News and Events Header Graphic


NOAA logo

Fourth of July Family Fun at Thunder Bay Sanctuary

Intergovernmental Agreement Signed.
A shipwreck in Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary. (Photo: Tane Casserley, NMSP)
Are you looking for a fun way for your family to spend the Fourth of July?  For the residents of Michigan, head to the City of Alpena on the shores of Thunder Bay for the 7th Annual Thunder Bay Maritime Festival.  Hosted by sanctuary staff, this festival is one example of how the sanctuary program provides the public with fun and exciting ways to learn about the wonders of the National Marine Sanctuary System.  Visit the Thunder Bay Web site for details about the festival or visit any sanctuary Web site to find out about an upcoming sanctuary event near you this summer.

The 7th Annual Thunder Bay Maritime Festival will be on Wednesday, July 4th from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center.  The 2007 festival will be a celebration of America’s Independence, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) 200th anniversary and Thunder Bay’s rich maritime heritage.  The festival is free to the public and includes live entertainment, food and fun activities. Festival goers will be able to tour the tall ship Highlander Sea, as well as the Sea Cadet training vessel Pride of Michigan, and several NOAA research vessels.  

There will be live scuba and remotely operated vehicle demonstrations. Kids can play games, build and sail their own model boat, learn about archaeology, NOAA, and more.  Visitors can learn about how NOAA serves the American public with its science, weather forecasting, charting and education programs.  Other government agencies will also be here educating the public, including U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, U.S. Coast Guard, and Michigan's Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Division.

Inside the Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center, visitors can view NOAA's "Science on a Sphere," explore exhibits on Thunder Bay’s shipwreck and rich maritime history, watch films highlighting Thunder Bay NMS and the NMSP, shop at the Sanctuary Store and catch a preview of the Center's permanent exhibits. The sanctuary will also hold their 6th Annual Family Boat Building Event, where visitors can watch participants construct beautiful wooden boats and get information of future classes and events. 

During the festival, the new Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Trail, the result of almost six million in grants, will open to the public.  The 2,800 foot trail runs through the Historic Fletcher Paper Mill Redevelopment Complex and features a foot bridge to Rotary Island, a new dock for visiting tall ships, outdoor maritime exhibits, 20 historic markers and improved landscaping.  The 29-acre Historic Fletcher Paper Mill complex, anchored by NOAA's Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center, is transforming daily from former brown field site to first-class heritage tourism destination and community asset. Additionally, a NOAA National Geodetic Survey marker has been imbedded along the trail and will be officially dedicated during the festival. Scientists from the National Geodetic Survey will working on site during the festival, giving visitors an opportunity to see firsthand the precision with which the marker's location is fixed and learn more about its importance. 

Equally exciting is the re-opening of the Fletcher Street thoroughfare, which leads to the Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center. The project includes a completely resurfaced road, new access to much needed parking, historically themed lighting and much improved landscaping.  The annual Alpena Fourth of July parade has modified its route to end along the new Fletcher Street thoroughfare- a change that promises to bring thousands of parade participants and viewers to the sanctuary grounds.

leaving site indicates a link leaves the site. Please view our Link Disclaimer for more information.
Revised September 12, 2023 by Sanctuaries Web Team | Contact Us | Web Site Owner: National Ocean Service
National Ocean Service | National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | Privacy Policy | For Employees | User Survey