Experiencing the Bassmaster Elite Series as a marshal

20170823_163403Tomorrow, the Advance Auto Parts 2017 Bassmaster Elite Series fishing tournament is coming to Lake St. Clair. The Bassmaster Elite Series is the highest level of professional bass fishing tournaments. Competitors must qualify for the series through the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens or the B.A.S.S. Nation, and anglers who are already on the Elite Series must requalify each year by maintaining enough points throughout the season. The pro anglers compete all season for the opportunity to win points toward the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year award and to qualify for the Bassmaster Classic. The tournament on Lake St. Clair is the final of the series and will run from Thursday, Aug. 24 through Sunday, Aug. 27. Over 100 of the world’s best anglers will compete for a prize of $100,000!

It is clearly no easy feat to quality for these tournaments, but through their marshal program, B.A.S.S. has created an opportunity for even the most novice of fishermen to experience the life of a pro angler. At B.A.S.S., they rely heavily on marshals; they are the tournament’s “eyes and ears” on the water.


Match day – First time the marshal meets their pro angler

As a marshal, it is your responsibility to make sure the anglers follow all tournament rules. Moreover, you are not allowed to share information with pro contestants that would help them catch, locate or navigate to fish. Not only do they protect the integrity of the sport, but marshals enter every fish weight into BASSTrakk phones, allowing everyone to keep up with the tournament. Marshals are also asked to send in photos for the Elite live blog. Being a marshal is one of the most unique experiences a bass fishing fan can participate in. The fan will get to spend two entire days with an Elite Series angler and see firsthand how they work.

My husband, Tom Minaudo, an avid bass fisherman and fan, experienced being a marshal in 2015, the last time Lake St. Clair hosted an Elite Series tournament. Tom arrived at Lake St. Clair Metropark bright and early on the first day of the tournament, ready to spend 8 hours with a pro angler. Once he was aboard a high-end bass boat, he enjoyed a 70-miles-per-hour cruise across Lake St. Clair. When they arrived at the fishing spot, the angler shared fishing tips and tactics.

“I learned what type of equipment they use for certain fishing techniques,” said Tom. “For example, he told me why he chose to use a certain rod and reel selection, what type of fishing line worked best, and the knots and bait that yielded the best results.”

Tom’s pro angler also showed him the electronics he used to pinpoint fish and shared some casting techniques to land the best bass. Tom marshalled for two anglers and said that both the anglers he accompanied were extremely friendly. They made every effort to show him a good time by catching fish and engaging in friendly conservation.

“Although I was there to regulate and to make sure the angler did not break any rules, the experience felt like we were a team out on the water. To me, it was more of a caddy-player relationship than being a referee.”

Tom said that his best moment as a marshal occurred the first evening after they returned from fishing. The pro angler Tom accompanied called him so that he could personally thank him for a great day on the water, and they talked for 30 minutes like old friends.

Marshal spots for all 2017 tournaments are filled. However, registration for the 2018 tournaments opens in November. Click here for more information on being a marshal and the 2018 registration dates!

Amanda Minaudo is a senior planner in the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development. She often contributes to the Make Macomb Your Home Blog, writing about the many fun and exciting things to see and do around Macomb County. 

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It will be a fishin’ good time at the Bass, Brews & BBQ Festival

Bass picThe Bass, Brews & BBQ Festival will take place at Lake St. Clair Metropark Aug. 25-27 to coincide with the 2017 Advance Auto Parts Bassmaster Elite Series fishing tournament.

This festival offers something for everyone:

  • craft beer
  • Nash FM jock Dave Fuller spinning today’s favorite country music with a live broadcast on Friday
  • mouth-watering barbeque food
  • up-and-coming artists Audrey Ray performing Saturday with Ryan Jay closing out the event on Sunday
  • tours aboard the Pride of Michigan, an 81-foot former U.S. Navy training vessel
  • vendors displaying their offerings
  • family fun and more!

On the tournament side, you’ll be up close and personal with the best anglers in the business who are here battling for glory, trophies and their share of $500,000 in cash prizes. Anglers like Michigan-native Kevin VanDam are sure to be great crowd pleasers. VanDam, affectionately known as KVD, is the all-time money winner in professional bass fishing.

Each morning, the anglers remaining in the tournament cast off at 6:20 a.m., and it is a sight to see. At 3:15 p.m. each day, you’ll want to be on hand to see the weigh-in results with fingers crossed that your favorite pro makes it to the next round!

