Tips For a Day at Cheeseburger in Caseville

The 20th annual Cheeseburger in Caseville is a chance to experience a bit of Key West atmosphere, Jimmy Buffet music and indulge in cheeseburgers in paradise. In prior years, officials placed estimates were that over 100,000 people visited the area during its 10 day festival. It’s a family friendly event during the day but offers a bit of craziness that true Parrot Heads appreciate in the evening hours. Here are some hints provided by those who frequent the event each year.


Be Prepared for Cheeseburger in Caseville

Cheeseburger in Caseville

This includes having your own water, a rain jacket and comfortable walking shoes. Fill a small backpack with snacks, sunscreen and even a change of clothes. Double on this point if your bringing kids!!


Gas Up Before You Arrive at Cheeseburger in Caseville

If your getting here on fumes,  gas up in Elkton, Kinde, Bay Port, Port Austin or Bad Axe. The main street in Caseville gets busy and packed. You will feel better knowing you can get out without waiting an hour in line for a few gallons of gas.Cheeseburger in Caseville


Use the Shuttle Lot at Cheeseburger in Caseville

Cheeseburger-in-CasevilleSet Up a Base Camp – Park your car and plan on walking around. Park a few blocks away from Main so you can get easy in and out. Parking is crazy in the Caseville County Park or near Main Street. Do not park on someone’s lawn.


No Open Alcohol on the Street at Cheeseburger in Caseville

Cheeseburger in Caseville
Cheeseburger Fun

Do Not Drink on the Street – This is not New Orleans Mardi Gras. Open alcohol containers are a no-no. You will see the un-informed with a open beer walking down the street. They are a target for a ticket. Drink in designated areas.


Luck Favors the Informed at Cheeseburger in Caseville

Cheeseburger in CasevilleBe Informed of Events – Grab a free Event Calendar from Caseville Chamber of Commerce. There are also several Smartphone apps available. Tune in to WLEW – FM at 102.1 on your drive in for weather and local updates. 


The Wednesday Evening Parade is the Top Event at Cheeseburger in Caseville

Cheeseburger in CasevilleSet up For the Parade of Tropical Fools Early – This is the highlight of the whole festival. By late morning on Wednesday you should claim a spot for your clan with chairs and ribbon. Be cool about it. There will be up to 50,000 friends with you.


First Saturday? Head for the Fire Station at Cheeseburger in Caseville

Caseville Firehouse During Cheeseburger Fest

Support Your Local Firefighters – The Caseville Fire Department only offers its famous Firehouse Burgers on the first Saturday. Its for a great cause and they are delicious.


Plenty of Facilities at Cheeseburger in Caseville

Cheeseburger in Caseville

Use the Porta Pottys – Guys and Gals, public urination will get you arrested. Fortunately there are hundreds of portable toilets.


Cheeseburger in Caseville

Relax and Have Fun – Make a new friend, help a senior citizen, take crazy pictures and post. It’s Key North and the best part of the summer.


Turnip Rock what to BringPlan B- Do Something Else – If you, or your kids have had enough Cheeseburger Fest and crowds, try something else. Here are a couple of fresh ideas. 


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Thanks For Stopping By

ThumbWind’s Best Month Ever

Cheeseburger in Caseville Band and Crowd

This is a quick shout-out to all of our readers on WordPress and Facebook. Thank You! We had our best month ever with over 7,600 new folks dropping in to see what is going on in Michigan’s Upper Thumb.  If you want to get updated with on more antics, like us on Facebook.  If your out and about you may want to try our chatty ThumbBot.

So if you have never seen us before or are a regular reader we appreciate you stopping in and hope to see you again.  This next month will be busy with covering Cheeseburger in Caseville, Art in the Park in Port Austin and watching the restoration of the Kilmanagh General Store.  We may find other fun along the way and post about that too. Stay tuned.


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Plan a Day of Michigan Kayaking the Upper Thumb

If the weather looks to keep Saginaw Bay calm and the winds low, consider a morning of paddling the waters of the Upper Thumb. The region offers some of the finest Michigan kayaking areas for both the novice and expert.  

