Of course the big news this week is the Grand Opening of Smugglers at North Shore as lakeside dining returns to the area. Well, I guess you can grab a cone at the Lakeside Swirl in Fremont and go sit by the lake which would be lakeside dining but if you hunger for something beyond a cone…
Anyway here are some of the other goings on here, there, and a bit of a drive
Star Party Returns
Our friends at Wessling Observatory are holding another of their star parties this Saturday starting at 7:30pm. Planned viewing for the evening will be...
- The First Quarter Moon, next to the handle of Sagittarius, the Teapot (The Moon passes the Meridian at 8:47pm, and sets around 12:30am).
- Saturn will already be up in the ESE sky - - Jupiter breaks the horizon around 9:30pm.
- The Summer Triangle, shining high overhead.
- The Milky Way ("The River of Heaven"), still arching its way to the Southern sky.
- Various star clusters and Messier objects (galaxies and nebulae).
- And, always a visitor favorite - The Constellation Tour for Sept!
Howard Christensen Nature Center always has some very cool family friendly events and they start their season this Saturday when they will hold their Fairy Festival starting at 1pm. It’s the first in a series of good times at HCNC. Here’s how to get tickets so you can channel that inner fairy of yours.
Rockford Harvest Fest Fri-Sun
Our neighbor to the south knows how to do it well. Their Blues Series in the summer is always some of the best music around, their social district is in a bomb setting and the Rockford Brewery dishes up some fine food and really nice beer. This weekend is their Harvest Fest. It’s a family friendly kind of event starting at 11am Friday and running through Sunday at 4pm.
Calling All Craft Show Fans
We really like the vibe at Dunneback & Girls Farm. A great spot to enjoy a bit of a bite, a pleasant schedule of musical talent that is easy to listen to and special events throughout the seasons not called winter. Saturday they’re holding On The Ridge Craft Show from 9am-4pm and if you’re there from 1-4pm you can catch the musical talents of Everett Domeier who has made appearances throughout the region.
Speaking of Music…
Thursday the Riverstop Cafe in Newaygo hosts Reuben Resendiz Jr. from 6:30-9pm.
You know summer is careening to an end when the Driftwood Deck gigs come to an end.What better way to say goodbye to those magical musical weekends on the pond than with the Denise Anderson Connection Saturday and Sunday 3-7pm. Sad to see it end but Ms. A & company should be able to give it a good send-off.
Love Fleetwood Mac? Well, you’re going to love Kait Rose and her Band of Thorns who will be rocking the Dogwood Main Stage SaturdayD starting at 7:30pm. Here’s an article we did on the show.
Hess Lake’s Smuggler's at North Shore tosses open their doors.
The official opening of Smuggler’s at North Shore could not have asked for a more perfect day. With just 3 days of official summertime remaining the lakeside eatery was blessed with a sunny, mid 70’s afternoon that allowed diners to enjoy the expansive deck and the sparkle off Hess Lake.
It was 5 years ago last month that the previous incarnation closed following a fire.
The property was purchased by the Thompson family and finally a year ago minus a week they broke ground on the new facility that stands on the site that has been home to lakeside dining for generations.
Possibly the happiest of all to see the restaurant open their doors are the lake dwellers who have long missed the opportunity to go out to dinner via watercraft.
Hours for Smuggler’s at North Shore are Sunday, Monday and Wednesday 11am-10pm, Thursday, Friday and Saturday 11am-11pm. They are closed on Tuesdays.
The Phone number is 231.237.8286.
The aurora borealis made an appearance in Michigan this past Monday, September 18, 2023. Newaygo County resident Jen Selwa spent the day Monday evaluating several sources and locations in preparation for the event to photograph. She decided upon her favorite: a couple of local Newaygo County lakes, since the wind was predicted to be calm and she hoped that the reflection would be captured on camera.
Most aurora borealis forecasts can be made a couple of days in advance, but the intensity and length sometimes is harder to predict. Selwa relies on several sources, including a traditional weather forecast for clear or cloudy skies, whether the moon will be in the night sky (the brightness will diminish the aurora), spaceweather.com (there is a free app for your phone as well), and a Facebook group called Michigan Aurora Chasers.
