Friday, June 27, 2014

Paella in the Park Returns for 5th Annual Celebration in Traverse City’s Open Space – Friday, August 15

Traverse City’s popular Paella in Park returns to the Open Space along the banks of Grand Traverse Bay, Friday, August 15. The fifth annual culinary and music event is a collaboration among the Wineries of Old Mission Peninsula, Tent Venue and Porterhouse Productions.

Paella in the Park runs from 5-10pm and feature the wines of Old Mission Peninsula offered at a custom wine bar and executive chefs who prepare several unique recipes of Spanish paellas in 36” pans on-site. Chefs will use featured wines and fresh local ingredients in their preparations. For the first time this year, patrons will be also be able to enjoy five specifically paired craft brews from Short’s Brewery.

Paella is a Valencian rich dish that originated in its modern form in the mid-19th century near Lake Albufera, a lagoon in Valencia – on the east coast of Spain. Paella in the Park is the largest Paella festival in the Midwest United States.

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. The venue will be the unique Tent Venue Saddle Span structures offering shade and a one of a kind atmosphere in the nation.

On Saturday, August 16 – the public is invited to check out the TC Waterman SUP (Stand Up Paddleboard) Challenge, the Midwest’s largest SUP event, also planned for the Open Space and waters of Grand Traverse West Bay.

Online tickets to Paella in the Park are on sale now at and Tickets will also be available for purchase at Curbie Food Truck, located at Little Fleet and the MyNorth ticket office.

Tickets are $30 in advance or $40 at the door and include a commemorative wine glass, two (02) 4 oz. wine pour tokens, three (3) 4 oz. servings of paella and all entertainment.
Exclusive VIP packages are available for $500, which includes six (06) entrance tickets, reserved table w/linens, two (02) extra drink tokens per person (total 12 extra), as well as a private VIP festival entrance. Additional food and wine tickets will be available for purchase at the event for $3 each.

Proceeds from the event will support sustainable green event and intelligent design through non-profit Bay Area Recycling for Charities and the Wineries of Old Mission Peninsula.

Attendees are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance, as space is limited and often sell out early. This event is open to ages 21+, no exceptions. For more information on Paella in the Park, visit

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Acme Township Board Approves Lyle Lovett Concert (August 8) and Car Show (August 9) at Flint Fields Horse Park

At a special meeting to discuss and vote on the Special Event Permit requested by property owner Karin Flint, the Acme Township Special Events Committee voted to formally approve the special events planned on August 8th and 9th for Flint Fields Horse Park in Acme Township, MI. Following the vote, board members were unanimous in their support for the events as a very positive direction for Acme to bring new business to their township.

This vote ends the confusion over the ability to put on the events planned for that weekend including a Lyle Lovett concert on Friday evening and the Cars, Beats & Eats event on Saturday with Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airman. Sam Porter, the event promoter when contacted said “This will allow us to continue to develop this wonderful new festival and cultural events destination in Acme Township and bring new economic development to an area that can gain much from a rich cultural identity. Having an artist the caliber of Lyle Lovett at your venue brings an immediate credibility that will help fuel the future of great diverse gatherings there.”

Porter is the owner of Porterhouse Productions and Tent Venue who are bringing Lyle Lovett and his Large Band to Flint Fields. Porter is known for producing large scale award winning food and music events in Northern Michigan and will bring their philosophy of local business first, green sustainable events and nonprofit fundraisers driven by a great patron experience to Flint Fields. Over the last 7 years, Porterhouse has created millions of dollars in local economic impact through Hotel bookings, supporting hundreds of local businesses and contractors, artist and talent payments and always supporting local values that make our region better.

