Thursday, June 9, 2011

Movie Tidbits, Trivia & Events Along Michigan’s Lakeshore

With all the buzz about the upcoming Waterfront Film Festival and Michigan’s growing film industry, we thought we’d share some big screen tidbits, trivia and even some local movie event details with you from the Holland & Saugatuck Area Attractions Group.

Crane’s Pie Pantry
On Saturday, June 11, Crane’s Pie Pantry – located in Fennville (Goose City, USA) will be showing the 1996 “Fly Away Home” with Michigan’s own Jeff Daniels and Anna Paquin in what they’re calling Fennville’s own “One Night Film Festival.” This free family movie will be shown in the field own by the corn maze, behind the restaurant. The restaurant will be open until 8pm, so plan on a late dinner before the show begins. Bring your lawn chair or a blanket and snacks (although concessions will be sold as well) and settle in for an evening of family fun. Admission begins at 8pm with the movie starting around 8:30/9:00pm (weather permitting). |269-561-2297

Fenn ValleyGet your SIDEWAYS on right here at Fenn Valley Vineyards in Fennville. Winemaker cellar tours are offered at 3pm every Saturday (excluding 6/25) – providing a chance for you to taste from the barrels and tanks as you learn what makes Fenn Valley wines unique. Cost is $8 per person and includes a logo wine glass and $5 coupon. Reservations encouraged. Also, save the date for the Fenn Valley Wine Fest, June 25 (1-5pm), with great wines, tasty ethnic foods, a barrel aging demonstration and music by Natches Trace. Cost is $8 for adults. No reservations required. | 269-561-2396

Dutch Village
Did you know that Nelis’ Dutch Village operates The Bioscoop (a movie theater)? This should be your first stop in the village, where you can enjoy a “Souvenir of Holland” and get a general overview of the Netherlands. Other documentaries are shown throughout the day; the schedule is listed in the daily visitor’s guide.

Dutch Village has been the setting for a Dutch documentary for the VPRO TV network in the Netherlands and has also hosted the filming of three movies and documentaries in the past two years: “What’s Wrong with Virginia” in 2009 and “Return to the Hiding Place” in 2010 (which was also filmed at Windmill Island). Set in 1941, this poignant and riveting World War II film centers around Corrie Ten Boom’s teenage army who fight to save the lives of the innocent during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. It is due out yet this year.

Also of note, wooden shoes – made at Dutch Village – have even been featured in the movie, Elizabethtown and in the series Sex and the City (season 6). | 616-396-1475

New Holland Brewing
The summer seasonal Golden Cap Saison pays homage to the “flying monkeys” from the Wizard of Oz – written by L. Frank Baum who vacationed in nearby Castle Park! A modern interpretation of a traditional farmhouse ale, Golden Cap is a soft, pale beer that embodies the flavors and aromas of summer fields. New Holland’s Mad Hatter proudly displays an original illustration of the popular character from Alice in Wonderland.

Celebrate Mad Hatter’s Birthday – on Saturday, June 11 (5pm-1am) with a full day of activities and several variations on the “Hatter” theme including seven different Hatter beers and even a couple of spirits. Festivities include a Beer and Cheese Smackdown followed by a Mixology Class. The Bike n' Bar will be available for rides. Guests can also enjoy a Photobooth, complimentary Tea Party snacks, raffle prizes throughout the evening and a Mad Hatter birthday cake you will have to see to believe!!! The cake will be on display through the evening with a carving and toast at 10:06pm. Throughout the night, DJ Snax will be providing the music. There is no cover for this event; no minors allowed after 11pm. | 616-335-6422

Star of Saugatuck Boat Cruises
Embrace your inner Tom Sawyer with a leisurely float on the Kalamazoo River aboard an authentic sternwheel paddleboat. Bring your binoculars and camera to observe the birds, water fowl and other animals in their natural environment. The shoreline is peppered with color as the spring wildflowers make their appearance for the season. On Friday, June 24, make reservations for the extended cruise from 7-10pm with live music, a picnic lunch and cash bar. Seating is limited and reservations are required. | 269-857-4261

Saugatuck Dune Rides
As you head out for your exploration along the Lake Michigan shoreline with Saugatuck Dune Rides (celebrating its 30th anniversary this summer), be sure to check out the former Pine Crest Cabins Motor Court, sitting adjacent to the ticket office on Blue Star Highway. This run-down motor lodge – with its open garage stalls that housed guests’ Model Ts – was used as a set in the 1920s-era movie Road to Perdition. Starring Tom Hanks and Paul Newman, this 2001 movie featured a couple local scenes – including a cottage that was constructed (and later torn down) along the beach. | 269-857-2253

Windmill Island
The picturesque setting of Windmill Island & Gardens has been the backdrop for a couple films in recent years.

Holland-born and -raised Hopwood DePree (co-founder of Saugatuck’s Waterfront Film Festival, founder and CEO of TicTock Studios and appointee to the Michigan Film Office Advisory Council) wrote, directed and produced “The Last Big Attraction” which was filmed here in 1999. The film even received one nomination at the Hamptons international Film Festival and won three awards at the Newport International Film Festival. In the movie, Hopwood played Leed VanderWal – a young man poised to assume a key role in his family’s dynasty by inheriting the internationally-recognized tourist attraction – Windmill Island.

Most recently, in 2010, Windmill Island was a primary filming location for the movie, Return of the Hiding Place (which also filmed at Dutch Village). In several scenes in the movie, the authentic 250-year-old DeZwaan Windmill can be seen standing guard over the tulip farms that stretch out along the grassy lawn. The trailer for the movie can be seen online at; the film is due out in 2011. | 616-355-1030

Holland & Saugatuck Lakeshore Attractions Group

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