Many events planned for Esky150 celebration

ESCANABA – Escanaba will be celebrating its 150th birthday in style with 10 days of fun-filled activities including parades, picnics, contests, concerts and fireworks.

Following Escanaba’s regular Independence Day celebration on July 4, Esky150 Celebration begins on Friday, July 5.

Several events are scheduled during the week including historical home tours. Art exhibits are featured at both the Bonifas Fine Arts Center and the Bay College Art Gallery.

Flags line downtown in conjunction with the upcoming celebration. At 1210 Ludington St., local residents will display photographs depicting memories of Escanaba.

Farmers Market is held on Saturdays and Wednesdays on the corner of 9th Street and 1st Avenue North.


Esky150 opens with a parade at 7 p.m. on Friday, July 5. Participants in the parade will include the city’s 1963 Centennial queen and the 1963 Centennial baby. Music will be provided by the city band, the high school band, and a steel drum band from Milwaukee.

Several businesses, organizations and churches will be in the parade with some celebrating their own anniversary milestones. Class reunions will also be represented.

A block party is being planned for the 1600 block of Ludington Street where music, a fashion show, and tours of Lofts on Ludington will take place.

Friday’s Esky150 events will conclude with a 50s concert by BB Secrist at the Ludington Park bandshell at 8:15 p.m. The concert is free to the public.

Residents and visitors to Escanaba are encouraged to use a shuttle bus service during the first three days of the Esky150 celebration. Two DATA buses will provide free transportation from the fairgrounds parking lot and the high school parking lot with stops along the way to the park.

The buses run from 5-11 p.m. Friday, July 5, and 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, July 6 and 7. For route information, check out the Esky150 website at


Events planned for Saturday, July 6, start with a half marathon from Gladstone to Escanaba. Free family events begin at 11 a.m. in Ludington Park and include a petting zoo, wagon rides, obstacle courses, bounce houses, and a fish pond. Vendors will be available.

At noon, a free family picnic is being sponsored by the Escanaba Daily Press and Elmer’s County Market. A hot dog eating contest begins at 1 p.m.

At 4 p.m., alumni from the former Holy Name High School will gather for a reunion dinner and dance at the Ruth Butler Building on the fairgrounds.

The Jam Band will perform for the public at the Ludington Park bandshell at 5 p.m., warming up for the featured performer, former Escanaba resident Catte Adam, a singer from West Hollywood, Calif. Mark Hugenberger and Glenn Bengry will join her on stage.


On Sunday, July 7, there will be a lumberjack’s breakfast from 8:30-11 a.m. at the Eagles Club at 608 Ludington Street. Cost is $6 for adults.

Horse wagon rides and the petting zoo will resume at the park at 11 a.m.

Lumberjack shows will take place at noon near the marina featuring logrolling, chainsaw carving, ax throwing, and storytelling. Logging equipment will be on display and prizes will be won by spectators. A second show begins at 4 p.m.

The sesquicentennial beard and mustache contest will take place at noon on July 7 near the logrolling event. Judging was previously scheduled for later in the week.

A car race will take place at 1 p.m. at the fairgrounds as a fundraiser for United Way of Delta County.

Registration for a canoe and kayak race begins at 1:15 p.m. near the Aronson Island Bridge at Ludington Park. Entry fee is required and awards will be given in several categories.

Newlywed Game Finals are scheduled at 5 p.m. at the bandshell.


Events on Monday, July 8, begin with historical home tours by vehicle at 10 a.m. A new playground in south Escanaba will be dedicated at noon followed by an ice cream social. Expansion of the Delta County Historical Museum will be dedicated at 2 p.m.

Search and rescue demonstrations will be at the municipal dock at 4:30 p.m. Ski-ters Water-ski Show will perform at 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. by the municipal dock. The Cadillacs band will perform between the two water shows.

Afterwards, boaters are invited to participate in the the Venetian Night Parade of Boats around the municipal dock.