A question that Selwa often gets is the best location to view the aurora and most importantly, what time. Her advice is this: "Getting away from artificial light sources is very important. Look for a dark, north facing location such as a field, lake, or on top of a hill above a tree line. The aurora ebbs and flows slowly, so bring a couple lawn chairs, snacks, and patience for the evening show. Using the resources above will help you also become a predictor of the aurora borealis."
Another question that Selwa is often asked is whether or not the aurora that appears in her images is what you actually see in person. The human eye views the northern lights generally in faint colors and as shades of grey and white. Our eyes are designed with cones and rods. The cones work mainly during the day and the rods work mainly at night. The light is too faint to be sensed by the color-detecting cone cells. DSLR camera sensors don’t have the same limitation as our eyes. Combined with the long exposure times and high ISO settings of modern cameras, the conclusion is that the camera sensor has a much higher dynamic range of vision in the dark than us. Newer model cell phones are now also capable of picking up the aurora with practice. An exposure time of 10-15 seconds is typical, with a high ISO and a fast lens (low F-stop number). A tripod is mandatory for a DSLR camera and highly recommended for cell phone users.
Jen Selwa has been a resident of Newaygo County for 20 years. A licensed drone pilot, she recently won the 2023 West Michigan Tourist Association Photo Contest Lake/Beach/Lighthouse category with her drone image of Little Sable Lighthouse. Selwa is also a Michigan State Parks Photo Ambassador. Her varied photographic subjects of interest include lighthouses, birds, and astrophotography. You'll often find Selwa in a kayak, quietly paddling with her camera in hand and following her beloved loon families on a Newaygo County lake. She is offering a 2024 Common Loon calendar available for sale through her website, www.jenselwa.com, along with other prints (including the aurora borealis and a gallery dedicated to Newaygo County).
Local artist part of ArtPrize
The iconic Manistee National Forest is one of many illustrations that Victor Du Bois is featuring in his 2023 ArtPrize exhibit in Grand Rapids, MI. The title of his art entry is "Forever Michigan" and it includes four different collages of line drawings of West Michigan wildlife and culture.
A native-born Michigander (resident of Fremont) who has enjoyed the abundant natural resources in Newaygo County, Victor Du Bois is inviting visitors to ArtPrize to be a part of the art.
"My large collage style illustrations are on display at Oh, Hello Co. on Monroe Center Street, downtown Grand Rapids until October 1, 2023" states Victor, "Grab a crayon and show me your true colors!" he adds.
Art spectators of all ages are invited to color this art that captures everything from woodland creatures to agricultural life in Michigan.
Fall Farm Fest September 29
By Sally Wagoner
A Fall Farm Festival will be held on Friday, September 29 from 5pm-8pm at Provision Family Farms. Located at 5274 E 6 Mile Rd, White Cloud, 49349, the event is family friendly and free. Fun activities will include apple cider pressing, hayrides, and honey harvest. There will also be live folk music, fresh homemade bread with honey butter, and Stone Soup.
What is Stone Soup? Luke and Caitlin Eising invite you to come find out.
“We are celebrating our 10th year on the Farm, and we want to share our bounty with community members,” explains Luke, who with his family owns and runs Provision Family Farms. “We are a multi-generational family farm that raises cows, pigs, chickens, sheep & turkeys in a diverse, rotational grazing system that allows them access to fresh grass and forage.”
“Rotational grazing means we move our animals every day, giving them fresh pasture” adds Luke. “Moving the animals through the pastures in succession mimics the natural movement of animal herds, and stimulates the grass to grow back thicker and healthier. When more diverse plants and animals are working together, it creates happier and healthier animals, a healthier environment and more nutritious and delicious food.”
Provision Family Farms specialize in naturally raised pork, beef, lamb, chicken, turkeys, eggs, honey and fresh ground flour, all sold to the public through an online order, delivery or pick up system.
The farm features a 20 acre lake with a floating peat island, multiple pastures for the grazing animals, diverse rolling woods, barn, custom built home with greenhouse, tent sites for campers, and trails that run through the nearby Manistee National Forest.
