Maritime Festival a sailing success in Escanaba

ESCANABA — The second annual Bays de Noc Maritime Festival has sailed into Escanaba, and despite the high temperatures, a lot of people turned out. The celebration is a prelude to Escanaba’s 150th anniversary, which will be next year. There was a lot crammed into one day of seafaring fun during Friday’s Maritime Festival.

Many of the kids beat the heat by jumping into the pool stationed at the Dive Team’s tent.

But others, like Collin Schultz of Plymouth, Michigan, braved the heat and checked out the boats.

Officials say the day got off to a slow start at 9 a.m.

But as temperatures rose, so did the number of spectators.

“Being at the far end of the vessel,” explained Maria Maniaci, co-organizer of the festival, “I’ve seen a couple hundred people. But there’s a lot more people at the other end. They have the musicians, the food, and the crafts people.”

The Delta County Search and Rescue Team was there to meet the public and get the word out about their September 6 fundraiser in Rapid River.

“It’s enjoyable,” said Fundraiser Chairman, Peter DeHaan. “We’re stationed right next to the Delta County Dive Team, which we assist on occasion. And they’ve got a pool set up for scuba diving.”

There were teaching tours aboard the Inland Seas, and music, food, and vendors to enjoy on land.

“Esky is so fun, especially with all these nice festivals,” said Collin Schultz. “We’re probably going to leave soon. But before we do that, we’re going to get some of the kettle corn. It’s really good.”

If you didn’t get a chance to visit, there’s something to look forward to next time. Officials say the next year’s Maritime Festival will be even bigger. Instead of one day, it’ll be held on two days, July 12 and 13. There will be three ships as well, one for dockside tours, teaching, and sailaways.

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