Activities planned for Tuesday, July 9, include a Zumba-thon dancethon at the bandshell at 4 p.m. A business and industry social will begin at 5 p.m. at the fairgrounds. At 7 p.m., a humorous radio show, consisting of a cast of 20 characters, will focus on Escanaba’s history. Strings on the Bay orchestra will perform at the Besse Center at Bay College at 7:30 p.m.



Wednesday, July 10, will begin with a community aerobics with various exercise workouts from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Ludington Park.

There are several children’s activities scheduled beginning with a children’s parade in the park at 11 a.m. Harbor Hideout playground will celebrate its 20th anniversary with free ice cream. A children’s lumberjack show will feature games and prizes at 1 p.m.

Senior citizens can enjoy a social at 1 p.m. at the Eagles Club. Free tickets are available at the senior center and chamber of commerce.

The Escanaba All School Reunion will begin at 4 p.m. at the Ruth Butler Building on the fairgrounds. The city band will perform at the bandshell at 7 p.m. The Delta County Cancer Alliance will sponsor a luminary night at 7:30 p.m.



On Thursday, July 11, individuals with limited mobility can experience the “Recreating the Great Outdoors” at 10 a.m. Activities include pontoon boat rides, fishing, and target shooting.

A pet parade and costume contest will begin at 11 a.m. near the bandshell. At noon, the Delta County Cancer Alliance will host a golf outing at the Escanaba Country Club.

Native American drummers, dancers, crafts and food will be featured at the bandshell beginning at 2 p.m. Dinner at 5 p.m. and tours of the House of Ludington can be reserved by calling 786-6300.

At 7 p.m., area musicians will present a concert at the high school auditorium to benefit the Honor Flight which flies veterans to Washington, D.C.


Friday, July 12, activities begin with the U.P. Trappers Convention-Outdoor Expo from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. at the Ruth Butler Building on the fairgrounds. The event is open Saturday, July 13, at the same times.

The Bays de Noc Maritime Festival begins at 10 a.m. July 12 at the marina. A fish boil meal for $10 is set for 5 p.m. Re-enactments and music will be presented with the day’s activities ending at 7 p.m. The festival continues Saturday, July 13, from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. There will also be arts, crafts and food vendors.

The Gas and Steam Engine Village will open at 10 a.m. Friday and Saturday, July 12-13 at the fairgrounds.

Robotics and other engineering activities for the family will take place at the fairgrounds schoolhouse at 11 a.m. Friday, July 12, sponsored by the intermediate school district.

At 2 p.m. in front of Escanaba City Hall, the Delta Astronomical Society invites people to view sunspots, the crescent moon and two planets. At dusk, there will be night viewing of stars, the moon, and Saturn.

A picnic dinner, benefiting the high school bowling team, will begin at 3 p.m. at the fairgrounds.

Wagon rides will be available until 7 p.m. A barn dance with the Jam Band will take place from 7-11 p.m. with free admission. There will be a cash bar.

At 5 p.m. on July 12, there will be a reception at the Bonifas Fine Arts Center where the public can view a display of works by local artists.



On Saturday, July 13, registration for a five-kilometer race will be near the Sand Point Lighthouse.

The maritime festival and steam village open at 10 a.m.

A memorial military dedication is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Steam and Gas Engine Village on the fairgrounds. A monument will be dedicated to two soldiers from the War of 1812 who received bounty land for their military service. Both parcels are located on the fairgrounds.

The final competition of the Island Idol Singing Contest is set for 7 p.m. at the bandshell in Ludington Park on July 13. The Esky150 fireworks will begin at dusk.


A time capsule will be buried at the municipal dock at noon on Sunday, July 14, followed by barbershop singing by the Remnants Chorus at the bandshell. Line dancers will perform afterwards.

The “Big Band” orchestra will conclude the Esky 150 celebration with a concert and dance at the bandshell from 1-4 p.m.

For more information, visit or call (906) 786-0631.