The League wants you to see all the amazing things happening in Marquette. So this year, included with the cost of your registration, we are offering a number of mobile workshops.

Thursday, October 16 – Noon – 4:00 p.m.
Marquette’s Waterfront Transformation

Learn how the city of Marquette dramatically transformed their waterfront from an industrial harbor to a tourist destination built on the region’s rich cultural history and abundant natural beauty and recreational resources. Hear from Fred Stonehouse, Marquette’s mayor pro tem, maritime historian, and author, and Karl Zueger, community services director, on the importance of Lake Superior in relation to U.P. tourism, the tools used to make the transformation a reality, and the methods used to ensure that the waterfront will always be public property. In addition to breathtaking views along the waterfront, the tour will include a presentation on Michigan’s Blue Economy. Lunch will take place at Aubree’s Pizzeria & Grill, a Michigan-based company that prides itself on giving back to the communities in which they have locations.

Trail Towns as Recreation Destinations

Did you know that Governor Snyder recently dedicated $13 million to develop and maintain trails across the state?  The Belle Isle to Wisconsin Showcase Trail would connect 924 miles of trail from Detroit to Ironwood, giving us the opportunity to be the number one trail state in the country. The Noquemanon Trails Network (NTN) has a mission of developing and maintaining an interconnected, year-round, non-motorized land and water trail network in the Central Upper Peninsula.  Attendees will walk part of the NTN trails, learn about their partnership with the city, see the trail switchbacks, and hear about the impressive economic results that have come about for the private sector.

Bike the Downtown Iron Ore Heritage Trail

Bike the city connections to the Iron Ore Heritage Trail, a 48-mile, multi-use, year-round trail connecting communities and people to the region’s historic sites and human stories relating to the iron ore industry. The trail was designed for walkers, bikers, runners, inline skaters, nature enthusiasts, equestrians, x-country skiers, snowmobilers, history buffs, and ATVers.  The trails’ executive director will present information on how and why they formed the state’s largest recreational authority, passed millages in multiple jurisdictions, and managed the development of the nearly 50-mile bike trail through Marquette County.  Lunch will be at hometown fan-favorite Donckers, a nostalgic and wildly successful downtown diner/ice cream/candy store.

Crowdfunding & Microbreweries

Michigan’s craft beer industry continues to experience rapid growth.  Did you know that Michigan ranks #5 in the nation in overall number of breweries, microbreweries and brewpubs?  Did you know that the first Michigan company to launch a crowdfunding campaign under the new state law was a brewery? That’s right, Tecumseh Brewing Co. Join us on this mobile workshop where we will visit three microbreweries, each with their own unique economic development story.  The tour will include stops at the location of our host city reception, Ore Dock Brewing Company – located in a remodeled, century-old, converted auto garage – Black Rocks Brewery and the Marquette Harbor Brewery at Vierling Restaurant.  We’ll also hear from Chris Miller, DDA and Economic Development Director in Adrian, on the Tecumseh microbrewery crowdfunding project.  Lunch will take place at Ore Dock Brewing Company.

Reimagining Marquette’s Historic Main Street

Marquette’s Baraga Avenue was once the main street of this former industrial city. It is now the gateway to the city’s government sector and peppered with a mix of traditional uses and specialty shops. A mere stone’s throw from a busy farmer’s market, downtown events and scenic waterfront, historic Baraga Avenue should be thriving–but it’s not. Sound familiar? We’ll stop at the Marquette Commons building for a review of the exciting PlacePlans project currently underway, followed by an informational walking tour where you’ll learn firsthand what’s hindering success and how the PlacePlans design proposes to catalyze economic development. There will be a brief opportunity to patronize local shops that offer specialty coffee, wine, baked goods, flowers and gifts.  Lunch will take place at The Commons.

Mining History in the U.P.

This workshop will begin at the Michigan Iron Industry Museum, which overlooks the Carp River and the site of the first iron forge in the Lake Superior region. After lunch and a tour at the museum, the group will travel to Cliff’s Natural Resources. Here, participants will discover a mix of both the history and current mining operations and the impact this industry has had on the U.P. community.

This workshop requires approximately one mile of walking and is not handicapped- accessible. All visitors to the mine must wear closed-toed shoes, long pants, and will be required to sign a release form before touring. Safety protection gear (hard hats, glasses, ear protection, etc.) will be distributed to participants at the mine.