Sleeping Bear Dunes Visitors Bureau Announces “Manitou Moments” Photography Contest

The Sleeping Bear Dunes Visitors Bureau is proud to announce the “Manitou Moments,” a photography contest designed to encourage visitors to the Sleeping Bear Dunes to share their unique visions of what makes this area so special. The contest follows the launch of a substantially redesigned website, intended to encourage tourism by providing easy access to information about the recreation, dining, and lodging options around the Sleeping Bear Dunes. Users of the site will find in-depth information about the historical and natural resources in the region, as well as detailed databases of lodging, shopping, and dining establishments in the bucolic small towns around the dunes.

Beginning immediately, the Visitor’s Bureau will accept submissions to “Manitou Moments,” a seasonal photography contest that aims to investigate the theme of “New Beginnings.” The winning photographs will respond to the theme by sharing photos of their travels to the area that document the spirit of spring and the new awakenings that it provides - Whether pictures of the natural landscape, of new family traditions, or of new friendships, the photographs should focus on the fresh starts provided by spending time in a stunning natural landscape.

Photos can be submitted to the Visitors Bureau’s Facebook page and click on the Manitou Moments tab. The contest will open immediately and will accept entrants until the 1st of September. Prizes will be awarded at the end of September. This will be the first of a series of four annual seasonal contests designed to highlight conducted annually to promote travel to the region. Each season’s contest will begin immediately following the closing of the previous season’s contest. Entrants are encouraged to submit a caption to explain their photograph and how it reflects the contest’s theme. Ten finalists will be determined by a jury of Visitors Bureau staff and the final prizes will be awarded based on the number of “likes” each photo receives on Facebook. For more information please visit,

Manitou Moments Photography Competition

This is your Manitou. The place that you come to escape, the place where you rediscover the joys of spending time with the people you love, and who love you. The place where you remember how important it is to spend time in the great outdoors, and where you allow yourself to be indulged with fine food, world-class shopping, or a great massage.

This is your Manitou, but we’re asking you to share it with us. The first seasonal “Manitou Moments” photography competition is looking for your photographs of the landscape, amenities, and people who make the Sleeping Bear Dunes special to you. More specifically, we’re looking for photographs that capture the theme of “New Beginnings.” Send us pictures of the date that made you fall in love with your partner; of children discovering the joys of the dunes; of new friends; or of the landscape coming back to life after a hard winter.

Submissions for each seasonal contest will begin immediately following the close of the previous contest. Entrants are encouraged to submit a caption to explain their photograph and how it reflects the contest’s theme. Ten finalists will be determined by a jury of Visitors Bureau staff and the final prizes will be awarded based on the number of “likes” each photo receives on Facebook.

Schedule for Seasonal Contests
Spring: April 1 to June 15
Summer: June 15 to September 1
Fall: September 2 to November 30
Winter: December 1 to March 30

At the conclusion of each seasonal contest, 10 finalists will be selected by a jury. The winner will be the finalist with the most public votes on Facebook and will receive $100 gift card. The finalists will be featured on the Sleeping Bear Dunes Visitors Bureau website and the winner featured in the bureau’s annual publication Manitou, the Magazine of Leelanau.

For more information about the Sleeping Bear Dunes Visitors Bureau or Manitou Moments Photography Contest, contact Jamie Jewell, Public Relations 231.334.5524 |

Hudsonville Ice Cream Dishes Up Patriotic "Summer Celebration" - Just in Time for Independence Day & National Ice Cream Month

Three cheers for the Red, White & Blue – as Michigan-based Hudsonville Ice Cream introduces its latest Limited Edition seasonal flavor, just in time for National Ice Cream Month (July).

Summer Celebration is an explosion of three delicious flavors – swirls of creamy vanilla ice cream, raspberry sherbet and blueberry sherbet – blended in a patriotic color scheme that even Uncle Sam would be proud to savor.

“We are excited to release our newest summer Limited Edition flavor, and this one certainly pays tribute to the red, white and blue,” says Caryn Beatty, from Hudsonville Ice Cream. “Summer Celebration is the perfect treat to scoop up on those lazy summer days spent with family and friends, when it just seems like everything deserves to be celebrated. A sweet mix of our Original Vanilla ice cream, with raspberry and blueberry sherbet, it is certain to be a hit with the whole family.”

