Annual Northwood International Auto Show

Growing up in Midland, it was a big deal to go to the Annual Northwood International Auto Show every fall since it started in the early 60’s.  Back in the 60’s and 70’s, it wasn’t unusual for people to buy a new car every three to four years and this was the best place to make some comparisons and to dream a little bit. 

Fifty years have gone by since the first auto show and it is an even a bigger deal today, not just for Midlanders, but also for visitors from all over.  The show has grown to be the largest outdoor new car show in North America and draws 50,000 people a year.  With over sixty-five manufacturers and over five hundred new trucks, cars, RV’s and semi-trucks displayed throughout the campus grounds, the show is quite impressive!

The theme for this year’s show is “Cruising Through The Golden Anniversary”.  Admission and parking is FREE!  The show takes place September 27th through the 29th with a classic car show scheduled on Sunday.  The beautiful fall trees provide a palette of colors as a backdrop for the vehicles. 

The show is entirely organized and implemented by Northwood University students and requires six hundred participants.  The Executive Board is made up of thirteen students with a general chairperson, section chairs and vice-chairs.  In past years, the exhibits have ranged from Chevrolet and Ford to Rolls Royce and Maserati.  This year will have a wide range of manufacturers as well.

For the auto enthusiast, it is like walking into a candy store.  For the new vehicle shopper, it is a great way to see all models in one location; and for the dreamer, seeing a dream car up close and personal is the cherry on top of the cake!

Be sure to cruise on over to Northwood and help them celebrate their 50th anniversary!


Fall In... Art and Sol Celebration

Something unique is coming to the Great Lakes Bay Region on Saturday, September 28th!  An art exhibit unlike any other exhibit seen in the region and in fact, the first of its kind in the nation and the largest in the world.  “Fall In…Art and Sol” is changing the way we look at functional art.   The artists combine their skills in art, science and architecture to create pieces of art that is powered by the sun.  Imagine walking through a Night Garden with flowers as big as twelve feet in diameter opening and closing, lit up and changing colors, creating a mood of tranquility. 

Just over a month of festivities begin on September 28th and runs through October in four counties:  Bay, Isabella, Midland and Saginaw.  World-renowned solar artists will “Fall In” with their solar pieces of art as well as local artists, including high school. 

To kick-off the exhibit on the 28th of September, downtown Saginaw will be busy with events for the entire family.  The Downtown Saginaw Association is sponsoring the “First Annual Downtown Saginaw Art Market and Festival” at Morley Plaza, noon to 6:00 p.m.  There will be food, music, a children’s area and, of course, art!

An Art Battle will take place where local artists compete against each other to create a solar piece in a limited amount of space and time.  Music and awards will be part of the festivities at the new FirstMerit Bank Event Park beginning at 3:00 p.m. with different talents taking the stage.   A sponsor video will be shown that will include comments and a tribute to the late Dr. Samuel H. Shaheen for his vision and contributions to the Great Lakes Bay Region.  The evening ends with the lighting of the “O*GE’s Night Garden” and a concert.

Throughout October, which by the way is the 20th anniversary of the National Arts & Humanities Month, visitors will travel the region to view the various art pieces and to attend the many events.  Working with several partners, ‘Fall In…Art and Sol” has successfully placed the creations in places such as Wenonah Park in Bay City, The H Hotel and Dow Gardens in Midland, FirstMerit Bank Event Park in Saginaw, and Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant. 

Several events will take place during October with many using the theme of “Fall In…Art and Sol” as a tie-in.  With over 60 organizations, this is truly a regional collaboration and one that has something for everyone to enjoy.  While too numerous to list here, the events with their dates, times and location can be found by going to Great Lakes Bay Regional Convention & Visitor Bureau or by clicking on ‘Things to Do’ at Fall In…Art and Sol’s webpage.  Hotel/motel accommodations can be found on the Great Lakes Bay Regional Convention and Visitor Bureau website as well. 

Fall In…Art and Sol:  a new art form that is sure to change the world!


2013 Re/Max of Midland Balloon Festival

Look!  Up in the sky!  Birds?  Planes?  No, it’s hot-air balloons!  Bright colors and bold graphic designs fill the sky.  The song “Up, Up and Away” as sung by the Fifth Dimension flows through the mind.

Re/Max of Midland’s 23rd Annual Balloon Festival begins Thursday September 12th with an Evening Glow on Main Street in Midland at dusk.  This is a great time to see the beauty of the tethered balloons up and down Main Street.  The festival ends on Sunday, September 15th at the Midland Fair Grounds

The festival moves Friday to the fairgrounds.  Morning launches are generally around 8:00 a.m. and the evening launches are around 6:00 p.m.  Friday morning will have launches from various locations around Midland and the rest will be at the fairgrounds.

The Balloon Festival began in 1991 to kick off United Way’s campaign and continues to do so today. The public is invited to all of the events at no charge; however, a donation of a canned food item is requested for the Food Pantry of Midland County.  The drop off site will be at the fair grounds.