Asked why he and his family farm, Luke explains, “We believe that God provides for us and all people in everything, and this provision is especially clear when he brings food from the earth through our labor,” states Luke. “As farmers we are good stewards of the land. We are kind to our livestock, taking care to support their needs. We feed our animals their natural diet and avoid chemical shortcuts to health and growth. And,” Luke adds, “We love to grow and eat delicious food!”
Luke and his family welcome community members to the Fall Farm Festival, or to come visit another time. For more information, visit
Confirm attending the Fall Festival by going to Facebook page @Provision Family Farms/events. You can contact Luke at (231) 689-0457.
Newaygo County Native Gathering
Our friend, colleague and occasional collaborator on a number of projects Larry Goiune passed away last winter. He was one of the finest human beings I have known and a remarkable artist and photographer
Along with many others he was involved in the initiative that brought the Newaygo County Native Circle Gathering to our area in celebration of the richness of our Native heritage.
This Saturday 12pm-7pm and Sunday 1-5pm.The Gathering will be held at Loomis Lodge in Newaygo.
This free, family friendly, and always enlightening event is one of our ’can’t miss’ local doings. Stop by. You won’t be disappointed.
There is nothing quite like Art Prize. Since its inception it has provided an amazing array of incredible creations that take over our metro cousin to the south each year. I still recall a while back when one of my favorite local artists, Lori Hough, had her paper mache giraffes on display. I was at her studio the day they packed the lengthy beasts up for the move to GR. When I think of the logistics I am still a bit stunned they made it there intact.
Michigan Irish Music Festival
This is my annual favorite as the Hibernian spirit engulfs Heritage Park in Muskegon. As I have said each year by far…and I mean really far…this is the best organized festival I have ever attended and yes, I have been to Wheatland.
The music is sublime, the grounds are epic when it comes to people watching, the vibe is way, way upbeat and did I mention the music? There are intriguing learning experiences such as getting the skinny on an Irish wake, tasty diversions such as the Whiskey Snug and the merchants on hand make the Irish Store well worth a walk through or two. I’m getting a cap but one of these years I will take a serious look at the kilts.
Friday, Saturday, Sunday in Muskegon. Here’s the link.
Personal note: I remember being introduced to Fleetwood Mac circa mid to late 70’s. I was visiting a friend of mine who had a place many of us would often gather at in those days. We’d hang out, listen to music and indulge in a few adult beverages and such. I recall asking him ‘Who is that?” when he had put on their self titled album that preceded Rumours.“You ask me that every time,” he laughed and showed me the cover. “Now remember this!”
I did. Still love their music. Even had the chance to see them in GR. Crummy seats but great music. Then last week I ran into longtime Dogwood volunteer Rob Johnston who told me about the upcoming Fleetwood Mac Tribute show. “Should be a good one,” he said.
I was all over it. I checked out a video via youtube and liked what I heard. Ready to call and reserve a couple seats, I glanced at my phone calendar and saw that we will be out of town that weekend ensconced on Beaver Island visiting our smart, good looking and highly likable grandkids… and their parents.
Thus, I am imploring all FleetMac fans out there to get your tickets and sell the show out so quickly that bringing them back will be a must.
Selfish reasons to be sure, but when it comes to Fleetwood Mac music?
I truly have no pride-KD
Here’s the skinny on the show:
Kait Rose and the Band of Thorns will perform a "Fleetwood Mac Tribute" on the Dogwood Center's Main Stage on Saturday, September 23 at 7:30 p.m.
Kait Rose has been playing guitar and writing songs since the summer of 2001 after finding her mom's Alvarez in the hallway closet. To date, Kait has recorded seven full length solo-albums in various basements and attics of friends and family members from Indianapolis to Seattle, Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids. Her most recent release (2022) is “Balance,” and it was nominated for Album of the Year at the WYCE Jammies.
“We started doing the "Fleetwood Mac Tribute" four years ago,” says Rose. “We had no idea it was going to be so popular. The people who come to these shows are really big Fleetwood Mac fans. It’s been extraordinary."
