Tag Archives: GreatLakes

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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Great Hints for a Day at Cheeseburger in Caseville

The 19th annual Cheeseburger in Caseville is well underway. While rain on Monday dampened some of the evening festivities the weather looks promising for the rest of the week. In years past, official estimates were that  over 100,000 people visited Caseville 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. Here are some hints provided by those who frequent the event each year.


Be Prepared – This includes having your own water, a rain jacket and comfortable walking shoes. Have a small Cheeseburger in Casevillebackpack with snacks, sunscreen and even a change of clothes. Double on this point if your bringing kids!!


Gas Up Before You Arrive – If your getting here on fumes gas up in Elkton, Kinde, Bay Port, Port Austin or Bad Axe. 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


Set 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 someones lawn.


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.

 


Be Informed of Events – Grab a free Event Calendar from Caseville Chamber of Commerce. There are also several Smartphone apps available.

 


Set up For the Parade of Tropical Fools Early – This is the highlight of the whole festival. By late morning on Wednesday Cheeseburger Paradeyou 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.

 


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.


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


Cheeseburger in Caseville

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


Plan B- Do Something Else – If you, or your kids have had enough #CheeseburgerFest and crowds, try something else. Our 13 Things to Do When Your Bored with Cheeseburger in Caseville. has several fresh ideas.

10 Helpful Hints for Day Trippers to Cheeseburger in Caseville

Its official, the Huron Daily Tribune estimates that over 100,000 people will visit Caseville during its 10 day Cheeseburger festival. It’s a family friendly event during the day but offers a bit of craziness that true Parrot Heads appreciate. Here are some hints provided by those who frequent the event each year.


  1. Be Prepared – This includes having your own water, a rain jacket and comfortable walking shoes. Have a small Cheeseburger in Casevillebackpack with snacks, sunscreen and even a change of clothes. Double on this point if your bringing kids!!

  2. Gas Up Before You Arrive – If your getting here on fumes gas up in Elkton, Kinde, Bay Port, Port Austin or Bad Axe. 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

  3. Set 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 someones lawn.

  4. 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.

  5. Be Informed of EventsBookmark our Event Calendar on your Smartphone. Its FREE and will be updated as
    Cheeseburger in Caseville
    Cheeseburger Parade

    information changes.


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

  7. 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.

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

    Cheeseburger in Caseville

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

  10. Plan B- Do Something Else – If you, or your kids have had enough #CheeseburgerFest and crowds, try something else. Our 13 Things to Do When Your Bored with Cheeseburger in Caseville. has several fresh ideas.

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Vintage Camping Rolls Into Thumb

Tin Can Tourists


Members of the vintage camper group Tin Can Tourists stretched out at Michigan’s Thumb Port Crescent Campground during an even in July 2012. The enthusiast group first formed in 1919 in Tampa Florida. The organization is composed of over 1000 with members all of the United States, Canada, and Japan. The rally held at Port Crescent showed some of the best-restored motor coaches and travel trailers. More information about Tin Can Tourists can be found on their website.

Below is a sample of the trailers at Port Crescent State Park taken in 2012.

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Great Lakes Water Use – Lies and Half Truths

The blogosphere and news sites have been bristling that former President of the United States, Barack Obama allowed water from Great Lakes region to be pumped and sold to China.  It’s a Lie. What’s worse is that none of these blog authors are checking the facts. Their lazy practice is to re-blog poorly written posts from inflammatory sites. Here is the Truth. 


Lie #1 – Obama Allowed Great Lakes Water to Be Sold To China as Half the U.S. Faces Extreme Water Crisis
Port Cresent State Park Beach South II

This overused inflammatory headline refers to the ability for companies to bottle water within the Great Lakes watershed. Quotes such as, “Why are we allowing foreign corporations such as Nestle to make millions upon millions of dollars pumping water out of the Great Lakes and selling it overseas?” This is not new news. Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Avita, and Nestle have been operating in Michigan and surrounding states for over 15 years. At least now, Nestle and other companies are operating under the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact enacted by the 110th United States Congress effective December 8, 2008, before Obama took office.  This Public Law 110-342 was introduced in the Senate by Carl Levin (D – Michigan) on July 23, 2008, passed the Senate on August 1, 2008, by unanimous consent, passed the House of Representatives on September 23, 2008, and finally signed into law by President George W. Bush on October 3, 2008.

