Brown Trout Festival offers more than just fishing

An iconic Alpena tradition, and true marker of summer,  begins tomorrow:

The 43rd Annual Michigan Brown Trout Festival!


The week-long festival offers plenty of opportunities and activities for fishers and non-fishers alike– and will have some new events this year.

The festival begins tomorrow night with the Neiman’s Family Market & Huron Disributor’s Beach Party, beginning at 6:30 pm in the small tent. And did you hear? Austin Brother’s Brewery is releasing a limited-edition, limited-supply summer shandy for the festival: a lemon-blonde ale, which will be released at the party. This is the second year they’ve made an exclusive Brown Trout brew.

Not a fisher? Here’s a list of events not to miss:

1. Free live music every night in the small tent. Featuring local talent like Norm Seiss, Way Out Wayne, and the Birch Road Band. Sponsored by Neiman’s Family Market. Full list & schedule here.

2. Skate Night with the Shipwreck Alley Rollers. Friday 7/14 from 6-9 pm. Join the rollers & bring your skates for games, prizes, a live DJ, and more in the big tent.  Free admission.


3. Wine at the Harbor. Saturday 7/15 from 12- 6 pm.Wine? Harbor? Say no more. Taste the area’s best local wines and beers– and beyond. Hosted at the small tent. Admission $10 and includes souvenir glass, tastings, and hors d’oeuvres. 

4. Art on the Bay. Saturday 7/15 & Sunday 7/16.The annual open-air arts & crafts fair down by the harbor. Handmade jewelry, fine arts, homewares– there’s something for everyone. Oh and kettle corn. Free admission. Located at Bayview Park.

5. Hooked on Music. Saturday 7/15 from 8 pm- midnight. Thunder Bay Arts Council is hosting Saturday’s Big Tent Concert– featuring the local bands Bobbing for Piranhas, D3AD BY MONDAY, and High Speed. Tickets are $5 and go towards TBAC’s Departure Sculpture fundraiser.

6. Kid’s Fishing Day at Culligan Plaza. Thursday 7/20. Hosted by True North Radio Network. Bring the whole family. Takes place at Culligan Plaza. Free.

Last year’s event.

7. Sidewalk Sales in downtown Alpena. Thursday 7/20- Saturday 7/22. Stroll through downtown and enjoy special promotions & sales from downtown shops like the Marketplace, Olivet, Master’s, Soaps & Such, and more.

8. The annual 107.7 the Bay Bash. Friday 7/21 from 8 pm- 1 am. 80’s themed featuring ROCKSTAR. Come party at the big tent.

And to close the festival…

9. Tony Burgers & polka music. Sunday 7/23 beginning at noon. An Alpena icon as iconic as the Brown Trout itself. I can smell the fried onions as I write. Judy & Her Suchey Brothers will begin playing at 1:30 pm, so bring your dancing shoes. Free admission.

Hope to see you down at the Brown Trout. And to all the fishers– we hope you find Big Brownie!


Blog Downtown Alpena is written by Anne Gentry, Executive Director of the Alpena DDA, who has been waiting all year for a Tony Burger. And to Polka.

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