureau is an official travel and tourism organization, incorporated in 1997, as a non-profit agency, to promote Manistee County. Its mission is to promote Manistee County as a travel destination, to increase overnight visits and be the lead organization focusing on building the local tourism economy.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Lyle Lovett & His Large Band to Perform at Acme’s Flintfields, August 8

The legendary Lyle Lovett makes his way to northern Michigan for one special night, Friday, August 8 at Flintfield in Acme. The show begins at 5pm. General admission tickets are $39; VIP tickets are $95 and includes chair seating under the one-of-a-kind 20,000-square-foot grand tent, Olympic Gran Prix Ring Viewing, VIP restrooms and a hydration station.

A singer, composer and actor, Lyle Lovett has broadened the definition of American music in a career that spans 14 albums. Coupled with his gift for storytelling, the Texas-based musician fuses elements of country, swing, jazz, folk, gospel and blues in a convention-defying manner that breaks down barriers. Lovett has appeared in 13 feature films, and on stage and television. In addition to his four Grammy Awards, he was given the Americana Music Association’s inaugural Trailblazer Award, and was recently named the Texas State Musician.

In addition to the music of Lyle Lovett, families will enjoy carriage horse tours and horse riding demos at the famed Flintfields – home of the Horse Shows by the Bay. Classic grilled local fare, beer, wine and soda will also be available for purchase.

On Saturday, August 9, the festivities at Flintfields continues with Cars, Eats and Beats – featuring hundreds of specialty cars, food and entertainment including Delilah DeWylde and The Lost Boys, the Corvairs and headliner Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen – whose hit song “Hotrod Lincoln” is the #1 All-time car song.

Tickets for An Evening with Lyle Lovett & His Large Band, as well as the Cars, Eats and Beats, are available at www.MyNorthTickets.com.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Deluxe Motor Coach Trip Now Available from Grand Rapids to Traverse City for Summer Microbrew & Music Festival – with Special Hosts John “Gonzo” Gonzalez and Amy Sherman

Craft beer lovers in Grand Rapids and West Michigan are invited to travel to the 2014 Traverse City Summer Microbrew & Music Festival, August 22-23, in style. Passengers will travel aboard a deluxe motor coach, with hosts John “Gonzo” Gonzalez (Friday) from MLive and Amy Sherman from Great American Brew Trail (Friday & Saturday).

“We wanted to provide a safe and convenient day-trip option to craft beer lovers to attend this festival,” says Sam Porter, Owner of Porterhouse Productions and Tent Venue, the companies that present the festival. “We realize not everyone can make the weekend trip, and often hotel rooms are hard to come by. The deluxe motor coach trip also gives festival-goers an opportunity to spend the day sampling brews without having to drive home at the end of the event.”

Tickets are $100 per person and includes round-trip transportation and a VIP festival pass – which includes five (5) drink tokens, a custom logo glass, access to the exclusive VIP area with private restrooms, a hydration station, games, lounge area, side-stage viewing and nibbles. Tickets for both the Friday and Saturday trips are available online here.

The coach will leave at 2pm each day from downtown Grand Rapids (pick up is along Scribner, next to the Gerald R. Ford Museum – parking is available under the highway in that area), returning at 12:30am. Each bus offers valuable and fun information on craft brewing as well as an opportunity to watch past episodes of the Great American Brew Trail.

“Normal VIP tickets for this festival are $95, so we’re offering a real deal to people downstate to come up and experience our festival,” Porter says. “It’s like getting free round-trip transportation to the event. It’s all part of our sustainable-touring program.”

More than 40 vendors and 200-plus different craft beer, mead and cider will be served at this year’s festival. The list of participating vendors can be found online here.

Also included in the ticket price is musical entertainment, which on Friday night features international headliner Brandi Carlile and on Saturday showcases Nahko and Medicine for the People.

