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Tasting the Difference at the Upcoming Thunder Bay Maritime Festival

The Maritime Festival will be a certified local food event this year as the celebration is partnering with Taste The Local Difference.

Alpena — Attendees of the 2018 Maritime Festival will be able to taste the difference in cuisine, literally. The festival has partnered up with the Taste The Local Difference to ensure that 20% of the food provided at the festival is grown and produced locally in Northeast Michigan. This new partnership will be the biggest difference, compared to last year’s festival.

“There has been a big movement in the area under the slogan ‘taste the local difference’ to really get people to buy local and experience the difference in quality when you can buy your food right here and you know the people who have grown it,” said Katie Wolf, Director of Friends of Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary .

This year’s festival will take place on July 3-4, with the pinnacle of the fest on the July 4. Tuesday features the “Battle of the Paddles.” A beer tasting will take place that evening with live music by ‘The Wild Sullys’ until 8:00pm. On Wednesday, folks can catch the 2018 Thunder Bay Cardboard Boat Regatta, entertainment from the Gene Picor & The Depot Players and the Chelsea House Orchestra, shipwreck and helicopter tours, kids activities, and much more.

“It’s like a huge reunion of people who have moved away and come back for the Fourth of July,” said Wolf. “Everybody’s interacting and the number of people, just in that whole sense of celebration and fun… it’s like classic Americana comes to Alpena.”

WBKB reached out to a Taste The Local Difference representative but a call was not returned.

For more information on the festival, visit

To learn more about Taste The Local Difference, visit their website