ALPENA, Mich. — The 45th Michigan Brown Trout Festival kicks off Friday, July 19 at the Thunder Bay Marina. Residents can check out the Suez Big Tent’s Texas Hold Em Tournament at 6 p.m. or head over to Neiman’s Beach Party from 6:30-11 p.m. The biggest change this year is the addition of the food trucks. There will be six groups cooking food for the entire ten days.
“Don’t know where they’re all going to park yet,” said Michigan Brown Trout Festival President Peggy Donakowski. “We’ll have them out there, so we will have a great assortment of food this year and ice cream.”
The theme this year is 45th parallel for the 45th year of the festival. Donakowski is excited to tie the theme with Northeast Michigan geography.
“My theme this year is the 45th parallel and why not, so that’s what we did and that’s what we based this year’s t–shirts on too. We figured the 45th parallel. That’s something to be proud of.”
There are a few new events. The Thunder Bay Arts Council partnered with the Brown Trout Committee to host featured band ‘Whiskey Fixx’ for Hooked on Music on Saturday, July 20. Vegas Night will also be brought back for the first time in many years on Saturday, July 27 from 7-11 p.m. The Shipwreck Alley Rollers will help out for blackjack, roulette and money wheel in the Suez Big Tent.
“They tell me they are going to come in full gear, we’ll see,” said Donakowski. “That would be super cool if they did. I think they are going to have some kind of contact sport. Musical chairs, so that will be fun.”
The festivities and tournaments will be fun, but they would not be made possible without Lake Huron. That’s why the committee is committed to going green. Last year the festival had recycled roughly 25,000 cups.
“We will have a lot of recycling. A lot more than last year,” said Donakowski. “It’s amazing how many you go through.”
One of the most historic events is the Honoring Our Veterans Night on Wednesday, July 24 starting at 6 p.m. There will be a picnic style dinner for veterans and a performance by the Alpena City Band. Veterans should get there on time because the event will feature a fun surprise.