2005-05-20 / News

New Hours Show Different Side of Fort

By Jessica Delaney

  • The simple fact of being on an island offers a person greater opportunities to see the sun in all its glory, whether at midday, sunrise, or sunset. Until this year, the chance to see the sunset was often best met by being down by the water, without the obstruction of trees. This year, however, there is another way to watch the day end.
  • Fort Mackinac will be offering evening hours for the first time this year. The Fort, which normally stayed open until 6:30, will be extending its hours until 9 at night. Ticket booths will remain open until 7:30.

    The extended hours are being made to accommodate changing tourist schedules, said Tim Putman, the park’s public relations officer. People often come to the Island later and stay later into the evening, he said.

    Another reason for the evening hours is the new ability to show off more of the Fort’s unique charm.

    “It’s a good opportunity for us to show Fort Mackinac in a new light,” said Mr. Putman. “It changes the experience when you’re in the fort as the sun sets and shadows lengthen. The general visitor hasn’t had that opportunity.”

    At 6:30 p.m., guests will be able to watch the scout service guides lower and fold the flags, and there will be guided tours and cannon firing demonstrations until 8 p.m.

    The Fort Mackinac Tea Room will also be open late, offering dinner service in the evenings as well.

    Run by Grand Hotel, the Tea Room has only served lunch in the past, with beverages and pastries available in the afternoons.

    According to John Hulett, general manager, Grand Hotel sees two clear benefits to offering dinner service, a new dining spot for guests and a new place for Island visitors to have dinner overlooking the town and the harbor.

    The dinner menu at the Tea Room will offer appetizers, soups, and grill entrees, with seating from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

    Evening hours for both the Fort and the Tea Room will be from June 11 through August 21, except when evening special functions at the fort force the facility to be closed at 6 p.m.

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