Posts Tagged ‘Unity Christian Music Festival’

What do you do in Muskegon anyway?

Memorial Ceremony, Where was Flier 66 years ago today? | Posted by Rebekah
Jul 29 2010

I thought since the Flier Memorial services are on a Thursday and Friday, some of you might want to know what you can do around Muskegon other than hang at the museum (which is fine by us!)  A lot of visitors to the Museum have often asked me “What do you do around here anyway?”  Well, despite what the teenage locals will tell you, there’s quite a lot to do around Muskegon, especially in the summertime.  Following are some of my favorites.

There’s Michigan’s Adventure, the amusement park that’s half rollercoasters and half water park.  They’re constantly updating every year, and it’s amazing.  There’s the Summer Luge Track (If I remember correctly it’s the only one in the country, or it’s one of two), Muskegon State Park if your inclination is for hiking and swimming (You can hike beach, dunes, transition dunes and woodland all in the same area, or visit the Blockhouse, a replica of an 1812 lookout tower that guarded Muskegon during the War of 1812.  Hike far enough, and you can photograph the Silversides from her starboard side.). You can swim at Pere Marquette Beach, have a meal and  Ice Cream at RuthAnn’s.  (Ruth Ann’s Flirts with the boundary of the state park so you have gorgeous scenery to eat in. ) Visit the Muskegon Farmer’s Market on Thursday or Saturday for everything from fresh produce to candles, doughnuts, cheese, pet accessories, Amish or Mennonite items, handmade furniture, live plants, and other things.  My favorite Cheese Lady is there.   What’s there is different every time, and the place is very large.  If you lean towards Art, there is the Muskegon Art Museum which will be featuring the Regional Juried Art Exhibition.  During the Flier weekend, Muskegon will be hosting the Unity Christian Music Festival.  On $10/day and you have the opportunity to hear several bands that day for the price.  (If you’re near enough, Muskegon also hosts an Irish Music Festival, a Summer Celebration Festival, among MANY others.  Living there was often like getting a free concert every weekend as the music drifted across the lake.)

This is some of the places you'd have to drive to.

As mentioned earlier, there’s also the Hackley and Hume homes, built when Muskegon was a booming logging, sawmill and transport town.  During this time, Muskegon had more millionaires per capita than any other town in the WORLD.  (And that was back when being a millionaire was a BIG deal.)  This is why, when you look in the  several block radius around the Hackley Hume homes (two of the most beautiful and fanciful homes I’ve ever seen) there are so many gorgeous homes with multiple floors, porches, overhangs, turrets, and beautiful hand-carved details.  These men believed in philanthropy and helping the town so they also built many things for the people, such as the Hackley Public Library.  It looks like a castle, and has stained glass windows of many famous writers and authors.  It also has a precise replica of the Book of Kells, the famous seventh century hand-drawn book discovered in Ireland, with beautiful illuminations and knotwork.  Only a few exact replicas were ever made, and they cost thousands of dollars a piece.  The Muskegon Irish-American Society undertook a fundraiser to bring one of these replicas to the Muskegon Library.  It’s the only one on permanent display in a library in North America.  They turn one page a week.  It’s  a gorgeous building to visit.

This is the stuff near the hotels. Most of it is within walking distance.

There the Frauenthal, which is one of those theaters built in that era where they had real box seats in the sides of the walls and gilded carvings surrounding the stage.  Believe it or not, the Glenn Miller Orchestra will be performing on Saturday, August 14, at the Frauenthal.  (Glenn Miller, for those who don’t know, was a huge WWII era performer.  The men of the Flier, Redfin and Robalo probably listened to his records and certainly danced to it.)  There’s Hackley Park, a memorial for the Civil War era soldiers from Muskegon.

