Drone light show something new for Algoma’s Shanty Days
ALGOMA – Something new to Shanty Days is in the air, quite literally, to close this weekend's three-day festival.
That would be a drone light show, set to music and scheduled for dusk Sunday over the Lake Michigan shoreline. The Algoma Area Chamber of Commerce, which presents Shanty Days, said it believes this is the first drone light show to be held in the region, replacing the fireworks show that traditionally closed the festival.
Twenty-five drones operated by Great Lakes Drone Co. out of Michigan will perform the aerial light show of 10 to 15 minutes to celebrate the history of flight and the U.S. military. WDOR-FM 93.9 will play music to accompany the lights (live streaming the station is not recommended).
The show can be seen up to five miles away, but the recommended viewing area, to get the best effect from the show, is on the main festival grounds and mostly north-northeast of there, to Navarino and Fourth streets to the west and past County S and Church Street to the east; this includes the marina and Pierhead Lighthouse. Those not under a shelter, such as inside a parked car, will not be admitted to the safety zone around the launch area, on Crescent Beach between State 42 and Third Street, during the program.
The 32nd annual Shanty Days, also called a "Celebration of the Lake," is an annual, family-friendly festival that includes a large parade, a street fair and juried arts and crafts fair, a car cruise, food, music, games and more. Paul Schmidt, a lifelong Algoma resident and retired fire chief, among many other attributes, is this year's Shanty Days honoree.
This year's theme is "Algoma Rocks at Living Well," a nod to both the rock-painting craze that hit the city over the past year and the city's 2017 Culture of Health Prize from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
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Other Shanty Days highlights include the return of two events that debuted last year, as well as long-popular favorites that have brought residents and visitors downtown for the past 31 years.
The sophomore events are the Teen Stage, which is open from 3 to 10 p.m. Saturday, and under-the-tent outdoor pool tournaments starting at 5 p.m. Friday and concluding Saturday on the main grounds, with open pool shooting Sunday.
The Teen Stage, for ages 13 to 20, is at Heritage Park by the marina. It offers bed races, a cornhole tournament, "mocktails" and live music by six bands starting at 5 p.m. All ages can enter, and a playground is on site for the younger set, but the activities are meant for the teens. Admission to the Teen Stage is free,
The main festival grounds is at American Legion Park, Second Street between Fremont and Clark streets. It hosts live music all three days, food and beverage concessions, and a Kid's Area with bounce houses, face painting, ice cream and more; a $10 admission fee is required for the Kid's Area separate from regular grounds admission.
The parade, claimed to be one of the largest in Wisconsin, runs from Washington Street and Parker Avenue to Fremont Street, then east to Fourth Street, north to Steele Street, east to Second Street, then south to the main grounds. Featuring floats, entertainment, clowns, candy and more, this year's parade also includes the Nei Phi Neph Marching Knights drumline from Milwaukee. It starts at noon Saturday.
Preceding the parade is a car cruise through the city and along the parade route, ending with a car show at the Algoma Youth Club.
The arts and crafts and street fairs both take place along Fremont Street during the day Saturday and Sunday, with the street fair on the two blocks east of Fourth Street and the arts fair on the two blocks west of it. A festival wristband is not needed for admission.
Also on the schedule is the 25th annual Shanty Days 5K run/walk at 8 a.m. Saturday, with a Kids Superhero Fun Run — yes, some superheros will run with the kids — at 9 a.m. The fifth annual Battle on the Beach volleyball tournament starts at 10 a.m. Saturday on Crescent Beach at State 54.
The family-friendly fishing contest started Wednesday and runs through Sunday morning,
And, Algoma Book Corner, 401 Third St., holds its annual used book sale during Shanty Days, with everything at half-price Friday through Sunday; proceeds benefit the Algoma Public Library.
The main festival grounds for Shanty Days will be open from 3 p.m. to midnight Friday, 11 a.m. to midnight Saturday and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday. A wristband good for he entire festival is required for admission for ages 12 and older; cost is $8 in advance, $10 at the gate, $5 Sunday only; admission also is free from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.
Shanty Days is sponsored by the Algoma Area Chamber of Commerce. For more information, call 920-487-2041 or go to visitalgomawi.com/shanty-days.
This article originally appeared on Green Bay Press-Gazette: Drone light show something new for Algoma's Shanty Days