ABOUT OUR HOSTS
Amy Sherman is a craft beer expert, chef, writer, and educator. As the host of the state wide television program, The Great American Brew Trail, she visited over 26 different breweries, one pint at a time. She also joined Gonzo in his Mlive search for Michigan’s Best Brewery (and yes, it was as fun as it sounds!). She resides in Beer City USA where she teaches cooking classes, caters, and drinks a lot of beer. You can follow along with her adventures @amyonthetrail on Twitter and Facebook.

John "Gonzo" Gonzalez (@MichiganGonzo on Twitter) is the statewide entertainment, travel, food and beer writer for MLive Media Group, the state's largest media organization with 8 newspapers and 2 online sites. John's main job is to coordinate the Michigan's Best project where readers submit their favorites foods, restaurants and things to do, and he travels the state to come up with a Top 10 list. In the fall of 2013 he and Amy Sherman traveled to 38 breweries over 9 days in search of Michigan's Best Brewery. Check out the list here.

VIP motor coach options are available for other West Michigan cities, with a minimum commitment of 25 riders, at a price of $100 to $150 per person. Contact Sam Porter @ 231.499.4968 or Sam@PorterhouseProductions.com for more information.

Southwest Michigan Radio DJ Helped The Eagles Score Its First #1 Hit Single in 1975

In the mid-1970s, The Eagles were emerging on the music scene and in March, 1974 Asylum Elektra released the band’s third album – “On the Border.”

The first single released from the album was “Already Gone” which hit the air on April 19, making its way to #32. The second single, “James Dean,” was released on August 14 and only made it to #77.

During the late summer, Jim Higgs, a DJ and Program and Music Director at WKMI 1360-AM in Kalamazoo, Michigan, found a different track on the album which appealed to him and the station began playing “Best of My Love” – a song written by Don Henley, Glenn Frey and JD Souther.

Listeners in the Southwest Michigan town responded favorably and it soon became the top requested single in the market. Because the track was not available as a single, local record stores were selling out of the album, having to request more to meet demand. Higgs charted the album track on WKMI's Top 30 Survey and kept asking the record label to release the song as a single. At one point Elektra-Asylum, not yet willing to give up on "James Dean" nationally, actually considered having a thousand copies pressed to send to stores in Kalamazoo.

Finally, on the basis of "Best Of My Love's" success on WKMI and the diminishing popularity of "James Dean," in November of that year, executives at Asylum Elektra took a chance on the song and released it nationally.

“Best of My Love” climbed the Hot 100 chart and in March, 1975, it became The Eagles first #1 single (it also topped the easy listening/AC chart for one week, a month earlier).

“On The Border” ultimately reached #17 on the album charts, selling 2 million copies. In 1975, Rip Pelli and Burt Stein from Asylum Elektra, presented Higgs with an autographed copy of the album cover for his contributions to its success and the contributions made on behalf of “Best of My Love.”

Jim Higgs began his radio career in 1962, at the age of 17 and just two months after graduating from Plainwell High School. This year marks his 52nd year in the industry. He still broadcasts live six days a week, during the morning drive, on AM-980, WAKV – a station he owns and operates in his house. A more detailed history of his career can be found here.

WKMI began broadcasting in 1947 and was a highly-rated Top 40 music station from the 1950s through the late 1970s. The format changed to Adult Contemporary in the early 1980s, then switched to its current talk format in 1990.

On September 8, Higgs and his family will be attending The Eagles concert at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, where they will have the opportunity to go back stage to meet the band.

Grand Rapids, Michigan Welcomes Great Lakes Water Conservation Conference — October 21-23

Early Registration Now Open at Conserve-GreatLakes.com

Craft brewers will gather in Grand Rapids, MI, this fall to learn about water quality, water conservation, waste water treatment and alternative energy systems, with presentations by industry experts and speakers donating their time and expertise. The sixth Great Lakes Water Conservation Conference (@GLWater) will be held Oct. 21-23 at the Eberhard Center, Grand Valley State University Downtown Campus. Early registration (through Aug. 8) is $175 (and then increases to $195).