In addition to Summer Celebration, Hudsonville is serving up three other Limited Edition summer seasonals, including:

• Grand Hotel Pecan Ball – Since 1887, the stately Grand Hotel has graced Mackinac Island with its signature sweeping porches and air of elegance. This new flavor replicates all the deliciousness of the hotel’s signature pecan ball dessert – made with vanilla ice cream, genuine Grand Hotel fudge and premium pecan pieces. *New for 2014.

• Tiger Traxx – Bring the taste of the ballpark home with you! Your family will stand up and cheer for creamy vanilla ice cream loaded with chocolate covered pretzel baseballs and a thick fudge swirl. This flavor is a grand slam favorite at Comerica Park and is the OFFICIAL Ice Cream of the Detroit Tigers!

• Strawberry Shortcake – Featuring a ribbon of strawberries swirled into vanilla ice cream with bite size pieces of pound cake, this sweet flavor takes the traditional summer dessert to new heights!

These, and countless other Hudsonville Ice Cream flavors can be found in grocery stores and ice cream parlors in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and Illinois. In addition to its “All Season” flavors, which are available year round, several “Seasonal Flavors” are offered on a limited basis throughout the year.

Started in 1895 as a farmers’ cooperative, the Holland-based Hudsonville Creamery & Ice Cream is the largest manufacturer of branded ice cream in Michigan. For more than 80 years, this Midwest company has been producing its creamy, delicious ice cream – using many of its original flavors, while at the same time creating refreshing new recipes inspired by the Great Lakes.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Grizzly Peak Launches 4-Pack Limited-Release Bottle Distribution with Hellion Midwest IPA

Ann Arbor-founded Grizzly Peak Brewing Co. is taking its artfully crafted beers to new levels with this summer’s release of four-pack stubby bottles. Hellion – a 9.99%ABV/99.9IBU Midwest India Pale Ale – will be the first in the Grizzly Peak Series to hit store shelves the week of June 23.

“It really is a dream come true to see this Grizzly Peak Series released in bottles.” says Jon Carlson, who – along with Greg Lobdell, Ron Jeffries and Tony Grant – are the managing partners of the Northern United Brewing Co. (NUBCo). “Ron is a true artist, and these beers have been in the making since 1995 when Grizzly Peak served its first beer.

“We were really fortunate to be one of the first brew pubs to open in the state of Michigan and we really appreciate the Grizzly Peak family and friends that have made Grizzly Peak the #1 brew pub in the state when it comes to beer sales,” Carlson says. “Ron was one of the original brewers at Grizzly Peak when it first opened in 1995. He and Duncan Williams, the Grizzly Peak Pub Brewer, have collaborated on these recipes over many years. Now, we’re excited to release them in our trademark stubby bottles.”

In creating the new Grizzly Peak Series, the intent was to create beers that reflect the Midwest region: bold, hoppy and strong. For Hellion, the devil is in the details. Light touches of pale and wheat malts are blended with massive amounts of Amarillo, Cascade, Simcoe and Chinook hops, which create a wicked bitterness and the intense floral aromas of citrus and lush tropical fruits.

“These Grizzly Peak beers hold a special place in my heart,” says Jeffries. “This is where it all started for me and it has been great to collaborate with Duncan to create this Grizzly Peak series.”

All Grizzly Peak bottle distribution will be produced in at the NUBCo facility in Dexter and will be available in limited release. Next on the docket – Humongous, an Imperial Red Ale (9.6%ABV) and Berzerker, an Imperial Stout (10%ABV).

