episode 1.9 – the picnic cometh!

Finishing up my shift, I took in a burrito and brew at the Tav in Grand Marais and watched the sunniest, hottest day of the summer cloud-over and into one of the swiftest storms I’ve ever seen pass over the small town.

Lightning crackled behind gray tufts of cloud and thunder rocked the foundations of the coffee shop in which I took shelter.  (Everyone knows the first thing to do in a storm emergency is to seek Iced Mochas, right?)

The wall cloud was an unusual sight.  Since the town is so infrequently hit by big storms, the streets didn’t clear–instead, they filled with spectators snapping shots with cameras and smartphones.

Clearly, I did too.

GM had plenty of witnesses to the event too, considering this weekend was the kickoff to a big week for the small town.

On Saturday, the harbor was all about Dragon Boat Racing.  Teams paddling their little hearts out in beautifully-crafted dragon-inspired boats has drawn quite a crowd in recent years.

Dragons are very in this season, or so I’ve been told.

But after that, Grand Marais rolls right into one of the biggest–and oldest–festivals of all time:  Fisherman’s Picnic.

What is Fisherman’s Picnic?  Oh, man.

Every summer, when America is gearing up for fireworks and parades on the 4th of July, Grand Marais is sitting back, relaxing.

Relatively, of course–obviously the town still does its part to put on a heck of an Independence Day show.

But GM saves itself for Fisherman’s Picnic, the 83-year-old tradition that’s all about fishing, food, and fun.  Think of it as the “really cool Grandpa” of local festivals.

What began as a modest fundraiser for the local Lions Club chapter has evolved into an all-out celebration, complete with carnival rides and games, amazing food, a parade, and….log-rolling?!  Seriously?!

Perusing the official agenda, I found a number of stand-alone events that sound promising.  Do I know what they are exactly?  No.  Am I going to check them out?  Duh.  Let’s look at some of these hidden gems, shall we?

“Library Friends Annual Book Sale” 

That sounds promising.  Good deals on used books that benefit the local library?  Slam dunk.

 “Kids Rides Open”

Okay…it says Kids Rides–but nobody keeps Mikel off a Scrambler!  Keep it on the list!

“World’s Best Donut Bingo”

Well, that’s 2 of my favorite things right there...

“Cutest Puppy Contest”

So I’m a sucker for cute puppies–who isn’t?

“Pizza Eating Contest”

Let’s be clear:  I will win this.  And after I eat the required amount of pizza, I will also eat your pizza.

“Fishburger Stand Opens”

Not entirely sure what a “Fishburger” is…but that’s never stopped me before!

Well, now I have my agenda–let’s not dwell on the fact that half of them have to do with food.  

Anyway, hope to see you guys around my neck of the woods this weekend!  Grand Marais is always a blast, festival or not.  But why wouldn’t you choose “festival” in that situation?

Ahh, look at that.  The storm has passed.  Man, I love this town.

Cheers!

–Mikel

Fish-Pic Veterans:  Don’t be afraid to sound off in the comments section with your favorite FP events.  What are you guys looking forward to?

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