Panels and presentations begin on Wednesday of the conference, with a welcome address by Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell, a city honored as “Beer City USA” and as a leader in water sustainability.

Conference speakers include Marc Smith of the National Wildlife Federation with an update on the Great Lakes Compact; a panel with Kent County Water Conservation and Clean Water Action; Karl Ockert, technical director of the Master Brewers Association of the Americas, discussing emergency preparedness and water quality; Chuck Skypeck of the Brewers Association discussing sustainability case histories; Walker Modic of Bell’s Brewery discussing waste water treatment at Bell’s Brewery; Jason Spaulding of Brewery Vivant and Autumn Sands of BarFly Ventures discussing sustainable on-premise and kitchen operations; and an afternoon panel of case histories on waste to energy alternatives with breweries such as Goose Island, Sun King, and more. View samples of past presentations and speaker bios at www.conserve-greatlakes.com.

Tours for registered attendees are planned for Tuesday at Founders Brewing Co. and on Thursday, a bus tour will be offered to Bell’s Brewery in Galesburg and HopHead Farms in Hickory Corners. The bus tour is limited to 45 attendees, at an additional cost of $20 per person, thanks to donations by Bell's Brewery. Conference sponsors include Briggs of Burton, Inc., The Antea Group, Williams Creek Consulting, with in-kind donations from S. S. Steiner, Inc. and the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board.

“Why participate?” says Lucy Saunders, conference organizer. “Water policy in the Great Lakes region – the source of 20 percent of the world’s supply of available freshwater – is changing rapidly. The Great Lakes Compact requires all water-intensive businesses within the watershed to implement water conservation practices. This conference offers case histories and practical solutions for water and energy efficiency.”

Monday, July 14, 2014

Promote Michigan Celebrates 10th Anniversary

On August 19, 2004, Dianna Stampfler left the security of her job of more than seven years to strike out on her own with PROMOTE MICHIGAN. Now, 10 years later, the one-person consulting company is going stronger than ever and racking up alliances with some of the state’s most esteemed associations, businesses and destinations – specializing in Michigan’s niche markets of culinary- and agri-tourism.

“My first client, signed two weeks to the day that I launched the business, was the Traverse Tall Ship Company,” Stampfler says. “I’m proud to say that they’re still with me. Captain Dave McGinnis was the first to believe in what I had to offer and he’s been supporting me ever since!”

Another project early on was a three-month stint with Travel Michigan, a position Stampfler says endorsed her on a statewide level and helped her get a solid foothold to move the business forward.

“I remember getting a phone call from Dave Lorenz at Travel Michigan within days after I announced Promote Michigan, asking if I was able to take on a short-term assignment,” Stampfler recalls. “During those three months, I was introduced to many statewide industry leaders and also strengthened existing relationships. Plus, having Travel Michigan in my portfolio gave me a level of credibility that I still respect and appreciate.”

Currently, Promote Michigan’s largest clients are the Michigan Brewers Guild (along with several individual breweries), ShowSpan (working specifically on the Grand Rapids International Wine, Beer & Food Festival; Michigan International Auto Show and Grand Rapids Boat Show), The Homestead – America’s Freshwater Resort, Porterhouse Productions and, most recently, Hudsonville Ice Cream. Stampfler is also executive director of the Kent County Lodging Association and the newly formed Michigan Craft Distillers Association.

“There are so many other businesses, communities and organizations that have trusted me with their PR needs over the years,” Stampfler says. “Sometimes it’s a small project like a news release and other times, it’s a year-long marketing and promotions campaign. I think in the past 10 years, I’ve worked with well over 50 different entities in some way or another thanks to the word-of-mouth endorsements and referrals from past and present clients.”

Networking and relationship building are the foundation of Promote Michigan. “It’s about being out and about, talking with people, hearing and sharing their stories and finding ways to integrate yourself into their promotional plans with an unwavering level of passion and excitement,” says Stampfler. “I wake up every day thankful that I get to do what I love, with colleagues who have become friends. And I get paid for it! I can’t imagine myself doing anything else.”

