Tag Archives: Caseville Michigan

Bay Port’s Fish Sandwich Festival

Michigan’s Upper Thumb Festival Season Starts in Bayport

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 dusk.

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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Cheeseburger in Caseville Kicked Off 2017

2017CheeseToday marks the beginning of the 19th installment of one of Michigan’s largest Festivals; Cheeseburger in Caseville.

It’s a final celebration of the end of the summer and a tribute to all things Jimmy Buffet, especially a “Cheeseburger in Paradise”. With craft vendors, live music, cheeseburger stands and it’s mid-week “Parade of Tropical Fools” there is something for everyone. 

The official calendar of events can be found on the Caseville Chamber of Commerce site. 

The craziness runs from August 11th through the 20th. Admittance to all events is $15 for a button that is good for the entire festival. Stands are located at the Chamber offices and Amphitheater. 


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Best of the Upper Thumb

For well over five decades the Upper Thumb has been deemed the “Closer Up North” for the Southeast Michigan and Detroit area.  Sandy beaches, great fishing, parks and some of the friendliest proprietors around, Huron County is a great place to steal a weekend away from the “burbs” of Detroit without busting your wallet.  In less than a two hour drive you can be at the tip of the Thumb and sinking your toes into the sugar sand of Saginaw Bay. It’s family friendly unpretentious and considered by many to be an undiscovered Michigan destination.

There are many events throughout the year but the highlight festival of the summer is Cheeseburger in Caseville held in August. When it was first held in 1999 it was purely a local affair attended by only 5,000 locals. Now the event is considered the largest civic festival event in Michigan with over 100,000 visitors during  the 10 day event. Caseville becomes Key North during the event. Bring your Conch Republic passport for diplomatic treatment.

ThumbWind presents the “inside scoop” from locals and those who live here and wish our visitors to have a great time. A new page has been added Best of the Upper Thumb. This local information offers a collection of the “Best Of” for the  all the festivals and unique sites the Upper Thumb has to offer including Caseville’s Cheeseburger festival . This stuff just scratches the surface for a unique trip of fun and adventure.

Best of RibStock in Caseville. Last weekend of JuneRibstock is considered the warm up act for the big August festival. However this celebration of BBQ and country music is quickly becoming a favorite early summer event.

Best Place to Talk Politics During Cheesburger’s “Parade of Fools” This is the largest event of the festival. It’s also a great chance to meet and great local and national politicians who find their way into Caseville.

Best Gourmet Grocery to Create Your Own Cheeseburger There are dozens of local restaurants and charity’s who set up for the 10 day event. You may want to make your own. Here is the best place to get all the fixens for your own cheeseburger in paradise.

Best Taste of the Florida Keys in the Upper Thumb – Want to experience a bit of the Keys cuisine without the 1,500 mile car trip and all the bridge hopping? There are many roadside inns along M-53 that can go toe-to-toe with those on A-1-A. The only thing missing is the conch chowder.  Here is a stand out.

Best Bar Cheeseburger in the ThumbBar burgers are fun. However you may actually have to leave Caseville to find the best bar cheeseburger in the Thumb.

Best Place to Camp Next to the BeachThe Upper Thumb is a camper nirvana. However there is only one area where you can literally camp steps away on the beach. Find out where.

Best Things to do When Your Bored of Cheeseburger – Ten days of luau shirts, Margareta’s and cheeseburgers sounds like a lot of fun but for kids it can be too much. If you want to step away from the crowds there is plenty to see and do. Check out the suggestions.

Best Stroll During the Festival – See the odd sights and unique sounds and atmosphere found only on the water.

Ora Labora Grave Old Bay Port Cemetery AngelBest Place to Get Totally Scared – The Upper Thumb has been home to native and American settlers for over a millenia. The paranormal activity in one nearby town has been the subject of books, movies and TV shows. You can even stay in a famously haunted inn overnight if you dare.

The Best Place to Dance Polka – If your around after Labor Day the upper thumb has a polka festival that is one of the Great Lakes best.


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Things to Do In Caseville if You Are Bored with the Cheeseburger Festival

The Cheeseburger in Caseville festival is a summertime fun-filled family event with plenty to do and see. However, there is only so much grass skirt, trinket stands, and cheeseburgers that one can handle for the multi-weekend event. What else is there to do in Michigan’s Upper Thumb? Here are some suggestions if you, or more likely the kids, have had enough fun with the parrot head life.


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Learn About Wind Power and Tour a Michigan Wind Farm

The entire Thumb is a recognized regional leader in renewable energy. DTE is offering a hands-on experience with exhibits in its Bad Axe discovery center.  If you have a family or group tours can be arranged for the nearby wind farms. 

We have more information Explore Renewable Energy and Tour Michigan Wind Farms.  Arrange a visit to the Discovery Center or arrange a tour by calling Michael Sage at 989.269.5805.


Caseville Giant Slide

The Giant Slide in Caseville

Refurbished in 2015, Key North offers classic fun and great photo and video opportunities The whole family or group of friends can race down a huge multi-lane slide or race on a huge go-kart track. Great for working off that extra cheeseburger and fries. Located on the south side of Caseville toward Bay Port. 


