News in brief: June edition

It certainly hasn’t been a quiet week in Lake Wobegon, downtown Alpena, my hometown. Here’s the news in brief:

1. Yes, The Owl Restaurant has officially reopened. I see you, downtown strollers, peeking your head inside. After a period of transition and reconstruction – including windows onto the pocket park, an addition of a smoker on the back, a new front facade, and a patio in the works- The Owl is back in action. Open Tuesday through Sunday from 4 pm- 10 pm, with the kitchen closing an hour before. Closed Monday’s.



2. Recycling bins are coming to downtown. They’ll be placed at various locations downtown and as far as Starlight Beach & Michekewis. One small step for downtown, one large (appreciated) step towards a greener Alpena- thanks to the work of Alpena DDA & City of Alpena. Also in recycling news: Alpena Recycling Center now accepts ALL plastics #1-#6.

3. Details for this year’s Maritime Festival have been released, hosted by Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary at 500 West Fletcher Street.

Photo credit: Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary
Last year’s Battle of the Paddles.

Festivities begin Sunday, July 3rd from 4:30- 8:00 pm with craft beer tasting (Austin Brothers, anyone?) on the roof-deck and standup paddle-board and kayak races beginning at 5:30 pm hosted by the Dork Brothers Racing Team.  For full Battle of the Paddles event details & race registration, click here.

July 4th from 10 am- 5 pm activities include live music, a water slide, face-painting, ROV demos, whitefish sandwiches, and of course, the ever-epic Cardboard Boat Regatta beginning at 2:00 pm. (Join the fun. Register here). Also don’t miss the The Moxie Strings, the cello/violin/percussion/ folk/ Irish trio who frequently plays at Bell’s Brewery, at 12:00 & 2:00 pm. And the glorious return of the sea-shantying Song of the Lakes.

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The line-up. Photo credit: Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary

4. Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat opened at Thunder Bay Theatre. The Donny Osmond version is so 1999. TBT’s version of the beloved Andrew Lloyd Webber musical is set in modern times. With a crazy-talented core company brought in for the summer, just call it TBT, the amazing techni-talented theatre. Joseph runs through July 10th, Wednesday- Saturday at 7:30 pm and Sunday at 2:00 pm. Click here for ticket info.

5. The fish mural is almost complete. Artist Tony Henrick has been hard at work. Stop in the pocket park on Chisholm to see the progress. Wave hello.


And last but not least…

6. Alpena strawberries are here. Make sure to visit the Alpena Farmer’s Market Wednesday & Saturday from 8 am- 1 pm behind City Hall to get your berries in all their juicy sweet goodness. Or take a drive through town and catch one of the many stands set up.

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You may have heard talk of a strawberry moon this week, the full moon in June named by Algonquin tribes that indicated peak strawberry harvest. For the first time in fifty years, this year, the full strawberry moon coincided with the summer solstice. Not only the longest day of the year, but also one of the brightest, warmest, fullest moons to be seen.

Welcome, summer. It’s been awhile.

Anne Gentry writes Blog Downtown Alpena in conjunction with the Alpena DDA. In equally exciting news, the Blog is now on Instagram. Follow @blogdowntownalpena for the latest downtown news & the prettiest pictures of the most photogenic downtown. Also tag your photos with #downtownalpena for the chance to be featured.


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