NUBCo encompasses the Grizzly Peak, Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales and North Peak brands, Civilized Spirits and Bonafide Wines, all dedicated to conservation, inspiration and locally sustainable practices. Find NUBC products at stores, restaurants, and bars all throughout Michigan, including: North Peak Brewing Company, Mission Table and Jolly Pumpkin Brewery, all in Traverse City; Jolly Pumpkin and Grizzly Peak, in Ann Arbor.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Michigan-Born/Nashville-Resident Kyle Jennings to Perform July 17 at The Homestead in Glen Arbor

American singer/songwriter Kyle Jennings arrived on the music scene in 2004 when his album “Shine” was released with Dark Horse Records in Nashville. Out of the box, Jennings’ music made an aggressive first impression likely due to cross-genre rock influences of his early youth, such as Journey, Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen, and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. A gritty mix of Americana, Rock, Country, and Blues marble Jennings’ musical style.

Raised in the rich Midwestern culture of Michigan's hard-wooded backcountry trails and the hard-working blue collar family, Jennings was the youngest of 3 kids from Comstock (between Kalamazoo and Battle Creek). Kyle comes to Northern Michigan after a recent appearance at the CMA Acoustic Music Festival in Nashville. Kyle is currently at work on his 3rd studio album set for release in the fall of 2014.

Tickets for Music on the Mountain are $15 in advance; $20 at the event. Special ticket packages also available: $39 for your choice of 3 or $55 for all 5 Music on the Mountain concerts. For tickets, click here.

The Homestead is Northern Michigan’s largest waterfront resort community located in the heart of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, an area voted by viewers of ABC’s Good Morning America as the “Most Beautiful Place in America”. Along with its unmatched natural setting and miles of frontage on Lake Michigan and the Crystal River, the resort offers guest pools, tennis and golf in the summer; downhill and cross country skiing in the winter; and shops, restaurants, meeting centers and the luxurious new Spa Amira throughout all four seasons.

For more information, visit or call 231.334.5100. “Like” The Homestead on Facebook: and follow on Twitter at @TheHomesteadMI.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Celebrate #WorldGinDay - Saturday, June 14 - with these Michigan-Made Spirits

The 6th Annual World Gin Day returns on Saturday, June 14 and Michigan distilleries are proud to showcase their locally-crafted spirits in celebration!

World Gin Day (#WorldGinDay) is a celebration of all things gin – giving connoisseurs a legitimate “excuse” to mix up a cocktail and learn about all of the exceptional gins that are currently on the market – especially those #MadeInMichigan.

Currently, a handful of gins are made in the Great Lakes State, including:

Bilberry Black Hearts Organic Gin – Journeymen Distilling, Three Oaks
Civilized Gin – Civilized Spirits, Traverse City
Coppercraft Gin – Coppercraft Distilling, Holland
Flatlanders Gin – Flat Landers Distillery, Grand Rapids
Graying Gin – Two Birds Distilling, Kalamazoo
Jack Pine Gin – Northern Latitudes Distillery, Lake Leelanau
Knickerbocker Gin & Barrel Aged Knickerbocker Gin – New Holland Artisan Spirits, Holland
Liberator Gin & Liberator Old Tom Gin – Valentine Distilling, Ferndale (Detroit)
Old Cockney Gin – Two James Artisan Spirits, Detroit
Peninsula Gin – Grand Traverse Distillery, Traverse City
Ugly Dog Gin – Ugly Dog Distilling, Chelsea

Michigan’s craft distilling industry is growing at a rapid pace – ranking #4 in the nation in terms of overall number of distilleries (behind California, Oregon and Washington). To help unify the interests of the more than two dozen Michigan distilleries, the non-profit Michigan Craft Distillers Association was formed in 2014 to market the individual member businesses, their products and events, but also help bring a voice for the industry when it comes to legislative issues that affect the overall beverage industry.