In May, Stampfler was appointed to the Board of Directors for the Downtown Market – Grand Rapids and is a long-standing member of the Ferris State University Hospitality Advisory Board. She is also active with the Michigan Culinary Tourism Alliance (on both a state and regional level), Pure Michigan Governor’s Conference on Tourism, Michigan Agri-Tourism Association, Great Lakes Cider & Perry Association, Michigan Maple Syrup Association, United Dairy Industry of Michigan, Kent Harvest Trails, Tourism Industry Coalition of Michigan and West Michigan Tourist Association – the organization she worked at for more than seven years to hone her tourism promotional skills. She also served nine years on the Allegan County Tourist Council, including three years as its chair and served briefly with the West Michigan Film Video Alliance.

In addition to her promotional and media relations services, Stampfler is also a freelance writer and broadcaster. She is a regular contributor to Michigan BLUE Magazine and Grand Rapids Family Magazine. Her articles have also appeared in Michigan HOME & Lifestyle, West Michigan Carefree Travel Guide and Pure Michigan Travel Guide. She hosts a daily 90-second travel program on WAKV AM980; is a monthly guest with “Tourist Talk” on WGVU Public Radio in Grand Rapids, with Shelley Irwin; and is a regular guest on various radio and television programs around Michigan.

Stampfler holds a bachelor’s degree in English and Communications from Western Michigan University and in 2013, she became a Certified Tourism Ambassador (CTA). The mother of two adult children, she recently moved from her hometown of Plainwell to Traverse City – fulfilling yet another long-time dream.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Porterhouse Productions Rocks & Rolls Another Summer in Traverse City

In 2007, Sam Porter returned to his hometown of Traverse City, Michigan to make a difference. With a love of community, the arts, music and locally-centric foods and beverages, he set out to develop a series of events that would bring those passions together, for the betterment of residents and visitors to this Pure Michigan destination.

In the past seven years, Porterhouse Production and its team of employees, volunteers, business partners, community leaders and business owners have created a solid list of events which showcase all the area has to offer. The events have collectively generated millions of dollars in local economic impact by filling hotel rooms and restaurants, highlighted talented musical acts from near and far, embraced the craft beverage industry and given back to the community through charitable contributions.

This summer’s entertainment line-up includes:

July 19 — TSO @ The Village
The Traverse Symphony Orchestra is taking its show outside, to the sprawling lawns at The Village at Grand Traverse Commons. Under the direction of Maestro Kevin Rhodes, this show promises to be the largest orchestra gathering of the season, with 72 musicians. Attendees will also enjoy a unique culinary picnic experience, as local foods are paired with wines from the Leelanau and Old Mission Peninsulas, throughout the evening. The program for the concert includes a “walking tour map” of both peninsulas, featuring popular landmarks geographically placed around the Commons lawn. From above, this layout creates an aerial art showcasing Michigan’s northwest Lower Peninsula. Two lighthouse galleries, featuring local photographers and artists, pays tribute to the region’s four seasons.

August 8 — An Evening with Lyle Lovett and his Large Band at Flintfields
A singer, composer and actor, Lyle Lovett has broadened the definition of American music in a career that spans 14 albums. Coupled with his gift for storytelling, the Texas-based musician fuses elements of country, swing, jazz, folk, gospel and blues in a convention-defying manner that breaks down barriers. Lovett has appeared in 13 feature films, and on stage and television. In addition to his four Grammy Awards, he was given the Americana Music Association’s inaugural Trailblazer Award, and was recently named the Texas State Musician. Combined with an enticing menu of local food, beer, and wine, guests are sure to have a memorable experience listening to one of music’s most vibrant and iconic performers.

