ALPENA -Groups and organizations are making Alpena a popular place for large events. Next weekend there will be one group and one organization that will be spending a few days in town, one for business and the second for pleasure.
On Friday the League of Michigan Bicyclists will be in Alpena conducting its seventh annual Sunrise Bicycle Tour, which will last through Sunday and conclude with a tour residents can participate in. Then on Saturday the Elf Khurafeh Shriners will host its Shriners Parade as part of the Elf Kurafeh Shirne Spring Ceremonial.
Alpena Convention and Visitors Bureau Director May Beth Stutzman said this is the second consecutive year the bike group has decided to hold its event in Alpena. She said the bicyclists will take part in tours each day they are in town, each featuring different attractions and scenery.
"The group enjoyed Alpena so much last year they decided to return. It is a three-day event for people who like to ride their bikes a lot of miles," Stutzman said. "Each day they will start in Alpena and head out to check out some of the regions most beautiful countryside and natural resources. One day they will be going to see the lighthouses and the wooden boat show in Presque Isle, another day they will be touring Hubbard Lake and another day they will be taking a rider to Posen and back, so they will get a sample of everything."
Sunday's ride will not be as long as the previous two and will be open for local biking enthusiast who want to join the group from out of town for a ride. She said people who choose not to take part can still support the riders by keeping an eye out for them while driving.
"Pete Pettalia will be the marshal for the final leg of the group's three day stay," Stutzman said. "It will begin at the Alpena Community College and will begin at (8:15 a.m.). It is important to make sure the community knows they are here, because we will see them out and about on their bikes and that means we want to make sure we're extra cautious while driving. We need to slow down and make sure they have enough space because they are visiting. We are the gracious hosts and we want everyone to have a good time and be safe.'
The Shriners Parade will be something everyone can enjoy, Stutzman said. She said the parade only comes to Alpena every few years and that it is a treat that must be seen.
"The entire community is invited to come out and witness the spectacle that is a Shriners Parade," Stutzman said. "They are very colorful and it will be like a walking circus performance. It is something the kids will absolutely love."
The parade on Saturday is scheduled to begin 1 p.m. at the County Annex Building and move down River Street to Eighth Avenue and then down Chisholm Street to city hall.
For more information, call the CVB at 354-4181.