#MiDistillers #MiSpirits

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Northern Michigan’s WKLT “Omelette & Friends” Show & Grand Traverse Corrections Department Raise $7600+ for Kohler Family

In a matter of hours on Sunday, June 8 – Omelette & Friends and other on air personalities from WKLT radio (the Ball Busters) and the Grand Traverse Corrections Department raised $7624 to help a local family struggling with a major medical issue by hosting a charity softball game and silent auction at Interlochen Field of Dreams.

Fifteen-year-old Christopher Kohler, a student at St. Mary’s School in Leelanau, was recently diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. The funds raised will be used to help the Suttons Bay family with transportation, food and hotel expenses during his testing and treatment at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids.

“We want to say thank you to everyone who was involved with last night,” said Amanda Kohler, Christopher’s mother. “I can only imagine all the work that went into pulling this together and all the donations and everyone who came to help. We greatly appreciate all of the support and help. It was really nice seeing Christopher having fun I know he enjoyed it too.”

“All I can say is Thank You to everyone who attended,” said John McPeake who organized the event for the Kohler family. “Everyone I ran in to had smiles and were in great spirits. Things couldn't have went better. Thank You to KLT and the Ball Busters – your participation put this event over the top. I believe the final count for donations in the silent auction was around 140 items. This just shows what a great community we live in.”

The day’s activities include an appearance by the Grand Traverse County Color Guard and the National Anthem being sung by Autum Rhoades. The game, which began with TC Resident and 2008 Stanley Cup Champion Detroit Red Dallas Drake slap-shooting out the first ball to Christopher, ended in a 10-8 victory for the Ball Busters – according to KLT’s Omelette & Friends Show Facebook page.

Those interested in making donations to help the Kohler family with additional expenses related to Christopher’s care, can do so at:

Amanda Kohler
County Corrections
320 Washington St
Traverse City 49684

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Michigan Distilleries Unite to Form Statewide Organization - Michigan Craft Distillers Association

Michigan’s craft distilling industry is growing at a rapid pace – ranking #4 in the nation in terms of overall number of distilleries (behind California, Oregon and Washington). To help unify the interests of the more than two dozen Michigan distilleries, a statewide association has been formed.

The Michigan Craft Distillers Association is a non-profit organization charged with marketing the individual member businesses, their products and events, but also help bring a voice for the industry when it comes to legislative issues that affect the overall beverage industry.

Founding board members for the Michigan Craft Distillers Association are:

• President: Rifino Valentine, Valentine Distilling
• Vice President: Kent Rabish, Grand Traverse Distillery
• Secretary: Don Coe, Black Star Farms
• Treasurer: Kris Berglund, Red Cedar Spirits & Artisan Distilling at Michigan State University
• Director: Brett Vander Kamp, New Holland Artisan Spirits

Dianna Stampfler of Promote Michigan will serve as the association’s part-time Executive Director.

“In 2012, I was approached by several of the Michigan distilleries to research and form an organization to represent the industry’s needs,” says Stampfler, who has also worked as the publicist for the Michigan Brewers Guild since 2008. “It’s been a time-consuming process and although no formal organization was in place, the distilleries have been communicating and working together to develop and enhance their industry.”

Earlier this spring, through its grass-roots connections, Michigan distillers were encouraged to contact their local State Representatives when a “Farm to Glass” bill was introduced that originally didn’t include distilled spirits. As a result, lines of communication between the distillers and legislators were opened. The association’s board and executive director have been asked to meet with other Michigan craft beverage producers in June to see where there are overlapping needs that the groups can work collectively to reach. The Michigan Economic Development Corporation has also reached out to the association for help in planning a business-to-business summit in November.

“Even though the association wasn’t officially formed, the board and many of our future members have been working on various levels to raise awareness for Michigan’s craft distilling industry,” Stampfler says. “Not only is there is regular communication among the distilleries, but our social media channels are full of news clips focused on this rapidly-expanding industry. We’ve been busy – and now, we can formally move forward as the state’s official organization.”