August 9 — Cars, Eats & Beats at Flintfields
This will be a great day of celebrating hot rods, customs and vintage cars; local food, brews and wines; and 50s/60s-era music headlined by Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen, along with several other noted regional bands. Guests will enjoy a day of grilling, pinstripe artists, salons doing 50s hair styles, temporary tattoos, tailpipe flame contests, vending and auto awards, all at the picturesque six-acre Flintfields complex, just east of Traverse City. Refreshing treats will also be served up from a one-of-a-kind, 1946 Ford Flathead V8 old-fashion soda jerk ice cream truck affectionately known as Curbie.

August 15 — Paella in the Park
This fifth annual culinary and music event is a collaboration among the Wineries of Old Mission Peninsula, Tent Venue and Porterhouse Productions, along with talented executive chefs who will prepare several unique recipes of Spanish paellas in 36” pans on-site. Music for the event will have a Latin flair with returning crowd favorite Grupo Aye’, a 10 piece Cuban Salsa Band, Rootstand a jamming bluegrass Michigan band, Ryan Montbleau an awarding winning R&B Artist and Spanish guitar duo Younce Guitar.

August 16 — TC SUP Waterman Challenge
The Midwest’s largest SUP (Stand Up Paddleboard) event returns to the waters of Grand Traverse Bay and it’s adjacent Open Space in downtown Traverse City. The TC Waterman SUP Challenge is sanctioned by the World Paddle Association (WPA). This event includes recreational and elite races for all ages and skill levels, including an 11 mile down-winder from Bowers Harbor. Registration for the race is now open at www.TCWaterman.com.

In conjunction with the Waterman is the new Short’s BEER-B-Q! Short’s Brewing Company of Bellaire are bringing their amazing woody boat and ski bar for a tap takeover on the Open Space pier. The area will also feature local whole hog East Carolina-style BBQ, paired with TC famous Hall’s Farm Sweet Corn for a fantastic culinary experience for the whole family. Access to food during the Short’s BEER-B-Q is free and open to all ages, with meals ranging from $8 to $12. Those looking to enjoy the Short’s Boat Bar tap takeover on the bay will need a ticket for $10 in advance ($15 at the door), which includes a custom mug. Admission to the Tap Takeover is for those 21 years of age and older; ID is required for admittance.


August 22-23 — 7th Annual TC Summer Microbrew & Music Festival
Highlighting over 200 craft beers, cider, mead and wine, with a focus on those produced in Michigan, this annual festival returns to lawn of The Village at Grand Traverse Commons. The two-day event also features over 100 musicians, marching bands, food pairings and a rare and sour beer tour. Acclaimed singer-songwriter and folk rocker Brandi Carlile will headline the festival stage on Friday evening. On tour with her band, her emotionally powerful songwriting and acoustic guitar work soon is the dominant component of their sound, and they tour regularly, headlining venues and opening shows for artists like Dave Matthews, Shawn Colvin, and India.Arie.

Tent Venue is the latest project under the Porterhouse Production umbrella. This one-of-a-kind 20,000-square-foot grand event tent can be hauled and set up anywhere, offering a protective and unique environment for all kinds of events. This space age venue is created from aircraft grade aluminum trussing with fire resistant poly vinyl covering creating a unique soft sound environment for incredible sound. Clean sight lines and a Sydney Opera House feel make for an incredible sight and sound experience. The venue is made up of 4 single spans and can be configured in several forms from an enclosed “pod” for weddings, corporate events or smaller concerts up to the dramatic 4000 capacity venue featured at many of our events.

Tickets to all of the events above are available at www.MyNorthTickets.com

For more about Porterhouse Productions and its impressive schedule of events, visit PorterhouseProductions.com (www.facebook.com/porterhouseproductions | @PorterhouseProductions). For more on Tent Venue, visit TentVenue.com.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

5th Annual TC Waterman SUP Challenge Returns to Grand Traverse Bay – Saturday, August 16

Celebration to also feature Short’s Brewing BEER-B-Q, Hall’s Sweet Corn and Laith al Saaid Big Band with the Motor City Horns (from Bob Seger’s band)

The Midwest’s largest SUP (Stand Up Paddleboard) event returns to the waters of Grand Traverse Bay and it’s adjacent Open Space in downtown Traverse City on Saturday, August 16. The TC Waterman SUP Challenge is sanctioned by the World Paddle Association (WPA).

