PRESQUE ISLE - For the first time in 20 years, the Presque Isle Wooden Boat Show will be open to boats made of fiberglass, according to one of the show's organizers.
David Vogelheim said the show will be open to vintage fiberglass boats from the 1940s and '50s. The change comes after the Antique and Classic Boating Association decided to accept the early boats.
Last year, the show had 55 boats, Vogelheim said.
"This year we're shooting for maybe around 75," he said.
The show starts after 7 a.m. on June 16, according to the events schedule. This is when participants begin launching their boats in Presque Isle Harbor. At 10 a.m., the opening ceremony begins, and will feature a military salute to the flag by members of Rogers City's Veterans of Foreign Wars chapter. The Mariners, a barbershop group out of Rogers City and Alpena, will sing the national anthem.
Rev. Larry Kirby will bless the boats as well, Vogelheim said.
Viewers have until 3 p.m. to vote for the awards, which will be given out at 4:30 p.m. Throughout the show there will be arts and crafts booths, music, and shuttles to the nearby Old and New Presque Isle lighthouses.
Before the show officially kicks off, participants will have lunch at the Presque Isle Harbor Association Beach House on June 15. From there, they'll cruise around on Grand Lake from 12-3 p.m., with a reception at the old Historic Presque Isle Lodge to follow.
It was 20 years ago that Bob Swearingen and Dave Kowalski Sr. approached Vogelheim about starting an antique boat show in the area. They eventually settled on Presque Isle Harbor because of its accessibility, the Portage Restaurant, and two lighthouses being nearby. Access to Lake Huron for the larger boats didn't hurt, either.
The show is popular among the Water Wonderland Chapter of Antique and Classic Boats, Vogelheim said, but it's not only locals and Michiganders coming to show off their boats. Participants have come from as far away as Florida.
Some of the boat owners will be looking to sell their vessels this year, and others are looking for someone to restore them, Vogelheim said.
There's still time to sign up, and those who are interested can find more information at www.presqueisleharborwoodenboatshow.com, or call Chairman David Kowalski at 595-9926.
Jordan Travis can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5688.