According to Wikipedia, “the hot air balloon is the oldest successful human-carrying flight technology.”  The balloon (envelope) is the container for hot air and has a basket (gondola) suspended beneath it for the passengers. 

The modern day balloon has an onboard propane burner with an open flame that sits below the mouth, or balloon opening.  The flame is centered in the mouth to heat the air inside of the balloon.  The heated air gives it buoyancy and the winds move the balloon. At the top of the balloon is a vent that allows the pilot to release hot air to bring the balloon down. 

During the festival, skydivers will take to the air on Saturday evening.  They will begin landing around 7:00 p.m. at the fairgrounds.  There will also be After Glows on Friday and Saturday at dusk.   All launches are dependent on the weather.

Be sure to come out for the festival and don’t be surprised if a balloon floats over your car or your neighborhood!


Icons of the Sky: The LEGO Architecture of Adam Reed Tucker

Time is running out to see an amazing exhibit at the Midland Center for the Arts in Midland. Icons of the Sky: The LEGO Architecture of Adam Reed Tucker ends September 7th.  

Famous skyscraper and landmark recreations are what you will find when you visit the exhibit. All created large-scale with LEGO bricks. The creator, Adam Reed Tucker, is an architect who earned his degree at Kansas State University. His passion for art led him to the idea of using the LEGO bricks to create his models.

Tucker formed the company, “Brickstructures, Inc.” and began creating his models.  The LEGO group took noticed and a partnership was formed to create LEGO sets of the models under the brand name LEGO Architecture

Kids and adults will be in awe as they look up at Tucker’s recreations like the Empire State Building and the 10-foot Trump Tower. Part of the exhibit is two large-scale LEGO train cityscapes that have been provided in collaboration with the Michigan LEGO Users Group. 

Other exhibits are on display too. The Classic Chicago:  The Art of Architectural Drawings by Jack Nixon and the Architecture of an Idea:  Illustrations and Concepts by invited artists, illustrators, architects and model makers from across the country. Nixon, born in Chicago, is a scholar in art and excelled in technical and architectural art as a young man. His inspiration, 18th and 19th century French architectural water colorists, illustrators and engravers, provided him with a foundation for his truly amazing works of art.

Combined, the exhibits will appeal to the entire family, and the kids will find themselves being creative in the SnapZone Hands-On Children’s Area with the LEGO bricks.  Don’t miss out on seeing this amazing exhibit!


Under the Radar Michigan #320 - Great Lakes Bay Region

Episode 320 of the multi-award winning weekly series, Under the Radar Michigan, hosted by Tom Daldin, brings viewers up close and personal with the Great Lakes Bay Region.  Guest host Lori Amo, from the Great Lakes Bay Region Convention and Visitors Bureau, shares with Tom and the viewers four places to visit.  Hungry for adventure and fun or for some tasty treats, you won’t be disappointed with the top picks aired July 20, 2013.


2013 Tall Ship Celebration

 “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”  Mark Twain

How many times has this quote been heard by the students aboard a tall ship while enrolled in Class Afloat, a program organized by Tall Ships America®?  Yes, students!  Students earning college credits while learning to lead and to be led, to set sails, navigate, set courses, conduct rescue training drills, tie knots, galley duty and all the while sailing around the world.

Wikipedia describes a tall ship as a large, traditionally-rigged sailing vessel.  Traditionally rigged vessels are what you will find when you attend the Tall Ship Celebration in Bay City on July 11th - 14th, the second port stop of the Tall Ships Challenge® Great Lakes Challenge.

Breathtaking!  That is the only word that can describe the grand arrival of the tall ships on July 11th.  Replicas of ships ranging from the War of 1812 to modern floating classrooms will sail into port and be available for boarding as the festival kicks off on the 12th.  Once on board, sailors and students alike will be anxious to talk about life aboard a tall ship and to give tours. 

What an opportunity for the Great Lakes Bay Region!  Seeing tall ships sail into Bay City and the sight of them docked downtown on both sides of the Saginaw River.  Imagine the photographs that will be taken, the stories told, the joy of experiencing something new, yet something old. 

Laughter and music will unfold as the festival kicks off.  Maritime musicians from around the world will entertain.  Michigan’s best craft brewed beers will be available. Children’s crafts, fine art show and re-enactments will help to round out the experience.  An experience that can be described in just one word:  Exciting!

For more information, go to www.tallshipcelebration.com or call 855-825-7447.


Spring Events in MI Great Lakes Bay

Photo Courtesy: Mlive.com

Can you feel spring in the air?  One of the things that we are excited about spring’s arrival is that lots of events are coming up to show the vibrancy of MI Great Lakes Bay! Following are some highlights of the spring events in MI Great Lakes Bay in March and April. It’s time to plan your visit!


What's on Stage in MI Great Lakes Bay

(Warning: adult content)

Award-winning and top-rated performances are coming to MI Great Lakes Bay this week! The Tony Award winning show, Ave. Q, is now playing at the MCFTA. Meanwhile, the Celtic music band Millish is coming to Bay City with its energetic performance at State Theatre of Bay CityThe Bay City Players will kick off its 2013 season with the tremendous dark comedy, And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little on January 18.