This event includes recreational and elite races for all ages and skill levels, including an 11 mile down-winder from Bowers Harbor. Registration for the race is now open at www.TCWaterman.com.

Activities run from 8:30am (6:00am for race registration) to 6:00pm and include free product demonstrations, SUP clinics, a product expo with more than 30 vendors and an awards dinner for all participants. Other activities include Coast Guard helicopter landing and tours, Traverse City Fire Department truck tours, historic farm equipment displays, a petting zoo, kids’ Silent Disco dance tent and more.

This year, the Waterman Challenge is supported in part by Short’s Brewing Company of Bellaire, who are bringing their amazing woody boat and ski bar for a tap takeover on the Open Space pier. This new Short’s BEER-B-Q will feature local whole hog East Carolina-style BBQ, paired with TC famous Hall’s Farm Sweet Corn for a fantastic culinary experience for the whole family.

Award-winning Executive Chef Lauren Smaxwell will supervise all culinary action throughout the day, with menu items including ribs, pulled pork sandwiches, brisket and more. Smaxwell and her team were recently featured on Food Network where they beat Bobby Flays ribs on his show, Throwdown with Bobby Flay.

Access to food during the Short’s BEER-B-Q is free and open to all ages, with meals ranging from $8 to $12. Those looking to enjoy the Short’s Boat Bar tap takeover on the bay will need a ticket for $10 in advance ($15 at the door), which includes a custom mug. Admission to the Tap Takeover is for those 21 years of age and older; ID is required for admittance.

Live music will be provided throughout the day headlined by the Laith al Saadi Big Band, beginning at 5:00pm on the shores of West Grand Traverse Bay. Street performers will also provide entertainment throughout the day around the festival site.

Tickets for the TC Waterman SUP Challenge are on sale now at www.MyNorthTickets.com. Attendees are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance, as space is limited. Wine and beer tickets are available for purchase at the event. Proceeds from the event will support sustainable green events and intelligent design through nonprofit partner Bay Area Recycling for Charities.

For more information on the Waterman Challenge visit www.TCWaterman.com and the Short’s BEER-B-Q Experience, visit www.TentVenue.com.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Traverse City Area Wineries Participate in Passport Program to Benefit Local Charities

Wine lovers can now enjoy some of the beautiful award-winning wineries of Northern Michigan at a discount with the Old Mission & Leelanau Winery Passport. Launched by 9&10 News, Fox 32, Fekete Knaggs & Burr Agency, and Central Insurance Companies, the passport includes exclusive discounts towards purchases at 13 local wineries. The passports are valid for 2 people and can be reused at each winery as often as desired. Any passport completed before December 31, 2014, can be exchanged through 9&10 News for a complimentary wine tote.

The passports are on sale now for only $59 on milocalwinepassport.com and directly through migreatdeals.com For each passport sold $5 will be donated to each of the following organizations equally:

*Feeding America West MI Food Bank
*Father Fred
*Tip of the Mitt Watershed
*Grand Traverse Area Literacy Council
*Traverse Bay Children's Advocacy Center

“Northern Michigan is home to beautiful, award winning wineries. We wanted to create this opportunity to support our local wineries, promote tourism, and at the same time give back to the community through charitable contributions. This passport can give locals and tourists a chance to experience more for less,” says Jennifer Gingras, VP of Sales and Digital Sales Manager of 9&10 News/Fox 32.

For a list of participating wineries or for more information visit www.milocalwinepassport.com.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Cars, Beats & Eats Rolls Into Flint Fields - August 9

Internationally-known Flint Fields Horse Park in Acme is gearing up to host the inaugural Cars, Beats & Eats on Saturday, August 9. This will be a great day of celebrating hot rods, customs and vintage cars; local food, brews and wines; and 50s/60s-era music headlined by Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen, along with several other noted regional bands.

