Saturday, June 22, 2013

HARBORFEST - South Haven, MI

An advantage of staying in South Haven, MI for the month of June, 2013, is that we have become somewhat  familiar with the local culture in town.  You begin to see many of the same people and they tend to look out for you in many ways...like telling you the best places to eat, interesting places to visit, where to get your hair cut, the best values in town, and if they've been here a long time they share interesting stories of what it was like when they were growing up in the area.
South Haven, MI

Downtown South Haven, MI

South Haven, MI - near Maritime Museum
After WWII there was an influx of Jewish settlers who purchased land and settled with their families to farm the lush and fertile land.  Many found it was more profitable to rent rooms in their homes to the new auto tourists arriving at the shore for vacation.  We met someone who said there was always 2 of everything in the village.  One was for the Jewish people and one for the rest of the town.  Because of Jewish customs it was necessary to have kosher deli's, markets, etc.  By the late 1920's about 60 huge resorts were built to handle the people who came into the area on vacations, resulting in the nickname "The Catskills of the Midwest".   
Inn in South Haven, MI

Inn in South Haven, MI

Inn in South Haven, MI
The resorts are no longer here, but the influx of tourists continues.  The weather is definitely one of the draws.   This is a small town and reminds us of places we have lived in the past where small businesses and shop owners depend on the tourists in order to make a living.  Tourism slows down after school starts and the weekend population is reduced to those that live here for the most part.  

The 12th annual  HarborFest celebrates South Haven's maritime history with live music, a crafts fair, dragon boat races, and the 32nd classic boat show once a year.  
HarborFest 2013 - South Haven, MI
We loved the 11th annual Dragon Boat Races, and while it's hard to explain, it was a boatload of fun!  The photos show teams made of participants from South Haven, Bangor, etc., families, significant others, fellow workers, members of Sunday School classes or classmates that get together every year with a fierce spirit of competition.  Team spirit is important and was evident based on the costumes and cheering that was taking place around us.   We can't imagine how much practice it takes to get everyone synchronized.
Dragon Boat Racing - HarborFest 2013

Dragon Boat Racing - HarborFest 2013

Dragon Boat Racing - South Haven, MI

Dragon Boat Racing - South Haven, MI
Tomorrow we will be at the second day of the Kiwanis Breakfast at the Harbor on the Black River and a few more dragon boat races.   For $8 you get a delicious breakfast that includes orange juice, scrambled eggs, sausage, and pancakes.  The proceeds will make about 80% of the Kiwanian budget for the year.  

Yesterday marked the first day of summer and the longest day in the northern hemisphere in 2013.  Enjoy the full moon tonight as well as on June 23.  This full moon will be the closest and largest full moon of the year.  It also presents the moon's closest encounter with Earth for all of 2013.  The moon will not be close again until August, 2014.  The moon will appear up to 14% bigger and 30% brighter than usual.  In other words, it's not just a supermoon, it's the closest supermoon of 2013, also known as a perigree moon!



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