Within the first year of operation, the Michigan Craft Distillers Association will strengthen its ties with other Michigan associations as well as national distiller organizations like the American Craft Distillers Association and the American Distilling Institute.

A directory and map identifying distillery locations is in the works, aimed to boost visits the individual tasting rooms and distilleries. The guide will also serve to encourage residents and visitors alike to seek out, ask for and sample the many Michigan-made craft spirits that are available in the marketplace. This publication will be distributed statewide at the Welcome Centers, chamber offices and visitor bureau offices, and will also be available online at

The Michigan Craft Distillers Association will offer membership to any operation actively distilling craft beverages in Michigan, as well as suppliers and retail establishments such as pubs, restaurants and beverage stores. An Enthusiast level membership will be offered in the future, allowing individual members of the general public to support the craft distilling industry.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Acclaimed singer-songwriter and folk rocker Brandi Carlile Headlines 2014 Traverse City Summer Microbrew & Music Festival.

Two-day event scheduled for August 22-23 at The Village at Grand Traverse Commons Highlights 200+ craft beers, cider, mead and wine and a focus on Michigan breweries - Plus over 100 musicians, marching bands, food pairing, and Rare & Sour Beer Tours!

The 7th Annual 2014 Traverse City Summer Microbrew & Music Festival will take place at The Village of Grand Traverse Commons August 22-23, 2014. Traverse Magazine’s yearly Red Hot Best awards honored the Summer Microbrew & Music Festival again this year and Porterhouse Productions is looking forward to hosting another sold out event in Traverse City. Last year’s Festival raised $20,000 for the CherryT Ball Drop, local food banks, and Traverse Bay Children’s Advocacy Center and hopes to continue doing so for years to come. Tickets to the popular regional event will be on sale Friday, June 13 at 10 a.m.

Tickets include five 8oz. pours, a custom tasting glass, 40 carefully selected national and international breweries with a large focus on Michigan craft brews, 200 varieties of microbrews, wines, ciders and meads, representatives or brewers from each brewery, craft beer education, live musical acts, marching bands, a silent disco DJ dance tent, and local food vendors.

Brandi Carlile will headline Friday at the 2014 Summer Traverse City Microbrew & Music Festival. 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. Friday talent will also include Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials, with more to be announced. Headlining Saturday will be Nahko & Medicine For The People. In addition, Orgone and Joe Hertler & The Rainbow Seekers will take the stage Saturday. Weekend festivities also include the Silent Disco tent, where Robert Lux, DJ DomiNate, DJ Terri Ray, and Stepdad will perform. More acts will be announced.

For Early Bird and VIP ticket buyers, doors open Friday at 4:00 p.m. and Saturday at 3:00 p.m., and General Admission doors will open at 5:00 p.m. on Friday and 4:00 p.m. on Saturday. Shuttle transportation to and from the event will be provided by BATA. VIP tickets include side-stage viewing, Home Brewer’s Tasting/Judging, early VIP entrance into the festival, private bathrooms & handwashing station, Custom VIP glass, Food & Beer Pairing created by featured chef, custom beer-flavored cake, non-alcoholic Michigan-made Hop Soda, snacks and refreshments, seated dining area, lawn games featuring Kan Jam, and private hammock lounge area.

General Admission Tickets for Friday August 22: $40
General Admission Tickets for Saturday August 23: $40
General Admission 2-Day Combination Tickets: $70
VIP Tickets for Friday August 22: $90
VIP Tickets for Friday August 23: $90
VIP 2-Day Combination Tickets: $150

The Microbrew & Music Festival educates, celebrates, and inspires community collaboration through the joy of craft brew and great music while raising funds for non-profits.100% of net alcohol proceeds from the event will benefit CherryT Ball, a Traverse City non-profit organization.

Tickets are available at Festival announcements, giveaways, and other information can be found at Attendees are encouraged to purchase tickets early, as the festival has sold out in past years. Ticket buyers must be 21 years old.