Another week of Tuesday Topics. I am having a fun time writing these, so I hope everyone is enjoying reading them! This week is 5 Activities in My Hometown. This was a pretty easy one to come up with my list. I love our little town we live in and have a lot of fun annual festivals as well as beautiful Lake Michigan. So, here’s my list:
1. Ice Breaker Festival. This was just this past weekend and I look forward to it all year! I’m not much of a winter gal, so this is one of the few winter activities I enjoy! Probably because it involves food and friends! The highlights of the festival include ice carvings throughout our downtown and an amateur and professional chili cook-off. We get a sitter each year and head downtown with our friends to taste chili. I LOVE chili so this is right up my alley! The amateur contest is in a local hall and we try each of the chili’s and then vote for our favorite. Then we move on to walking from restaurant to restaurant downtown and trying chili at each one. There are also some fun drink specials and since we’re walking, hey, why not! This year there were some unique chili varieties including a Greek one, a white chicken chili, and good spicy ones! They also had “ice shots” served in shot glasses made completely of ice. They were served outside so it was kind of fun to get to throw my shot glass on the ground and watch it shatter after drinking.
2. Harborfest. Living on Lake Michigan maritime activities and history are a big part of life around here. The highlight of our annual Harborfest is the Dragon Boat races. You can read about my first Dragon Boat experience here, but basically Dragon Boats are similar to the boats used in rowing, but you paddle, not row. Real Dragon Boaters would be able to explain it better than I can, but it’s a great blend of hard work and lots of fun! In addition to the races there are food booths with one of my favorite guilty pleasures – fair food! And music at the marina every afternoon and evening.
3. Blueberry Festival. Later in the summer, we have our annual blueberry festival. I live in the heart of the fruit belt and we are blessed to have abundant crops of fruits and veggies most summers. We have quite a few blueberry farms in our area, hence the festival. There are all kinds of blueberry foods available like blueberry pies and tarts, blueberry barbecue sauce, blueberry salsa, and more. One of my favorite festival activities is the blueberry pancake breakfast downtown. Nothing compares to pancakes with fresh blueberries eaten outside in our lovely little town! Also a favorite is the annual Diaper Dash. Both my boys competed in this crawling race when they were almost a year. Roo was in the lead but then got distracted by a metal ring on the tarp and ended up second. Monkey and I practiced like crazy at home and I really thought he was a contender. When we put him on that tarp he was completely overwhelmed by the crowds and noise and never moved from the start line!
4. The Beach. Living right on Lake Michigan means heading to the beach is a favorite activity. We are blessed to have beautiful, clean, sandy beaches within walking distance of our house. Every summer we spend a fair amount of time building sandcastles, making moats around them, and splashing in the waves. I grew up about 30 minutes south of where we live now and nothing compares to growing up going to the beaches of Lake Michigan every summer. I am so happy that my boys get to have that same experience.
5. The Maritime Museum and Tall Ship. As I mentioned, being right on the Great Lakes means anything maritime is a part of our culture. We are home to a Maritime Museum and have an authentic Tall Ship that goes out for daily charters on the lake. It is so beautiful to see what looks just like a real pirate ship heading out the channel to the lake. Or returning with the sunset behind it. My kids never tire of seeing that ship and love waving to the crew, who dress in old time costume.
What activities do you love doing in your hometown?