There are several events surrounding the Wooden Boats Afloat exhibit at the Bonifas. A great way to experience the exhibit in a whole new way.


Family Fun Day 1: Discover Our Great Lakes
Saturday, July 15 starting at 10 a.m. at the Bonifas Arts Center
Kids Creative Station: 10 - 11 a.m.

Learn how a boat floats and make your own with our friends from Michigan Sea Grant. Explore Great Lakes Science and the Wooden Boats Afloat exhibit with activities, games, and a scavenger hunt!

Family Concert with Great Lakes maritime musician Lee Murdock: Noon
Stories and songs of adventure on the freshwater seas! Murdock arranges Great Lakes ballads, sea chanteys, and work songs dating back to the 1880’s.

Family Fun Day 2: Discover Our Great Lakes
Saturday, August 5; 10 - 4 p.m. in Ludington Park by the Band Shell

Boats will be on display so come and meet the crews from the Upper Peninsula Rowing Clubs and the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association and learn about rowing.

Bring the kids! They will learn more about our local fish while playing “What Did You Catch?”
Explore the Great Lakes Fisheries Heritage Trail.

Make some art! The project of the day is Gyotaku (Japanese fish prints)! And everyone gets a chance to win the Whitefish cookbook!

The day wraps up with the Rally to the Regatta starting at 4:30.

Right after Waterfront Art Festival, come down to the Escanaba Marina and cheer on a friendly race with the Upper Peninsula Rowing Clubs and the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association at the Escanaba Marin.

Family Fun Days are sponsored in part by: Michigan Sea Grant


Each Wednesday from Noon – 1 at the Bonifas
Grab a bag lunch for your midday break with weekly presentations by Humanities scholars and technicians (listed below) at the Bonifas.

July 19: Traditionally Built Wooden Gill Boats
Noreen Johnson, from West Shore Fishing Museum explains how commercial fishermen on the southern shores of the U.P. built their own tugs, how they were used, and how they are still used on the Great Lakes today.

July 26: Fishing Boats Made with Local Materials
Robert Grunst, from St. Catherine University, will explain how local materials influenced fishing boat designs in the Great Lakes.

August 2: The Great Lakes Boat Building School
Ryan Henninen, from the GLBBS tells how the school teaches and inspires students in the art and craft of traditional and contemporary wooden boat building and prepares their students for productive and rewarding careers.

August 9: Commercially Built Wooden Boats in the Upper Peninsula
Scott Peters, from the Michigan Historical Center and author of Making Waves: Michigan’s Boat-Building Industry, 1865-2000, offers a descriptive history of commercial wooden boat building in the Upper Peninsula.

August 16: Native Birch Bark Canoes
Larry Godfrey, local Native birch bark artist, shows us how he follows the traditional Native ways for gathering, preparing, and giving thanks for materials gathered in the northern woods. Godfrey shares with us the entire process of making a traditional birch bark canoe.

August 23: Tales of Great Lakes Boating
Frederick Stonehouse, from the Marquette Maritime Museum and well-known author and renowned maritime historian, will entertain us with tales of Great Lakes boating.

August 30: Run-abouts of the Eastern U.P.
Dr. Russell Magnaghi, former history professor at NMU and author of Upper Peninsula Prohibition: Rum-Running Boats of the Eastern U.P. sites examples from his book and tells stories about their role in the history.

September 6: Great Lakes Fishing History
Robert Archibald, History professor at NMU, talks about the Great Lakes fishing history in the surrounding waters of the U.P.


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