2006-08-19 / Top News

Let the 'Fudge' Begin Island To Celebrate Festival August 23-27

By Bernie Nguyen

The third annual Mackinac Island Fudge Festival will be held from August 23 to August 27, a celebration of Mackinac's sweet tradition, music, and art. The festival will feature activities and events centered around fudge, and a music program featuring the Forbes Brothers, Grievous Angel, Mustard's Retreat, the Hummingbirds, JC Whitelaw, Michelle Chenard, and Mary McGuire. The artists, who are all based in Michigan, have a repertoire ranging from folk to country rock.

The music program is sponsored jointly by the Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau, Mackinac Island Community Foundation, and Mackinac Arts Council.

Also featured will be an exhibit of rock art poster artist Mark Arminski at Horn's Bar, which will be ongoing after the reception held there from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, August 23. Mr. Arminski's work can be found in the permanent collection at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and galleries world wide, said Mary McGuire Slevin, the executive

director of the Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau as well as one of the singers.

Songwriters workshops will also be held August 23, with locations and times to be announced.

Musical events that day include Songwriters in the Round, a concert at Windermere Point at 7 p.m., featuring the artists listed above, and the Mike Ridley Sunset Cruise, which leaves at 7:30 p.m. from the Arnold Dock, featuring comedian, singer, and songwriter Mike Ridley.

Entertainment will be in abundance with two group performances. A Big Show on the Wagon Stage will feature all bands and will be held on the lawn at Mission Point Resort from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday, August 24, followed by a Gaslight Jam at Horn's Bar, beginning at 10 p.m., with all musicians and Mark Arminski.

Fudge Festival events will continue with an evening at the Inn at Stonecliffe Friday, August 25, with entertainment by concert pianist Adam Felligi during a buffet dinner, followed by the Feather Masked Fudge and Wine Tasting and a feather sword fencing competition. A Fudge Festival dance

series, featuring the Children's Ballet Theatre of Michigan, will be held Friday, August 25, and Saturday, August 26, at Mission Point Resort Theatre, at 7:30 p.m. both evenings.

Several fudge-themed meals will also be held at Island restaurants. A Ryba's Fudge Dinner, with Chef John Louis Seavitt, will be held at Mary's Bistro from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, August 24. Kilwin's Fudge Dinner, with Chef Keith Lynch, will be at Goodfellows Grill from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, August 26. Murdick's Fudge Brunch with Chef Derrick Downing will be at the Chippewa Hotel from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Sunday, August 27.

Throughout the festival, Island restaurants will offer fudge infused cocktails and desserts, and the Lilac Tree Spa will offer fudge-themed spa treatments.

An Island-wide vacation contest will be hosted by Mackinac's fudge shops, "Daddy, I want the Golden Ticket," and will be organized similarly to the contest in the "Charlie and Chocolate Factory" book by Roald Dahl. Six Golden Tickets will be

placed in special boxes of fudge for purchase at designated Island fudge shops, and a seventh Golden Ticket will be drawn in a raffle from the Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau. The odds are one in 40, said Ms. Slevin, and prizes include a 2007 two-night stay on the Island for two adults and two children and includes ferry tickets, a carriage tour, bike rentals, and lunch for four.

Mackinac's fudge has been a special tradition since Harry Murdick opened Murdick's Candy Kitchen in the late 1880s. There are 17 fudge shops operating on Mackinac Island, making dozens of flavors.

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