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Home    Happenings   May 2005 Happenings

Happenings in the Keweenaw Peninsula

May 25, 2005  Updated May 26, 2005

Houghton waterfront foot races planned for Spring Festival May 28

HOUGHTON -- Runners and walkers will be serenaded by musicians during events Saturday, May 28, along the Houghton waterfront. Striding for Strings, with competitive running races for all ages and a fun walk/run, will raise money for the Copper Country Suzuki Association. 

Libby Meyer and young violinists perform at Poor Artists' Sale in Calumet last December. (File photo © 2004 Michele Anderson)
Elizabeth (Libby) Meyer, Copper Country Suzuki Association (CCSA) program director and instructor, leads a group of budding violinists in their performance at the Dec. 2004 Poor Artists' Sale in Calumet. Striding for Strings foot races at the May 28 Art and Music Festival will raise money for CCSA. (Keweenaw Now file photo © 2004 Michele Anderson) 

The races begin and end at Mattila Square (west of the UPPCO building) and follow Houghton's flat, paved waterfront bike trail. A competitive 8 kilometer (4.96 mile) run begins at 10 a.m., followed by a 3 km (1.86 mile) fun walk/run/stroller push at 10:05 a.m. Youth races begin at 11 a.m., with a 500 meter (0.31 mile) run for ages 6 and under, 1 km (0.62 mile) run for ages 7-9, 1.5 km (0.93 mile) run for ages 10-12, and 2 km (1.24 mile) run for ages 13-17. 

Batucobre, a Houghton group of Brazilian percussion drummers led by Charles White, will be sending off the runners for the Suzuki fun run at 10:05 a.m.

Prizes will be awarded to the top three finishers in each age/gender group in the 8 km and youth races. The winners of age/gender groups in the 8 km race will receive passes to the Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra donated by the Michigan Tech Fine Arts Department. Adult age groups are 18-39, 40-49, 50-59, and 60-plus. 

Entry forms are available at Cross Country Sports in Calumet and Downwind Sports in Houghton, or after 8:30 a.m., day-of-race.

To obtain more information or to volunteer, call Ray at 482-0902 after 5 p.m. or email

Following the race there will be food, live music, artists' booths, youth games and activities -- and much more fun for the whole family at the Fourth Annual Houghton Spring Art and Music Festival, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. in Mattila Square.

Robyn Johnson checks out one of the artists' booths in Mattila Square during the 2003 Festival.  (Photo © 2003 Adam Johnson of Reprinted with permission.) 
At the 2003 Spring Art and Music Festival, Robyn Johnson checks out one of the artists' booths in Mattila Square. (Photo © 2003 Adam Johnson of Reprinted with permission.) 

The Festival began in 2002, thanks to Michigan Tech graduate student Kenneth A. Thiemann, singer and guitarist, who was inspired by the annual art fair in Ann Arbor, where he once lived. He said it would be an opportunity to celebrate community and the end of winter. Since then, the festival has become a springtime tradition.

Ken Thiemann dabs at a sidewalk painting during the 2003 Festival. (Photo © 2003 Adam Johnson of Reprinted with permission.) 
Ken Thiemann, originator of the first Spring Art and Music Festival, tries out sidewalk painting at the 2003 Festival in Houghton. (Photo © 2003 Adam Johnson of Reprinted with permission.) 

Local artists will be displaying and selling their creations. Art exploration booths invite visitors of all ages to experience art activities.

"Try your hand at Gyotaku (Japanese fish printing); powdered charcoal drawings; nature print/collage bookmarks; and hemp and bead bracelets," said Evie Johnson, Copper Country Community Arts Council Board Member. 

A kids' readers' theatre is also on the agenda, Johnson noted.

Keweenaw Joe's smoky barbecue sandwiches served with cole slaw, chips and a drink (for $5) will be available from noon to 3 p.m. in the music tent. Proceeds will benefit community arts activities.

The festival will feature many local and regional bands playing a variety of music throughout the day. The schedule for musical entertainment is as follows:

10 - 11 a.m. Finn Street
11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.  Zen Lunatic
1:30 - 2:30 p.m. MANX
2:30 - 3:30 p.m. The Burren
4 - 5 p.m. Algoma
5:30 - 6:30 p.m. Sycamore Smith.

Music will also be played at a second stage in the Motherlode Coffee House, right next to the festival activities.

Itinerant poet writes and illustrates a poem for two fair maidens from Hancock during the May 2002 festival.
A mysterious, itinerant poet/portrait artist/fortune teller, who attended the 2002 Houghton Spring Art and Music Festival, writes and illustrates a poem inspired by two fair maidens from Hancock. (Keweenaw Now file photo © 2002 Michele Anderson) 

It's a good idea to bring sunscreen and a hat.

For more information about artists' booths, call Cynthia Coté at 482-2333.

Editor's Note: To learn about the Copper Country Suzuki Association, visit their Web site.

Visit the Keweenaw Now discussion forums to comment on this article.

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