Half-Lie #2 – Companies are pumping millions of gallons of water out of the Great Lakes and selling it to China.

nestle_water
Nestle’s Product

There is bit of truth to this. Companies can collect and bottle water in the Great Lakes region but only in containers of 5.7 gallons or less. However the collection of water is not directly from the lakes but from the aquifers in the region.  Since 2000, Nestle Waters North America sell bottled “Spring Water” marketed with the Ice Mountain label. It’s bottling centers are located in Mecosta County, Michigan, and Guelph, Ontario. Each plant supposedly bottles 700,000 gallons a day. However, a 2000 report by the International Joint Commission noted that the Great Lakes basin imports 14 times the amount of bottled water that is withdrawn and shipped elsewhere. 


Lie #3 – Obama allowed container ships to come into the Great Lakes, fill up and export our water to Asia.

Long before Obama was a national politician Canada was looking to sell Great Lakes water wholesale. In 1998 the Nova Group obtained a permit from Canada’s Ontario Ministry of the Environment to export approximately 160 million gallons per year of water from Lake Superior for export to Asia in bulk containers. Due to objections of Great Lakes governors and citizens the permit was revoked. 


Lie #4 – Foreign companies are pumping water out of the Great Lakes without limits.

Great Lakes Water
Hans/Pixabay/ CC0

Switzerland company Nestlé has been operating a water bottling plant in Michigan since 2000. In 2009 the Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation sued Nestle Waters North America/Ice Mountain. In 2009 a final, out-of-court settlement was reached whereby Nestle/Ice Mountain’s water pumping permit was reduced by almost half. Nestlé agreed to lower its spring pumping in Michigan earlier in the spring season during fish spawning and continue low pumping during the summer months to protect the already stressed stream and lake. Other companies that bottled water from the Great Lakes region include Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and Avita.

In 2018 Nestle, had been extracting and exporting up to 250 gallons a minute from a well in Evart, Michigan. Nestle filed for a new permit that would allow the company to pump 400 gallons of water each minute of the day, 365 days a year. 

The Michigan DEQ is powerless to stop the foreign company from proceeding with their plan despite overwhelming opposition.


The Waukesha Solution

great lakes watershed
Environment Canada

The newest threat comes from Wisconsin. The Milwaukee suburb of Waukesha, Wisconsin, with dangerous levels of radium in their groundwater has been approved to “borrow” up to 8.4 million gallons of Lake Michigan water every day (or 3 billion gallons every year). Waukesha is 17 miles west of Lake Michigan and resides on the cusp of being outside what is considered the Great Lakes Water basin. Normally water from that area would flow into the Mississippi.

The city of Waukesha in June 2016 was given the approval to divert water from Lake Michigan for its drinking water supply after eight representatives from the states that border the Great Lakes voted unanimously to allow the diversion. A single no vote would have scuttled the city’s plan. Per the rules of the compact, Waukesha would have to return the same amount of water it takes from Lake Michigan back into the lake. The water would be treated at a Waukesha water plant and dumped into the Root River, where it would flow into Lake Michigan by way of Racine, Wisconsin.

Waukesha is the first city to apply for a diversion of Great Lakes water since a ban on such practices was enacted in 2008. Canada is reviewing the agreement and may intercede with the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact. 


The Great Lakes are Stressed

Channel Bouy Aground at Caseville Harbor

The largest, longest-standing and most controversial diversion from the Great Lakes is at Chicago, where the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, finished in 1900, reverses the Chicago River and connects Lake Michigan to the Mississippi River. About 88% of all Great Lakes water diversion occurs in Illinois to the Mississippi.

The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 1967 consent decree, limited the Lake Michigan water diversion through the Chicago canal to 3,200 cubic feet of water per second.

There is more water diverted into the Great Lakes then is diverted out; particularly at the Longlac and Ogoki diversions in Ontario. They take water bound for Hudson Bay and divert it to northern Lake Superior at 5,580 cubic feet per second. The diversions were initially created to bolster hydroelectric power generation to help wartime manufacturing in the U.S. during World War I, but then were maintained by mutual agreement between the U.S. and Canada after the war.


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Pressure Grows to Stop Nuclear Dump in Canada

An Ontario Lobby Group is hopeful the incoming Liberal Government will live up to a promise to protect the environment, and put a stop to plans to bury nuclear waste a kilometre from Lake Huron at Bruce Power.

Beverly Fernandez of the Group “Stop the Great Lakes Nuclear Dump” says 40-million people rely on the great lakes for drinking water.

She says so far, the world’s nuclear waste burial sites have a 100 per cent failure rate.

From Blackburn News – Editor – Midwestern Ontario Email Janice MacKay