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Murch: Don’t grumble, there is plenty to do here

June 15, 2012
Steve Murch - Managing Editor , The Alpena News

Stop me if you've heard this one before:

"There's nothing to do ... "

See, I knew you had, and I didn't even have to finish the sentence. It's the sad refrain of the entertainment challenged, those people who need to be directed toward entertainment, or those who are too lazy to venture out and seek it. When did we as a society become so incapable of finding things to do?

Part of it is easy to explain: Alpena is a county with around 30,000 people so we don't have all the entertainment options of a big city. And for younger people who want to have the see-and-be-seen entertainment options, there aren't many. Big deal, they are still there.

When I first moved to town, I wasn't enamored with it either. Part of it stemmed from working every day (somewhat like I do on occasion now; I'm sensing a trend) and not having friends. But I've grown to love this community and the people who live here (now if some of them would just have a more positive attitude about Alpena).

It's summertime and there is always something going on, and always something to do.

By now you've read columns by Mary Beth Stutzman and Jackie Krawczak, who also praise Alpena and share their love of the community with readers. Friends have a common bond, and I'm glad to call both my friend. One of our common bonds, maybe the strongest, is our love for Alpena. Unlike them (they both graduated high school here), I moved here as an adult. They both moved back here as adults, in part because of what Alpena has to offer.

But now I'm off topic a bit, though now you fully know the theme today. If you are looking for something to do, there is plenty out there.

Forget events for a moment, or places to go. We have an abundance of natural resources - some might even say an embarrassment of riches - that give us all sorts of activities. Within a half-hour drive we have three large inland lakes, we have a river that bisects the city AND we live on Lake Huron for crying out loud. Those alone give us a leg up on many places, and if you like water sports you have all sorts of options

Now throw in all the paths to walk and bike in the city limits and add the trails to walk. More activities to do.

Now for some entertainment options: True North Radio has free concerts at Bay View Park. This weekend is the Presque Isle Wooden Boat Show, the Alpena Cycle Club has a motocross event, the Optimists Club a mud bog; the sanctuary has a live dive shown from the Grecian and the Sunrise Bike Tour is in town. Plus don't forget every Saturday and Wednesday is the Alpena Farmers Market.

Next weekend is the Alpena Blues Festival. Then we run into the Fourth of July festivities. This town loves the Fourth and the day is jam-packed with things to do, and there is the Maritime Festival at the sanctuary. Top it off with the fireworks (and don't forget to buy your pin).

Then the Brown Trout Festival with 10 days filled with events and Art on the Bay hit the calendar. And, well, you get the point - there's plenty to do. There are entertainment options at local establishments too, you just have to look a little.

Don't want to fight crowds? Then act like a hometown tourist and visit local businesses to see what they might have. You've never been to a particular business? You might find something new. Maybe one you've shopped has changed. Take a walk through a neighborhood you only drive through and see what makes that neighborhood unique.

This town has plenty of things for you to enjoy, you just have to spend some time looking around. Then take advantage.

The forecast for this weekend is great, there's plenty to do. You just have to go out and do it. So go out and have some fun.



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