Michigan Kayaking

Three Popular Michigan Kayaking Destinations

Turnip Rock Michigan KayakingTurnip Rock Trail – This paddle is 7 miles along the shoreline north of Port Austin. It has three unique features to explore. Turnip Rock has been called by CNN  one of the Most Amazing Rock Formations in America. Nearby Thumbnail Point is really considered the true tip of Michigan’s Thumb. If the area around Turnip Rock and Thumbnail Point are crowded then continue paddling a hundred yards further into the Sea Caves of Pointe Aux Barques. 

If you want to learn a bit more about this great paddle see Turnip Rock – Five Things to Know. 

Pointe Aux Barques Sea Cave Michigan Kayaking

Broken Rocks Trail This is a shorter water trail that extends south-west along the shore. The landmarks are Table Rock, Broken Rocks and Twin Sisters. This is an ideal paddle for families with children or novice kayakers. Table Rock is accessible to stop,  take a break, re-energize with a trail snack, take pictures and swim. The trail can be completed in about two hours. 

Pointe Aux Barques Paddle Michigan Kayaking

Tip of the Thumb Heritage Water TrailIf your in for a long multi-day paddle consider taking this well-marked route along the shore of the Thumb. At 103 miles it offers an excellent opportunity to see the rocky shores along Lake Huron to the tranquil waters of Wild Fowl Bay. There are 44  marked access points along the trail to start or end your quest. 

Use Safe Leave-No-Trace Principles on the Water

Leave the trail better then you found it. Pack it in, pack it out. Always wear a life jacket and watch the weather. If the wind picks up or waves come in its best to turn back and attempt another day


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1903 Railway Depot in Port Hope Michigan

It wasn’t until 1903 that the Flint and Pere Marquette railway extended tracks from Harbor Beach north to Port Hope in the Upper Thumb. Financed by local businessmen, a standard gauge rail line was  laid the final seven miles. The following year a modern depot was built to host passengers and cargo. Now passengers could come in from anywhere in the country and Port Hope could ship out commodities to other markets.  


Port Hope was the End-Of-The-Line

Port Hope DepotThe railway owners deemed Port Hope to be the end of the line running up the eastern shore of Lake Huron. So an engine house, water tower and a “Y” turn-around were built to maintain the depot. Up until sometime in the 1930’s there was a daily train that ran from Port Huron to Port Hope in the morning with a return trip in the late afternoon. The run took three hours. Trains continued to run to Port Hope to another fifty years. The last freight runs ceased operation in 1982. 


The Restored Port Hope Depot Today

Port Hope Railway Depot
Port Hope Railway Depot

Today the Port Hope Depot has been exquisitely restored. You can see exhibits in the passenger waiting room, the station masters office,  luggage and freight room.  Each room has been painted to match the original color. The station looks brand new. One of the most interesting items on display was a pair of glasses found trapped for over one hundred years behind window trim in the station master office. The wire frame glasses are extremely fragile yet look brand new. 


Model Railroad Shows History of Port Hope and Harbor Beach

Port Hope Model Railroad
Port Hope Model Railroad

In the lower level of the depot there is an extensive model railroad being built by volunteer craftsmen. The model depicts how Port Hope and Harbor Beach depots and freight yards looked when the railway was active in the early 1900’s. Volunteers are still at work creating this are as it looked. It’s a fascinating exhibit in miniature. The model railroad can be seen when the depot is open or by appointment at 989-550-5298.

Related Articles on ThumbWind

The Story of the Polly Ann Railway in the Thumb 

A Railway was Lost in Saginaw Bay


 

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Bay Port Fish Sandwich Festival

Michigan’s Upper Thumb Festival Season Starts in Bay Port

Bay Port, Michigan – As late summer rolls around the days get a bit shorter and the evenings around the campfire can have a bit of chill in the air. It’s also festival season! If you’re in the Upper Thumb the first weekend in August, head to Bay Port. The Bay Port Fish Sandwich Festival is the granddaddy of them all. Since 1978 folks come in and lined up for a fish sandwich that “takes two hands to hold one.” At $4.00 it’s a deal. It’s a family friendly event but its proximity to the historic Bay Port Inn make thoughts of having a “short one” prior to hitting the craft booths not uncommon.


Bay Port Craft Show
Craft and vendor booths are fun to browse

Events start on Friday, August 3rd at noon with sandwiches and a large continuous craft show, the crowning of the festival’s king, queen, prince and princess and fireworks on Friday evening at Saturday’s events start with a 5K walk/run then the festival’s parade kicks off at 10:30 a.m. Craft booths and fish sandwiches are sold throughout the day. 

