Help Vote Pullar Stadium as Kraft Hockeyville, USA

Pullar GroupFor more than 75 years, hockey players in Michigan have heralded Sault Ste. Marie’s Pullar Stadium as a standout ice arena. The Pullar was recently selected as a Top 10 Finalist in the Kraft Hockeyville, USA contest. The top rink will take home the title of Kraft Hockeyville USA, $150,000 for the stadium, and a preseason NHL game. The rink was selected based on an essay submitted by a local player, Ron Maleport, who’s been skating at the Pullar since the 1960’s. Pullar Stadium was the only arena in Michigan selected as a finalist.

Built in 1939 the Pullar Community Building (Pullar) was considered “state of the art” with artificial ice providing year round skating. The Pullar is home to the Hiawatha Skating Club established in 1941 and has been used for big bands, teen dances, as a roller rink, and is still being used for visiting circuses, but above all hockey. Pullar ice has been home to decades of local kids and hockey greats.

During WWII Sault Saint Marie’s Soo Locks were heavily guarded due to the importance of materials that were being brought down for the war effort. The Pullar was a temporary home to the overflow of soldiers that couldn’t be lodged at local Fort Brady. Giant barrage balloons, used to hover over the locks, were also housed in the Pullar alongside the bunks of the soldiers.

Jack Adams

Hockey legend Jack Adams and his Red Wings trained on the summer ice at the Pullar from 1948-1958. Players were so fond of the rink and the hospitality of the Sault Ste. Marie community the Wings dubbed the Sault “Hockeytown”. To this day the community proudly wears the badge of The Original Hockeytown.

The Pullar has been an integral part of this community for over seven decades. Generations of skaters have watched as their kids and grandkids grew up on the ice, building skills and confidence. The Pullar has meant so much too so many and Sault Ste. Marie wants to make sure this important part of the community is here for future generations.

Fun Facts about the Pullar Stadium

  • Originally cost $180,000 to build this “state of the art” ice rink
  • One of the oldest artificial ice rinks with continued use in the U.S.
  • In the early days the Pullar was one of the few rinks in the world to have summer ice
  • Greats such as Gordie Howe, Ted Lindasy, Sid Abel, and Alex Delvecchio skated at the Pullar
  • Home of the Soo High Blue Devils hockey team
  • Lake Superior (College) State University’s  Laker men’s hockey team played at the Pullar but are now at the Clarence John “Taffy” Abel Arena
  • Soo Eagles Junior A Hockey team call the Pullar home ice since 1962

Sault Ste. Marie and the Pullar need your help taking the title of Kraft Hockeyville USA.

Cast your votes three ways:

a) Visit www.krafthockeyville.com, click on Pullar Stadium and follow the instructions.

b) Text PULLAR to 35350 to vote (combination of 50 texts & calls per cellular device) message and data rates may apply

c) Call 1-855-255-5975 and select 3 to vote for the Pullar

You can vote up to 50 times per each method each day for up to 150 votes each day. Voting Phase II ends at midnight April 22. If the Pullar receives enough votes to be top in it’s category, it will be one of two finalists to move on to the final voting stage, which is held April 27-29.

Seven Self-Guided Tours You’ll Want to Take in Manistee County

Spring well under way in Pure Michigan, offering endless opportunities to explore the growing and lush outdoors soon to be in full bloom.  To celebrate warm weather and longer days, we put together a list of self-guided tours to experience in Manistee County. If you’re looking to get lost and go off the grid, or maybe just want to have an enriching afternoon, look no further than Manistee County.

hikingManistee County trails: Manistee County is home to 15 trails that allow for biking, cross country skiing and hiking. You can experience picturesque views of Lake Michigan shoreline and surrounding countryside through open fields and forests. The beautiful scenery also can provide solitude to hikers and the chance to spot wildlife.