There’s the LST-393 Museum, dedicated to the Landing Ship Tank Ships, workhorses of the military in WWII.  Strange thing about those ships, despite the fact that hundreds of them served during WWII, only TWO still exist, one in Muskegon.  After WWII, they were sold to freighting companies all over the world.  They served, and most were eventually scrapped, scuttled, or abandoned, if they weren’t lost at sea.   The 393 was sold to a company in Muskegon who turned it into Highway 16, a ferry linking Muskegon and Milwaukee (much like the Lake Express Ferry today.)  After she was retired, she was moored in Muskegon and more or less forgotten, just like many of her sisters.  Unlike her sisters however, when her identity was discovered, she was not too far gone to restore, thanks to the fresh water of the Great Lakes in which she had traveled since 1946.  Her bow doors were re-opened (they’re the front door to the museum), and she has bee re-done from bow to stern.  If you’re interested in more Naval History in the European Theater, she’s a good stop.

I love Muskegon, in case you haven’t realized, and still miss it, years after my husband and I had to leave for our work.  I hope you do too during your time there for the Memorial.

And sixty-six years ago today, Flier is still in the drydock.  She will be until tomorrow.  She is scheduled to leave on 2 August, and has double exercises with the submarine Muskallunge between now and then, plus night training, and satisfactory completion of her sound test.  The men would be hard pressed to finish everything in time.

Just a quick update…

Memorial Ceremony, The Exhibit | Posted by Rebekah
Jun 19 2010

Snatching a few moments just now to update all of you Flier watchers out there…

After a meeting yesterday, we have some details about the Flier ceremony and the temporary exhibit which we’ll put up in time for the ceremony, and the future permanent exhibit.

If you are planning on coming to the festivities that weekend and you need a place to stay, the museum has reserved 70 rooms at the Holiday Inn downtown for Flier families.  Just mention that you are part of the group.  Don’t wait to reserve your spot, since Muskegon is a tourist town, AND that weekend is the Unity Christian Music Festival, and the hotels are telling us they are expecting to be full that weekend shortly.  If you find that place is full, give me or the museum folks a ring and we can see if we can help you locate another museum or bed and breakfast nearby.

While the memorial ceremony at 11 am on Friday August 13 is open to the public, if you are attending the entire weekend, you will need to register.  All those Flier family members should have received their packets by now.  If you haven’t, let us know and we’ll get them to you.

Between time and financial constraints, the permanent Flier exhibit will not be ready in time, we’re so sorry.  Since it won’t be ready in time, we have opted to not start it during the summer, which is our busiest season.  We do, however, have a traveling exhibit area prepped and ready and will be putting together an exhibit there.  In a way, it’s better, since we’ll be posting more of the original work than we otherwise normally would.  Since these items will come down and go into storage later,  delicate objects that shouldn’t be out in the light for long CAN be put on display here for the temporary exhibit.

Weather permitting, the ceremony will take place on the deck of the Silversides, Flier’s sister, where we will read each man’s name and then ring the bell in their honor, while throwing a flower into the water.  When it’s done, Silversides is surrounded by a cloud of flowers, it’s really quite striking.  The Navy is sending someone to make the address, but who this person is has not been announced yet.  (According to an inside source, this person won’t be announced until about a month before the ceremony.)

For those who have been wanting to see the film about the finding of Flier’s wreck, a copy of it IS scheduled to come and debut during that day.   From what I’ve been told, the rights to the film in the USA are still in question because they are still working on signing with a distributer for the whole six-part series.  There WILL NOT be copies for sale (due to the above-mentioned reason), but it will be shown.  Since we’re expecting about 200 people for the ceremony and our theater only seats 72, we’ll be running it all day.

The future exhibit will be located on the second floor of museum and is currently planned to have a place to show the Dive Detectives documentary, as well as some interactive exhibits.  The location and size of the exhibit changed recently, which means I’m re-drawing what it will look like, so take the images on the “Exhibits” page with a grain of salt.

And finally, my book will also debut that weekend!  If you’ve been interested to read more of the Flier’s story, you’ll have the opportunity.

I’ll try to post later this afternoon about what Flier’s up to today, and some interesting information I discovered about the last time USS Crevalle crossed Balabac Straits.  Why does it matter?  Because the Navy gave the path Crevalle took through Balabac to the Flier to help them navigate safely through, but there were some interesting quirks about that path…