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?

Brewers Tell All: What To Expect at Michigan’s Largest International Beer Sampling Event

Cheers! Guest blogger Kirsetin Morello gives us all the details for what you should be expecting from the World Expo of Beer this year. 

Michigan’s largest international beer sampling event, the World Expo of Beer (WEB), is just weeks away from returning to Frankenmuth (Friday & Saturday, May 15-16), and, lucky for you, we’ve got the inside scoop from a few of the festival’s local brewmasters on what to expect.  So, grab your fellow brew lovers and get ready to Go Great Lakes Bay, where you’ll be able experience great craft beers from around the world: nearly 300 different beers from more than 60 breweries, including local brewers Frankenmuth Brewery, Tri-City Brewing Co., and Midland Brewing Co.

World-Expo-of-Beer-1

“There are a lot of people, there are a lot of craft beer enthusiasts, and there’s a lot of energy at WEB,” says Paul Popa, Head Brewer and part owner of Tri-City Brewing, based in Bay City, MI. One of the benefits of attending WEB, he says, is that you can sample so many different beers and find out what you like before buying it at a store. “It’s like a big party where people get to try a lot of different beers from a lot of different breweries,” he explains.

Tri-City Brewing typically brings 6 – 8 different beers to the festival. “We usually do a special release that we may or may not have in the taproom at the time,” says Popa. You can look forward to sampling something special from Tri-City Brewing at WEB again this year. It’s in the works, but Popa says they won’t make a final decision about what to bring until closer to the date of the festival.

Midland Brewing Co 13

Photo Courtesy of Midland Brewing Co.

Midland Brewing Company will also bring some special beers to WEB. “We have a cream ale that we just recent put out that we’ll have there,” says Sam Oswald, Director of Brewing Operations at Midland Brewing Company, “and we’ll probably have a Blackberry Hefeweizen and maybe a Munich Dunkel. We’ll bring fresh beers that people haven’t had yet or haven’t had in a long time.”

One of the big advantages for brewers who attend WEB is the opportunity to showcase their beers and brand to such a large audience. For Oswald, getting to meet the public is a highlight of the event. “We like to educate people on what craft beer is and what it can be,” he says. Oswald explains that the eastern side of Michigan doesn’t have as many breweries as the west side, so it’s important to talk to people about their craft. “With an event this large in our backyard, we like to take the opportunity to talk to people about craft beer and why it’s good for Michigan,” he says. Oswald believes that Michigan is turning out craft beer that can stand up against some of the bigger national players. His take: “Support Michigan. Drink Michigan beer.”

Midland Brewing Co 11

Photo Courtesy of Midland Brewing Co.

Another benefit for the brewers is the chance to network with other brewers at WEB. “Being able to bounce ideas off fellow brewers is really nice,” says Oswald. “We’re all friendly, we talk about recipes, share ideas, talk about mistakes we’ve made with certain recipes, and help each other out. We’re very collaborative.”

In addition to sampling the wares, you can learn more about craft beer by attending one of two special WEB events. On Friday night, you can enjoy a Fine Food and Craft Brew Pairing, hosted by the Bavarian Inn Lodge. Experts will lead you through the multi—course meal and explain how and why they chose each pairing.

If you like to mix your beer with other ingredients—including liquor—the Saturday night Beer Cocktails and Mixology event is for you! Learn the fundamentals of creating your own beer–based cocktails at this unique event. And while you’re busy creating your signature beer-based cocktail, you won’t go hungry—a delicious selection of appetizers will accompany the cocktail instruction.

Space is limited and early registration is strongly recommended. You can sign up to attend either special event and buy weekend ticket packages here.

If you’re a newbie to the WEB, tap the knowledge of the brewers, owners, and volunteers at the booths. “Our owner is at our booth every year, training volunteers and talking to the public about beer,” says Oswald. If you’re used to drinking macro beers, he suggests asking a lot of questions, including which beer is at the lighter end of the scale. If you like chocolate, try a stout. “Stout can be a light, sweet beer, and just have a dark color,” explains Oswald. “Don’t be scared, be adventurous! You might find a couple you don’t like and you might find a couple you really enjoy.”

Midland Brewing Co 7

Photo Courtesy of Midland Brewing Co.

Still thirsty for more?  Check out last year’s post on the World Expo of Beer to learn the story behind how this international beer event was started on a cocktail napkin!

Location: 
Frankenmuth Heritage Park – 601 Weiss Street, Frankenmuth, MI 48734 (just 500 feet from the Bavarian Inn Lodge)

Dates & Times:
 Friday, Friday May 15th from 5-10PM and Saturday May 16th from 3-10PM

Admission: 
$10 admission (includes a free collector beer sampling mug; beer sampling tickets sold separately). Proceeds will be donated to charitable causes; 21+ only.

For admission packages, including beer sampling tickets and World Expo of Beer Fast Passes, click here.

 

Guest Blogger - Kirsetin MorelloKirsetin Morello is an author, freelance writer, and mother of 3 boys from Grand Rapids, MI whose family loves to travel and explore new places. In addition to writing about travel, she writes about parenting, business, and specializes in writing profiles of interesting people. Among other publications, you can find her work in Parents, West Michigan Woman, and Teach and Travel, as well as lots of places online, but you’ll most likely find her playing basketball, hiking in a park, or cheering her kids on at their sporting events.