2016-07-23 / News

Fish Feast Set for This Weekend in St. Ignace

By Sam Morgen

The St. Ignace Fish Feast will continue the tradition of honoring the local fishing heritage with a remembrance ceremony at the Fisherman’s Memorial, followed by a feast of fresh local fish and entertainment on the dock, Saturday, July 23, at the St. Ignace Marina. Children’s games will be part of the event, and a fireworks show over the bay, viewable from anywhere in downtown St. Ignace, will conclude the evening at dusk. Everyone is welcome.

An opening ceremony, to remember the men who lost their lives over the years in the Eastern Upper Peninsula fishing industry, will take place at 3:45 p.m. at the Fisherman’s Memorial, which is near the boardwalk at the marina. Many local names are inscribed on the memorial.

“It’s to acknowledge the fishing industry was a very important part of our community that is still a special part of why people visit here,” said Darryl Brown, who has led the services in the past. “It’s a way to not take for granted something that a lot of people have to risk their life to do.”

This year, speaker Tony Grondin will issue a blessing and encourage attendees to share stories of relatives involved in the fishing industry.

Beginning at 4 p.m., local restaurants will grill fresh local fish and other barbeque staples from stalls on the dock. Local restaurants like The Galley Restaurant, Bentley’s B-M-L Diner, Mackinac Grille, Horseshoe Bay Restaurant, and Fred’s Pub, will provide fish baskets of walleye, whitefish, and perch as well as hamburgers, chicken tenders, side dishes, and dessert.

“It’s a good community event,” said Fred Paquin of Fred’s Pub. “I get to see a lot of people down there that just come up for the weekend. It’s nice to see all the people down there.”

Live music from perennial favorite the Pub Runners, the Irish- American band from Gaylord, will play from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. The Harbor Springs-based Jelly Roll Blues Band will play from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and a Cedarville band, Absolute Magnitude, will perform from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. St. Ignace disc jockey duo Neil and Julie Hill of Soundwave Music will play music during intermissions.

A children’s game area will be set up in the marina parking lot from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Activities include gyotaku T-shirt printing, where participants paint real fish and imprint the fish against the fabric of a T-shirt, provided by Great Start to Quality. Participation in the T-shirt printing is $10, and the proceeds go toward providing training for child care providers.

The Straits Area Sportsmen’s Club, in conjunction with the St. Ignace Fire Department and the St. Ignace Special Events Committee, will provide a fishing pond. There will be two bounce houses and a bungee jump area. Enterprise Vending will provide concessions in the children’s game area.

Volunteers are still needed to distribute tickets at the entrance and help in the children’s game area. Volunteers usually work in two-hour shifts from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., or 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., but adjustments can be made for people who want to volunteer and have other schedules. Those interested in volunteering at the Fish Feast are asked to call the St. Ignace Chamber of Commerce at (906) 643-8717.

Admission to the Fish Feast is $5, with children younger than 12 admitted free. Tickets will be sold to purchase food. Each ticket will cost $1. The most expensive menu item will be the fish baskets, which cost $9.

A beverage tent will serve beer, wine, and soda.

Day Begins With Fun Run

Preceding the Fish Feast, at 9 a.m. Saturday, the annual Fish Feast 5k Run/Walk and 1 Mile Fun Run will start at American Legion Park. The one-mile run costs $15 and the 5k run/walk costs $25 per person. The proceeds from the event will go toward the travel fund for the LaSalle High School cross country team.

“It’s just a great way to get people out and moving,” said event organizer Mary Cullen.

Volunteers are needed to help direct runners at intersections and work the water station. Those interested in volunteering can call Mrs. Cullen at (906) 298-0398 or her husband, Rich Cullen, at (906) 430-5666.

Awards will be given out at the end of the race. Runners can register the day of the race. Registry begins at 7 a.m. at the park.

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