Port Austin Go Karts

Need for Speed with Go Carts in Port Austin & Caseville

The Upper Thumb now has two full-featured go-kart tracks. In  Port Austin. The track is large and its ideal for a tasting of real racing. As an adult, you can take the little ones on a full throttle ride around a great winding track. Check out Family Go Karts in Port Austin south of town off of M-53. In Caseville, Key North Mini Golf and Family Fun Center sport the largest track in mid-Michigan. With 15 new karts and some two-seaters so mom or dad can drive the youngsters around that are too small to do it themselves. 


Miniature Golf in Caseville, Port Austin, and Kinde

There are numerous classic Putt-Putt and other family-friendly courses in Port Austin, Caseville, and Kinde. While the adults think of these as trite and insignificant, the kids will remember these little family jaunts for a lifetime. Take advantage of these roadside attractions before they disappear to X Box video games. The biggest of the miniature golf circuit is Sandy Dunes Adventure Golf. It’s a short drive east of Caseville this modern course sports Huron County’s largest, (and only), waterfall in the Thumb. 


Visit a Working Fish Company in Bay Port

Bay-Port-Fish-Company

Bayport Fish Company – Visit one of the few remaining operational commercial fish operations on the Great Lakes. Purchase fresh fish on-site and watch the operations. (Hope you like the smell of fish). If you’re in Caseville you can see their vessel Osprey tied up south of the break wall. Open seven days a week. 


Visit a Large Outdoor Farmers Market

Port Austin Farmers Market

Port Austin Farmers Market – Open Saturday mornings during the summer season. Crafts, fresh locally produced fruits, fresh and smoked fish, vegetables, craft foods and flea market items.  Considered the largest open-air market in the Thumb. Port Austin. 


Visit a Huge Octagon Barn near Gagetown

Octagon Barn Gagetown Michigan

Octagon Barn – The Thumb Octagon Barn Agricultural Museum is located in Tuscola County approximately 1 mile east of the Village of Gagetown along Bay City Forestville Road 1 mile north on Richie Road, just south of the Huron County border. 


Take a Peek at the Past in Huron City

Huron City Museum –  See Huron County has it thrived in the late 1800’s. The House of Seven Gables, a beautifully preserved Victorian home, sits on a bluff overlooking Lake Huron. The General Store, a Methodist church, an inn, and barns were built during the 1880’s. With a post office, general store, a rooming house, and mills, Huron City were well equipped to serve the northern county farmer. Huron City. 


Commune With Nature Near Caseville and Port Austin

 

Huron Nature Center

Huron County Nature Center & Wilderness Arboretum – A 280 acre Nature Center established on a tract of untouched land in Hume Township, Michigan, the Huron County Nature Center and Wilderness Arboretum have been under the tender care of the Huron County Women’s Clubs since 1941. Located halfway between Caseville and Port Austin across from Oak Beach. 


Philp County Park Beach

Play on the Beach All Over Huron County

Hit the Beach – There are numerous public beaches throughout Huron County in which to cool off, enjoy a picnic while the kids play in the playground. Most beaches offer ample parking with some picnic tables, restroom and changing areas and grills for making your own cheeseburger. 


Caseville Musuem

Hands on With History in Caseville

Caseville Museum – Located just one block from Main Street in Caseville you can see artifacts and local treasures from yesteryear. Special events are often held weekly and it offers a quick diversion from the crowds. 


Rush Lake and Sand Road ORV

Located just south of Sleeper State Park this unimproved road runs from Caseville to Port Austin by way of various roads and trails. If you have a 4×4  and want to try your hand at light off-roading this is worth an hour of looking around the woods. Sand Road is found about a mile south of the cross streets of M-23 and State Park Road. Be prepared. The road is sometimes impassable after rain and the sand can get deep. Only the most adventurous find the ancient and reedy Rush Lake. There are numerous hiking and biking paths. As most of this is on state land its best to have your State Park Passport and ORV sticker in case the DNR stops you.


 

Get Some Ice Cream in Grindstone City

Rybak's Ice Cream

Escape the crazy crowds for an hour and explore another side of the Thumb. In Grindstone City there are two renowned ice cream shops. The Grindstone General Store and Rybak’s Ice Cream Store. Grindstone General Store is known for its insanely large ice cream cones while Rybak’s is the place for high-end ice cream and homemade candy. Both are located in historic buildings from the 1800’s Rybak’s large front porch is an ideal place to chat with friends and reminisce about your Cheeseburger day. 


White-Church-Gallery-Grindstone-City-Michigan

Get Artsy in Grindstone City and BadAxe

The  Upper Thumb now has two gallery’s, in Bad Axe the Lofty Roots Gallery and Studio opened in 2015 with six local artists exhibiting. While in Grindstone City the White Church Gallery draws in artists from all over Michigan and Florida. Founded by Mike and Carrie Zaitz in a renovated 1800’s church.  Both galleries are excellent diversions from the Cheeseburger hangover. 



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