The festival concludes on Sunday at noon with a fish eating contest. 

A Bite of Bay Port Fish Sandwich History

Bay Port Fish Sandwich Festival
Even the King makes sandwiches

The Engelhard’s family started the community’s Fish Sandwich Festival. In 1949 Henry and Edna began selling the famous fish sandwich. By 1953, the Engelhard’s erected a stand on the front lawn of their home, with a sign that touted Bay Port’s Original Fresh Boneless Fried Fish Sandwich.

The first Fish Sandwich Festival was held in 1978, and just like Caseville’s 1st Rib stock held years later, they quickly sold out. Today the annual number of visitors averages over 10,000. Back in the late 1940’s folks told them they were crazy, but the Bay Port fishery certainly captivated them and, after all, the Bay Port slogan is “Fish caught the Man.”

Bay Port Fish Sandwich Festival
Live Entertainment All Weekend

The fish sandwich is the prime attraction. The original sandwich is local caught freshwater Mullet is dipped in a secret batter, fried crisp, and served on a long bun with ketchup and mustard. Although not traditional, tartar sauce is also available. According to Henry, the fish should overlap the bun and  the sandwich should be so large “it takes two hands to hold it.” All day, the lines in front of the sandwich stand are long. It is not unusual to sell 12,500 sandwiches to people from as far away as Florida and the northeast.

Bay Port Michigan Fish Sandwich Festival
The lines move quickly

Henry was the festival’s primary inspiration, energy, supporter, and promoter. He wrote many stories regaling the fish sandwiches’ power to please and to heal. Through his efforts, the festival has been featured on NBC’s Today Show, ABCs 20/20, and in many national magazines and newspapers. In recognition of their contribution to the Fish Sandwich Festival, Henry and Edna (she died in 1992) were honored as “Mr. and Mrs. Bay Port.”



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Tour Michigan Wind Farms in the Upper Thumb

The question was simple enough. “Does anyone offer a Tour of the Michigan Wind Farms in the Upper Thumb?” We had been to a wind farm tour during the Cheeseburger in Caseville festival in August but we were unsure about getting a tour the rest of the year. So we were pleased to discover that DTE Energy has a Discovery Center in Michigan’s Upper Thumb. Touring a Wind Farm can be another thing to do if you’re visiting Caseville, Port Austin or Harbor Beach this summer. 


Wind Farm Tours Available from Harbor Beach 4th of July Weekend

Michigan Wind Farms

We also found that tours are going to be available from Harbor Beach’s Maritime Festival on July 6 and 7th.  DTE will offer free guided tours leaving Friday and Saturday at 10 am-Noon and 2 pm. You will tour the Sigle Wind farm in the eastern Upper Thumb. Sigel is one of three DTE Energy’s first wholly-owned and constructed wind parks and was energized on Dec. 21, 2012.

The facility is located on 15,000 acres spread over roughly 600 square miles in Huron and Sanilac Counties in Michigan. The total generation facility includes 69 wind turbines, three electrical substations, and associated electrical collection system. The parks generate 110 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy, capable of powering 25,000 homes in Michigan. 


Group Tours of Michigan’s Upper Thumb Wind Farms

If you have a family, a workgroup or a bunch of friends that would like to explore and tour a wind farm, tours can be scheduled by calling Michael Sage at 989.269.5805.

Michigan Wind Farms
DTE Discovery Center Bad Axe

Hands-On Exploration of Michigan’s Renewable Energy

Michigan Wind Farms
From DTE Discovery Center

The Discovery Center is equipped with state-of-the-art multi-media capabilities and renewable energy education videos. You can make your own wind turbine and actually create your own electricity with some hands-on interactive displays. You can also view the operations control center that manages all the wind farms that DTE operates in the Thumb. The Discovery Center is located within the Huron Renewable Energy Center, a management and operation center created from a closed retail store that DTE renovated and opened in 2016.

The Discovery Center’s also offers educational videos focus on how renewable energy came to be such a major part of Michigan’s Upper Thumb and how the technology is contributing to Michigan’s economy. The Discovery Center is located at DTE’s Huron Renewable Energy Center at 1000 S Van Dyke Avenue in Bad Axe.

Related Articles on Michigan Wind Farms


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