2017-06-29 / Front Page

Celebrate A COOL FOURTH

Leelanau hangs a welcome sign for holiday weekend

A traffic jam in Empire? Before the Fourth of July?

Actually it wasn’t much of a “jam,” relates Bonnie Nescott, who owns Art’s Tavern in Glen Arbor with her husband, Tim Barr. They reside in Empire.

“It took me five minutes to turn one day. I was coming off the side street at the bank that goes to North Bar Lake. I had to sit there, which was kind of cute,” she said.

Whether a traffic jam or “wait,” Leelanau County has already been busy heading into perhaps its busiest time of the year.

“It’s been unbelievable,” Nescott said of restaurant traffic. “We keep thinking that we can’t do more. We’ve been comparable for a lot of months with a slight increase, but we’re busy right now. We’re up a lot.”

Parades are planned over the Fourth of July weekend in Leland and Glen Arbor, there’s fireworks in Northport, a patriotic flag-raising in Burdickville ... lots of events.


OLD ART BUILDING board members (left to right) Logan Hardie, Mary Stewart, Tom McConnell, Dan Lisuk, John Scott work on their float for the Leland parade. The float is in honor of the Old Art Building’s 95th year in operation. OLD ART BUILDING board members (left to right) Logan Hardie, Mary Stewart, Tom McConnell, Dan Lisuk, John Scott work on their float for the Leland parade. The float is in honor of the Old Art Building’s 95th year in operation. Suttons Bay may be the exception, but Chamber of Commerce president Karen Pontius expects the village to be busy.

Very busy.

“We are prepared,” said Pontius, who picked up the phone to the Chamber on the third ring. “The Fourth of July up here is like the kickoff. Instead of the 21st of June being the summer solstice, our summer solstice is the Fourth.”

While plenty of events will be held in Suttons Bay over the summer, none are planned for the holiday weekend.

And there’s a reason. With so many legacy events scheduled on the Peninsula, what new event wouldn’t draw people from one with years of history behind it?


VOLUNTEER RICHARD Och waters flowers that spruce up the M-204 bridge in Lake Leelanau in preparation for the holiday. VOLUNTEER RICHARD Och waters flowers that spruce up the M-204 bridge in Lake Leelanau in preparation for the holiday. “To try to do something like that, you’re competing with the cherry festival of some other events. That’s what is nice about Leelanau County. Communities are cognizant that they don’t want to compete with events in other communities,” she said.

And besides, the cool weather will probably keep county villages busy with shoppers, she added.

“You want it to be nice out, but on the other hand if it’s rainy and cooler, people don’t go to the beach and often they shop. So there are advantages to the weather,” said Pontius, who is the owner of Suttons Bay Trading Company.

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