IT STARTED AS just a crazy idea tossed about by cofounders Aaron Peterson, Bugsy Sailor and Bill Thompson about five years ago. Now it’s a full scale four day event that’s putting Marquette on the map.
We’re talking about the fourth annual Fresh Coast Film Festival, of course. It opens Thursday at the Marquette Commons and over four days, will feature 125 documentaries celebrating the environment and the people of the Great Lakes and the upper Midwest.
A thousand people attended last year. More are expected this year since online orders are up 25%. Sixteen coordinators and 100 volunteers are involved, making sure the the festival runs smoothly.
“It’s growing faster than we expected,” says Sailor, “but we’re still a young organization. It can be tough on us because it’s 100% volunteer and we’ve all got lives and careers, but it’s exciting to build something that we think will have a lasting impact on this town.”
Festival headquarters is Ampersand. Film venues are Black Rocks, Ore Dock, the Delft, the Masonic, and Kaufman Auditorium. Several excursions are also planned during the four day festival.
Three guys with an idea and a lot of perseverance–that’s all it takes to make something big happen in this town. Amazing.
HERE’S ANOTHER IDEA that’s just been birthed: A Singles Mixer.
Yeah, yeah, we know it sounds old-fashioned, even corny in this day and age when people meet up and hook up in bars and online.
But maybe it’s just what we need.
In any case, a couple of gals–Erin Swadley and Beth O’Connor–have hatched this idea and are staging their first mixer Thursday evening at Barrel and Beam. It’s for ages 35-55 (though they won’t be checking ID’s), it’ll cost five bucks, and for that, you’ll get appetizers and live music, and of course, you can buy beer.
Most important, you’re going to meet some people who might want to meet you.
“I have some amazing friends in town who are single and sometimes it’s just hard to meet people,” says Swadley. “Even if you don’t meet the love of your life, you’re going to find new friends, and you can network for your business.”
Imagine that: Meeting someone face-to-face, making eye contact, having a friendly conversation, finding common interests, maybe arranging to see each other again.
BIKING SEASON HAS ended at Marquette Mountain, and there’s a little uncertainty about biking’s future there next year.
“Right now, things are up in the air,” says Marquette Mountain general manager Andrew Farron. “But I’m planning for it next summer. My feeling is, we sh0uld go big or go home.”
In other words, he’d like to spend more money on trails and the entire riding experience at the Mountain or not do it at all. This year’s effort, which entailed shuttling riders up the Mountain a couple of days a week, was a modest success but Farron’s convinced they can build on it with greater investment.
It’ll be a decision for owner Pete O’Dovero and Farron to make.
Meantime, they’re gearing up for the winter season with a substantial investment on the slopes–lifts, lights, pipes and pumps.
Last year, before Farron took over mid-season, was near-disastrous with numerous equipment breakdowns and seething dissension from veteran skiers and snowboarders.
This winter, Farron guarantees, will be better. A heavy early snowfall and temperatures that allow the snow to stick would be a nice start to a successful season.