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TBRC hosting free Magic in our Midst program at Island Park

News Photo by Darby Hinkley The above squirrel was one of the featured animals in last year’s Magic in our Midst program at island park. The squirrel “talked” about his role as one of the animals that makes its home at the park, located in the Alpena Wildlife Sanctuary.

ALPENA — After a successful inaugural event last winter, Thunder Bay River Center is hosting its second annual “Magic in our Midst” program at Island Park.

The outdoor trail-walking event will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 11.

The program is free, but tickets are required. Pick up tickets at Muddy Paws, 217 W. Chisholm St. in downtown Alpena. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Thunder Bay River Center is hosting the Magic in Our Midst guided hike. Walkers will follow a lighted trail, as seven stuffed animals come alive with pre-recorded voices that “talk” with children and adults. Walkers in this Magic in Our Midst adventure will be welcomed by the Spirit of the Island, Sah-gon-ah-kat-toh, and led by “sprites.” The animals will be voiced by local actors and broadcast to blue tooth speakers.

There will be six time slots per hour, with six people in each group. Tickets are time-stamped in 10-minute increments. Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Each group will be led on the magic trail by a guide.

Children 16 and younger will receive a small flashlight to be used during the program. Each participant will receive a souvenir Animal Friends booklet.

After walking the trail (about 30-45 minutes), groups are invited to the tent for a warm-up treat of hot chocolate and a bag of animal crackers.

Sponsors include Top O’Michigan, the River Center and Alpena Wildlife Sanctuary boards, McDonald’s, Thrivent Financial and Alpena Civic Theatre.

The covered bridge to Island Park will be closed to all non-ticket holders from 4 until 8:30 p.m. on Dec. 11.

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