The alluring tourist town of New Buffalo, Michigan resembles a Midwestern version of Cape Cod. Blue lake waters fill up the horizon while fleets of yachts, speed boats and cruisers line the bustling harbor. All of this and the fact that it’s located less than 90 minutes from our home in Chicago makes New Buffalo a wondrous vacation destination. And, every August there is yet another terrific reason to visit New Buffalo, Michigan: the Ship and Shore Art and Musical Festival!
For over 25 years Ship and Shore has been a popular summer event drawing approximately 10,000 visitors. For three days the main channel, Whittaker Street, is closed to traffic but open to tents overflowing with local artwork, Amish treasures and delicious ethnic foods. A beer tent highlights locally brewed ales, while nearby vineyards present an array of wines to taste test. And the Ship and Shore Art and Musical Festival presents two stages with continuous live entertainment throughout the weekend.
For young and old alike, Ship and Shore hosts a watermelon eating contest as well as an ice cream consuming competition featuring lip-smacking flavors from around town. And the village fire department organizes a hearty sausage and pancake breakfast to kick off Saturday’s festivities.
Down at the beach, burn off some of those calories by participating in a sand volleyball tournament or partaking in the skim boarding competition. You can also sign up for the 5K run boasting scenic New Buffalo landscape.
On Saturday evening, the Ship and Shore Art and Music Festival culminates with a spectacular boat parade featuring vessels of all shapes and sizes fantastically adorned with twinkling lights, lanterns, props and more. Some recent parade themes include: Mardi Gras, High School Musical and a tribute to Las Vegas complete with an illuminated roulette wheel, dancing cards, dice and of course, Elvis! And it’s not over yet. The sparkling boat parade is followed up with a wonderful fireworks display that magically reflects off the glistening lake waters.
If you plan on attending Ship and Shore, be sure to reserve a room well in advance. You can choose from chain motels, resorts, Bed and Breakfasts or nearby casinos. Ship and Shore usually takes place the second weekend of August and runs from 6-12 on Friday, 9-12 on Saturday and 9-6 on Sunday. There is a suggested $5 donation to enter the event. For more information, location, dates and lodging options, log onto www.newbuffalo.com.