Beach Life: Manistee County has more than 35 miles of fresh sand and warm water as beach property. From Lake Michigan, to its numerous inland lakes, you’ll find great locations for fun swimming, boating or just lounging under the sun.  The beaches range from the more secluded experiences to those packed with amenities and people.  There is also great paddling or floating experiences with the Little Manistee River, Big Manistee River and Pine River.

The fishing: Manistee County is home to three fantastic harbors with charters available to take you out for an unforgettable day on the lake.  If you’re more hands-on, launch your own boat for a day of trolling around Lake Michigan’s beautiful  coastal waters.

Shop Manistee’s historic downtowns: Looking for a great made in Michigan item? Come check out the farmer’s markets for locally grown or made foods, or browse the numerous specialty and boutique shops of Manistee’s downtowns. Manistee also has spectacular dining experiences, from fine dining for a special occasion or just grabbing a beer with friends at a local pub.

Manistee_M22Experience M-22: A famous stretch of highway in the United States, M-22 starts in Manistee. Take an afternoon drive or get lost during the weekend by enjoying the beautiful scenery and Lake Michigan shoreline. The historic trunkline’s designation has also become a cultural symbol for the region.

The arts: Manistee County is where you’ll discover gallery shows and theatrical productions year round. Witness a production by the Manistee Civic Players at the historical Ramsdell Theatre or experience regional art that ranges from beautiful paintings to ornate and colorful pieces of pottery.

The history: Manistee County has historical sites and museums that are great for everyone. You can experience the historic Kaleva Train Depot for railroad artifacts and nostalgia, or visit the Manistee County Historical Museum, which contains one of the most extensive collections of Victorian antiques in the United States.

What are some things you are looking forward to doing in Mainstee?

Four Ways to Experience Arts and Culture in Grand Rapids

If you’re looking for unique arts and culture events, a visit to Grand Rapids is in order. From LiveArts, an extraordinary, collaborative stage production, to the amazing beauty of the new Richard and Helen DeVos Japanese Garden at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, you’ll want to catch everything that’s happening in Grand Rapids this spring.

Here are four ways to experience the arts on Michigan’s west side from Experience Grand Rapids. 

1. LiveArts

Screen Shot 2015-04-06 at 1.27.00 PMFor starters, you won’t want to miss LiveArts, a multi-media extravaganza about the vital role arts plays in our lives. LiveArts takes place at Van Andel Arena on April 24 and is a unique collaboration between the Grand Rapids Symphony, Symphony Chorus, Grand Rapids Symphony Youth Chorus, Grand Rapids Youth Symphony and Classical Orchestra, Grand Rapids Ballet, Opera Grand Rapids, and Broadway Grand Rapids.

The performance will include 1,500 performers and feature highlights from familiar music, like Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “The Phantom of the Opera” and Beethoven’s “Choral” Symphony No. 9, as well as dancing, visual effects, and more.

As you watch and listen, you’ll be drawn into the story of a young boy who discovers his passion for the cello and follow his journey as he attempts to master the instrument. Instead of taking place entirely on a traditional stage, LiveArts is creatively using multiple levels in the production.

Another unique component, says Roger Nelson, Vice President and COO for the Symphony, is the addition of visual elements. “In an ordinary concert presentation of the symphony, we ask people to use their imagination,” he says. “This show is different because in addition to hearing the music and watching the performers, people will see coordinated lighting, graphical images, and larger-than-life images of the performers.”

You can click here to read more about LiveArts in our first post on the event. Or, click here to buy tickets for LiveArts.

2. DisArt Festival

For 2 weeks, from April 10 – April 25, venues throughout Grand Rapids will host an international exhibition of artwork by artists with disabilities for the DisArt Festival. The 16-day festival will feature innovative work by over 35 international artists, with the aim of changing public perceptions about disability and connecting people through art.

DisArt logo[1]Head to the GRAM at 6PM on April 10th to hear the Curator Talk that kicks off the DisArt Festival, then join the fun at other kick-off events that will take place throughout the evening at a number of venues around Grand Rapids. During the festival, you’ll have the opportunity to view a film festival, a fashion show, several cultural education events, and dance performances as well as more traditional art exhibits. Check here for a complete list of DisArt Festival events.

