Every year since I was a kid my family would take a camping trip up to the great city of Manistee, MI for the Fourth of July. You can where Manistee is on the map above. This little city puts on a really cool celebration for the Fourth of July called the Manistee National Forest Festival. Interesting little fact is that this is near the same place that I go deer hunting every year. In fact, we hunt in the Manistee National Forest.
In Manistee, MI there is a theatre called the Ramsdell Theater, which was built in 1903 by Thomas Jefferson Ramsdell. It was the very theater that James Earl Jones got his start. And he also happened to be a graduate of the University of Michigan, but I digress…. If you don’t recognize the name James Earl Jones, perhaps you will recognize the name Darth Vader from Star Wars, he was the voice for the famous villain. The picture you see to the left is of my son, Caleb, acting up on that very stage!
We went to Magoon Creek Nature Center with the kids and had a good time. They have a trail that you can walk down and learn about the different kinds of plants and trees that you find in the northern parts of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan. They also had an old fashioned hand water pump that I showed the kids how they used to have to get water from in the old days. They thought it was pretty neat. The park is located along the shores of Lake Michigan and the picture you see is of Hannah sitting on the railing along the cliff by the shore. It was very beautiful there!
One day we spent on the beach with my cousin Jennifer, Jason, Travis and my great Aunt Cora and great uncle Jack, along with my cousin Jennifer’s dog, Logan. Logan is in the picture looking at Caleb on the beach. We had a fun time. We threw a toy out into the water that Logan would go and retrieve for us. Some of us brave souls braved the frigid waters of Lake Michigan and swam out to the sand bar. We also collected some rocks from the lake for Jennifer’s rock garden. (Yes, we know they don’t really grow) And when we went to gather up the rocks and walk back up the steps to our car, we got about half way up the steps when I realized that I did not have my wedding ring on anymore.
When I put my watch on I had forgotten that I attached my wedding ring to it and must have dropped it in the sand. And when I went to go back to look for it, I could not find it. So now I am on the search for a new one. Kimmy and I had always talked about swapping ours out for white gold, but I had always hoped I would have my original one. But, oh well, what can you do?
Some of the traditional things that we do every year is the…..
Parade on the Fourth of July….
And this is the main attraction every year. The World Famous Scottville Clown Band. These guys are not only absolutely hysterical to watch because of their crazy outfits, but they are VERY good!
No trip to Manistee is complete without the delicious carmel corn. This little trailer that sells this delicious stuff has been doing so since the 1930’s and the granddaughter of the guy who started it still runs it with her mom! It is the best carmel corn you will ever put in your mouth!
And of course the fireworks!
Another great year in Manistee and another great vacation! This little town puts on quite a show as you can see!
And in case you are wondering about my family history in this town, check out this pick of my grandma from her high school yearbook that I found in the museum there.
If you want to see more pics of our trip you can see them on our family’s website.