Algoma’s Crescent Beach boardwalk celebrates 25th birthday with ice cream social
ALGOMA – Without a half-mile-long walkway, things likely wouldn't be the same on Algoma's segment of the Lake Michigan shoreline.
The boardwalk on Crescent Beach turns 25 years old on June 22, and the Friends of Crescent Beach volunteer support group is holding an anniversary celebration and ice cream social for the public that evening.
The walk runs the length of the beach, and is accessible by wheelchairs and strollers at either end, from the parking lot off Lake Street on the north side or from the Algoma Area Chamber of Commerce to the south, and a ramp runs to the shoreline about halfway along. There also are staircases to help people descend from Fourth Street to the boardwalk, which is lighted and has benches where visitors can rest.
While the beach itself is a tourist attraction for the city, the boardwalk makes it more special, said Sara Krouse, event committee coordinator for Friends of Crescent Beach.
"It's a huge economic driver," Krouse said. "People visit just to go to the beach … I don't think the beach would be as highly regarded as it is without the boardwalk.
"Really, it makes the beauty of the beach available to all. The fact that both ends are wheelchair and stroller-accessible means a lot of people can walk it. It really enables people to be on a level with the water and sand."
Krouse said the boardwalk also greatly enhances the special events held at the beach. Those include the annual Soar on the Shore kite festival (this year's iteration is scheduled for Aug. 21) and an offshore visit in 2019 by five vessels that were taking part in the Tall Ships Festival, both of which are estimated to have brought more than 1,000 people to Algoma. There's also Shanty Days, the annual weekend community festival headquartered in neighboring Legion Park that holds some events on the beach.
"(During) Soar on the Shore, there's nothing like walking down the boardwalk and seeing the kites flying overhead," Krouse said. "That wouldn't be the same without the boardwalk."
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The celebration begins at 6 p.m. at Legion Park, 620 Lake St.; attendees are encouraged to bring their own folding chairs. The Algoma Community Band will perform, followed by talks about the history and importance of the boardwalk by speakers from the community and more music by the band. Ice cream sundaes will be served, and local Eagle Scout Logan Borths will discuss the two new selfie stands he created for the beach. In case of rain date, the event will be held Wednesday, June 23.
In other boardwalk news, the Friends have researched and published a comprehensive timeline of the boardwalk, including narratives of the fundraising and construction phases, on its website. The goal is to list the names of everyone who worked on the boardwalk. A special page dedicated to boardwalk volunteers who have passed was also created.
To add to the information already collected, Friends of Crescent Beach is asking those with photographs or additional information about construction of the boardwalk to email [email protected] or call Krouse at 920-621-8838.
For more information about Crescent Beach and its boardwalk, visit friendsofcrescentbeach.org.
Contact Christopher Clough at 920-741-7952, 920-562-8900 or [email protected].
This article originally appeared on Green Bay Press-Gazette: Algoma's Crescent Beach boardwalk celebrates 25th birthday with ice cream social