Kait and the band have a busy summer and fall performing across Michigan including popular festivals such as Hoxeyville Music Festival, Wheatland Music Festival and Earthwork Harvest Gathering.
Tickets are $17.50 and are available online at www.dogwoodcenter.com, at the Dogwood Box Office, or at NCCA-Artsplace in downtown Fremont, or just click here. The Dogwood Center Box Office is open Tuesday - Friday, 10:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. For information, phone 231.924.8885. The Dogwood Center is located one mile east of downtown Fremont.
NCCA-Artsplace Fall Photography Contest
Have some fun this fall and shoot away….with your camera or phone! Newaygo County is prime country for that perfect fall photo. Take your best shots and enter the NCCA-Artsplace Fall Photography Contest. The contest is an annual community event that anyone can enter and showcases the fall beauty of our area. Entry deadline is Thursday, October 5, by 5:00 p.m.
This free competition is for all ages and all levels of skill. All entries must have a fall or harvest theme. Participants may submit up to two entries. Each entry must be an 8”x10” unframed photograph.
All entries will be on display October 6 through October 31 in the corridor gallery at NCCA-Artsplace. First, second and third place awards will be announced at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 7 and posted at www.ncca-artsplace.org and @NCCA-Artsplace on Facebook.
Registration forms for the competition are available at NCCA-Artsplace, 13 East Main Street, downtown Fremont or call 231.924.4022. The guidelines and forms may also be printed from www.ncca-artsplace.org.
Here's what's happening nearby and not so nearby.
Abraham Lincoln makes an appearance in Fremont on Thursday and just in time given his experience with a country divided. On Thursday, September 7th, at 7:00 p.m the Fremont Area District Library will host a special Live @ the Library Event titled “Abraham Lincoln: A New Birth of Freedom”. This immersive experience, ideal for ages 6 through adults, will feature an Abraham Lincoln impersonator who will transport attendees back to a crucial era in American history. Prepare to be captivated by this engaging and educational journey.
Wheatland Fri-Sun all day all night and all in between
If you know Wheatland there is nothing left to be said. If you don’t know Wheatland it’s…it’s… hard to explain. At any rate, all the weekend tickets are gone…long gone…but you can cruise to Remus Sunday and spend the day taking it all in for $45. Directions are simple. Head for Remus then watch for the signs directing you to this annual gathering of humanity.
Rockford Art in the Park Saturday 9am- 5pm Garden Club Park
This is one of the coolest art shows around and it takes place near the Rockford Brewery, always a plus. This show features juried Michigan artists and Rogue River Artists Association members showing a variety of art for sale including jewelry, pottery, paintings, photography, pastels, woodwork, home décor, baskets, fiber arts, leather purses, wearables, sculpture, fused glass and papercraft. Free admission to the public.
Hippie Fair Ionia County Fairgrounds Thursday- Sunday
I’ve not been to one of the Hippie Fairs that have sprung up in recent years but have wondered if these doings capture the era they seek to represent. I’m also curious as to who attends these gatherings? Are they fellow boomers looking to see what they either missed back then or simply miss right now? Or are they popular with younger folks who are a bit captivated by the late 60’s early 70’s scene. At any rate I bet the music is good.
Here's the skinny: https://hippielivingfairllc.ticketspice.com/hippie-living-fair-travelers-vintage-retro-artisan-market
And Speaking Of Music…
Lynn Thompson brings his guitar mastery to the Riverstop Cafe on Thursday from 6-9pm and while the ‘Stop’s music series has been hitting on all cylinders, this is one of those ‘don’t miss’ sessions for aficionados of really fine tunesmanship.
If you don't catch him in Newaygo he’s at one of our favorite short drive spots, the Ed Dunneback & Girls Farm Market from 1-4pm Saturday.
The Driftwood continues to rock The Pond featuring The Faulkners on Friday 6-9pm then following up with a weekend of DC True a band that brings a seriously good time to any venue they visit. Saturday 4-8pm and Sunday 3-7pm. Gotta enjoy that deck as long as possible.
Have an event coming up? Send us an email at info@nearnorthnow and perhaps we’ll give it a shout.
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