When you visit the DisArts Festival you’ll also have the opportunity to see the U.S. premiere of Art of the Lived Experiment, which will be on display at three downtown locations: the Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM), Kendall College of Art and Design, and the Urban Institute for Contemporary Art (UICA). Art of the Lived Experiment was curated by artist Aaron Williamson for the U.K’s DaDaFest International 2014 and includes a range of artworks, from sculpture and painting to photography and ceramics, by artists from around the world. The collection will remain in Grand Rapids through July 31st

Another exhibition you can see both during and post-festival is artist Riva Lehrer’s The Risk Pictures. Lehrer’s work has been displayed at the United Nations and the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC, among other locations. Visitors to Grand Rapids can see The Risk Pictures at The Richard App Gallery from April 11 – through June 30th. M

For more information, visit the DisArts Festival website.

3. The Discovery of King Tut Exhibit

For an entirely different kind of experience, check out the Grand Rapids Public Museum’s super cool exhibit, The Discovery of King Tut, which opens May 16 and runs through January 2016.

Photo courtesy of the Grand Rapids Public Museum

Photo courtesy of the Grand Rapids Public Museum

King Tut (short for Tutankhamen) became pharaoh when he was only 8-years old and died mysteriously about 11 years later. For unknown reasons, his name was erased from Egyptian monuments and he was all but forgotten until British archaeologist Howard Carter discovered his tomb in 1922.

Two parts comprise the exhibition at the Grand Rapids Public Museum: First, you’ll be transported, via media, thousands of years back in time to the world that existed when King Tut ruled. Next, you’ll learn how Howard Carter discovered his tomb all those years later.

The second part of the exhibition is a reproduction of the three incredible burial chambers discovered by Carter. The exhibit uses scientifically produced reconstructions of the chambers and their contents, so you’ll essentially see what Howard Carter saw when he made the discovery.

You can read more details and find ticket information on the GRPM website.

4. The Grand Opening of The Richard and Helen DeVos Japanese Garden at Frederik Meijer Gardens

Photo courtesy of Dean Van Dis

Photo courtesy of Dean Van Dis

If you’ve been to beautiful Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, you’re not alone. With more than 550,000 visitors annually, it’s a destination that attracts people from all over the world to see sculptures by artists like Rodin and Moore, explore the latest gallery exhibits, play in the magnificent children’s gardens, enjoy Michigan’s largest tropical conservatory (wonderful anytime of year but especially nice to visit in the winter), take in a summer concert, or stroll through the bountiful outdoor gardens and—one of my kids favorites—Michigan’s Farm Garden.

Beginning June 13, 2015 visitors can add the 8 ½ acre Richard and Helen DeVos Japanese Garden to their list of must-see exhibits.

The Japanese garden represents the culmination of 3+ years of hard work, begun in 2012 following the initial idea proposed by Fred Meijer in 2009. Designed by Hoichi Kurisu, president and founder of Kurisu International, Inc., the Japanese garden is in an ideal setting that includes elevation changes in addition to a variety of horticultural elements, including scenic bridges and waterfalls. As you walk through and explore the new Japanese garden, you can expect to find tranquility and simplicity in its beauty.

Photo courtesy of Dean Van Dis

Photo courtesy of Dean Van Dis

In a departure from traditional Japanese gardens, the Richard and Helen DeVos Japanese Garden will also contain sculptures, in keeping with Frederik Meijer Gardens’ dual mission of horticulture and sculpture. To honor the essence of the Japanese garden tradition and philosophy, these contemporary sculptures will offer thoughtful and thought-providing aesthetics amidst the naturally peaceful setting.

For more information on the grand opening of The Richard and Helen DeVos Japanese Garden, click here.

So many events, all in one place: it’s time to experience Grand Rapids!