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Summer starting off with a bang

This summer sure is starting out with a bang. I’m looking at my calendar for the summer. The weekends are filling up fast. I can’t help but notice that Saturday is quite possibly the busiest day of the year in Alpena. This column is not to help promote individual events — I try to stay away from that to remain fair to all events. Instead, this column is to encourage you to explore the community this summer by engaging in one of many events and activities.

Take a look at the Experience Alpena, MI App. As of right now, on June 10 you can start your day at the Alpena Farmers Market. From there you can participate in a 5K run/walk event. After that run, you should take a shower. But then you can choose to head to Rogers City for an arts and crafts show, or if you have children you can take them to the one year celebration party of the Kids FAN Club.

If flowers are your thing you can then attend an Iris show (according to the event description, the Iris is one of the showiest bloomers in a garden and flourish in this area). Then you can take a break for dinner or yard work or a nap before heading to one of several evening events. There is a concert in the park, and a birthday bash with Tommy K. You could also attend the library’s 50th anniversary Story Book Gala, and the Taste the Local Difference Magazine Release Party.

Whew! If you didn’t take me up on that nap during the down time on Saturday, you sure would be ready for a great night’s sleep that night. The activities continue the very next day with a Friend’s Together Celebration at Bay View Park, and then continue to roll right through the summer with multiple choices of events to get involved in nearly every single day.

Ten years ago, “There’s nothing to do here,” was a common statement. That sure has changed. I don’t hear that nearly as often — if ever anymore really — and a quick glance at the online community calendar of events or a scroll through the event section on the Experience Alpena App will tell you why that statement has become a rarity. The event lists are quite lengthy. Even better, our summer has expanded earlier and later than it has ever been, bringing more activities and events, and more tourists (who are important to our economy).

Let’s take a look at some of the things you could experience this summer. These ideas are all based just on information currently found on the community calendar/app, but there are plenty more options. You could engage in cooking classes, attend one of many concerts, take an exercise class, join others in a fishing experience or fishing class, or learn to sew or do needle point. You could spend some time playing cards for fun or in a tournament, or attend a fundraiser for one of many great causes. Then there is the opportunity to attend roller derby, several walk/run events, bike races, festivals, a variety of art classes, a Hawaiian beach party, a play or outdoor movie, attend a circus, spend some time at garage sales, or learn to paddle board.

The list I just provided doesn’t even begin to cover everything there is to do this summer here in the Alpena area. We no longer often hear, “There is nothing to do here.” Instead, we more often hear, “Where can I find information on what to do?” or, “I didn’t hear about that event.” There is no excuse for either because the information is out there and the events are plentiful. Additionally, there is so much to do that isn’t in event form and may never make it onto the events lists and calendars.

In 2012, I wrote a column about all there is to do here. I reread it before writing this one. In 2012, I thought there was plenty to do. In the five years since then, the number of things to see and do has increased tremendously, leading to this Saturday, the busiest day in Alpena, kicking off a busy, wonderful summer.

Jackie Krawczak is president/CEO of the Alpena Area Chamber of Commerce. Her column runs bi-weekly on Thursdays. Follow Jackie on Twitter @jkrawczak.