ALPENA - The Alpena Convention and Visitors Bureau is urging local restaurants and taverns to host viewing parties in the coming months so people can gather and watch the Major League Fishing event that was filmed on location in Alpena.
The weekly reality series debuts early next year on the Outdoors Network, which also intends to telecast reruns of the episodes at various times during the week leading up to a new segment.
CVB President Mary Beth Stutzman said airing of the series is exciting for Alpena in more ways than one. She said seeing the segments featuring the fishermen and Sasquach from the Jack Links Beef Jerky commercials will be a proud moment for everyone in Northeast Michigan. After the series concludes and outdoors enthusiasts visit to fish on the lakes their heroes did is where the area will prosper the most.
She said the CVB played a role in bringing the event to Alpena and helping to organize the logistics, but now it is up to others to capitalize on the momentum being created from the show. She said if every business, community organization and resident would do just a little to lend a hand to newcomers in town, it will make their stay more enjoyable.
"The mission of the CVB is to bring people to the community and then it becomes like a relay race where others take the baton from us and run with it," Stutzman said. "Now when we have other visitors because of the show it will be up to the community to provide a fun, warm experience."
Stutzman said businesses that would like to have an official viewing party for the MLF shows can contact the CVB and provide some simple information. Each television in their establishment must be airing the fishing show and food and drink specials are recommended. She said businesses from Alpena's neighboring counties also can take part if they like, because the production crews and fishermen were doing some filming in them as well. She said there are plans being made for a large event for the season finale.
"When they air the championship episode we are going to have a large scale community celebration at the Northern Lights Arena," Stutzman said. "We are still working out the details and it is early in the planning stages, but once it is planned it will be something we will be selling tickets for. It will be a chance for a large part of the community to come together to celebrate what we had done with Major League Fishing."
Stutzman said she knows what night and time the show is scheduled to be televised, but said she can't release the information until the Outdoor Channel and Major League Fishing release it first.
Steve Schulwitz can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5689. Follow Steve on Twitter ss_alpenanews. Read his blog, Upon Further Review ... at www.thealpenanews.com