Located on a grassy plain at the highest point in Grand Traverse County, this event welcomes some 200 vehicles in a drive-in-theater music venue setting, designed with surround sound for a “jukebox experience”.

Live music features Delilah DeWylde and The Lost Boys, the Corvairs and headliner Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen – whose hit song “Hotrod Lincoln” is the #1 All-time car song.

Guests will enjoy a day of grilling, pinstripe artists, salons doing 50s hair styles, temporary tattoos, tailpipe flame contests, vending and auto awards, all at the picturesque six-acre Flint Fields complex, just east of Traverse City. Refreshing treats will also be served up from a one-of-a-kind, 1946 Ford Flathead V8 old-fashion soda jerk ice cream truck affectionately known as Curbie.

Food will be prepared by local chefs, supervised by Executive Chef Lauren Smaxwell – whose team recently defeated Bobby Flay on his Food Network television show Throwdown with Bobby Flay.

The day’s events begin at 10am, with registration and a 90-minute Northern Michigan Classic Cruise around Torch Lake. Activities conclude at 10pm.

Tickets for Cars, Beats & Eats are available for $15 ($20 at the door) and include entrance to the car show and all of the entertainment. Families are encouraged to attend; admission for those 17 and under is just $5 and those 3 and under are admitted free. A limited number of VIP tickets are available for $50 and include a covered, raised seating area with tables and chairs, offering great viewing and listening, VIP restrooms and other amenities. Drink tickets and food will be available for purchase at the event, and will be available throughout the day.

Registration for those wishing to bring their vehicles to display is $35 in advance ($40 the day of) and includes admission for one person.

Tickets are available at www.MyNorthTickets.com; space is limited. Proceeds from the event will support local auto-related nonprofits and sustainable event design though Bay Area Recycling for Charities.

Cars, Eats & Beats is presented by Porterhouse Productions and Tent Venue.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Raise a Glass to July — Michigan Craft Beer Month

The craft beer culture is brewing in Michigan like never before – and in celebration of this long-standing beverage industry, the Michigan Brewers Guild is once again proud to announce July as Michigan Craft Beer Month, as recognized by the state legislature (#MiBeerMonth).

Since it was officially organized in 1997, the Michigan Brewers Guild (MBG) has seen its brewery membership grow from 35 to 124 (as of June 26, 2014). Additionally, eleven “brewery in planning” members are also part of the current membership.

According to Scott Graham, MBG Executive Director, Michigan ranks #5 in the nation in the number of overall breweries, and the industry provides a direct impact of more than 5100 jobs, more than $144 million in wages and more than $277 million in total output. A copy of the Guild’s latest economic impact study can be found here.

“It’s an exciting time to be part of the craft brewing industry in Michigan,” says Scott Graham, MBG Executive Director. “I would like to invite everyone in Michigan to join us in celebration of Michigan Craft Beer Month by hoisting a pint of fresh, local hand-crafted beer.”
The Michigan Brewers Guild encourages residents and visitors of the Great Beer State to celebrate Michigan Craft Beer Month by visiting area brewpubs and microbreweries, asking for Michigan craft beer at retail outlets and restaurants and attending regional celebrations like the 17th Annual Michigan Summer Beer Festival (July 25-26) at Riverside Park in Ypsilanti’s historic Depot Town – featuring more than 90 breweries and more than 700 award-winning, special release and original craft beers. Limited Friday tickets for this festival remain available at MiBeer.com (Saturday tickets are already sold out).

The Michigan Brewers Guild exists to unify the community of brewers, to increase the sale of Michigan Craft Beer, to contribute culturally and economically throughout the state, and to monitor and assure a healthy brewing industry. By working collaboratively with proponents of craft beer, we strive to achieve a 10% share of all beer sold in Michigan by producing world-class events, increasing public awareness, educating consumers, and encouraging responsible consumption. Michigan ranks #5 in the nation – thus supporting its claim as “The Great Beer State”.

www.facebook.com/MichiganBrewersGuild
www.twitter.com/MiBrewersGuild