The festival is open to the public and runs from 1 to 6 p.m. Friday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. A complete list of events is available at http://living.macombgov.org/living-thingstodo-BassmasterBBQ.

Bass, Brews & BBQ is presented by Make Macomb Your Home, Sterling Heights Regional Chamber of Commerce, Detroit Sports Commission, Huron-Clinton Metroparks and NASH FM 93.1 Detroit.

bass pic 2

Lauri Cowhy is a senior communications specialist for the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development.

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Flash Point: Detroit 1967 exhibit at the Lorenzo Cultural Center until Sept. 30

Flash Point picIt’s been 50 years since the Detroit riots, and the Lorenzo Cultural Center is joining other area organizations in commemorating the event through its exhibit Flash Point: Detroit 1967.

A display of photographs and poignant quotes from period documents and reports captures the tone of this turbulent time. The exhibit is complemented by a series of presentations that include a discussion of the events that led to the 1967 uprising and the climate of the city, a showing of Summer ’67: Finding the Lost which examines the 43 lives cut short during the uprising, and the Stagecrafters Community Theater’s rehearsal of excerpts from the play Detroit ’67. For a complete listing of the presentations, click here.

The exhibit, which runs through Sept. 30, is the result of a partnership with the Detroit Historical Society’s D67 Project.

The exhibit and accompanying presentations are open to the public at no charge, but registration is required for the presentations by calling (586) 445-7348 or by emailing culturalcenter@macomb.edu. No registration is required to view the exhibit, which is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday until Sept. 1 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday from Sept. 5 through Sept. 30. The Lorenzo Cultural Center is located on Macomb Community College’s Center Campus in Clinton Township at Hall and Garfield roads.

Tish Wirth is the public relations coordinator for Macomb Community College.

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Wine and art this weekend at The Loft

The Loft 3

Looking for something to do this weekend? Why not try something nonsensical? The Nonsensical Exhibition at The Loft Fine Art is running Aug. 12 – 26 with an opening reception is tonight. The curated show will feature work from 26 local artists.

Located at 81 Macomb Place in Mount Clemens, The Loft is a gallery that sells original paintings, limited-edition prints, sculptures and more. With rotating artwork and exhibitions, there is always something new to discover here.

When the gallery started to plan their Nonsensical Exhibition, a call went out to area artists to submit artwork that would fit under this curious theme. The results were submissions ranging from silly to deep. Mixed media, oil and acrylic paintings; three-dimensional pieces; and photography will be on display. Gallery staff described all of the selected work as very strong.

The Loft 2

Whether you’re intrigued by the Nonsensical Exhibition, are interested in the local art scene or simply want to enjoy good company with others, stop by the opening reception from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 12. In addition to great artwork, there will also be free hors d’oeuvres and wine. Deborah Benedic, marketing director at The Loft, will give a special dance performance. And the best part? If you fall in love with a piece or art, you have the opportunity to buy it for your own personal collection.

More artwork is available for purchase online at TheLoftFineArt.com.

Caitlin Gerds-Habermas works for the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development, often providing content for the Make Macomb Your Home website.

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Warren Civic Theatre brings Seuss tales to life

Far away, in a land called the Jungle of Nool, a kindhearted elephant stands guard over a miniature city built upon a fleck of dust.

So begins Seussical, a show that combines all of your favorite Dr. Seuss tales into one musical spectacular. Warren Civic Theatre (WCT) chose Seussical, the latest in a long line of family-friendly productions, to be the opening show of its 29th season.

culture3“The Cat in the Hat tells the story of Horton, an elephant who discovers a speck of dust that contains the Whos,” Director Joe Colosi explains. “Not only must he protect the Whos from a world of naysayers and dangers, but he must guard an abandoned egg, left in his care by the irresponsible Mayzie LaBird.”

Joe Colosi has served as the Associate Artistic Director for WCT since 2009, and has worked in children’s and educational theatre for more than 15 years. WCT’s other capable leaders include Founding Artistic Director Greg Trzaskoma, Company Manager Kristin Fritschi, Artist in Residence Andy Zulkiewski and a score of talented associate and guest artists. Together, the team puts on five full-scale productions every year.

This year, that lineup includes James and the Giant Peach Jr., The Lion King Jr., A Christmas Carol and Guys and Dolls. What makes WCT unique is the wide range of shows they perform: some shows offer open casting (in which everyone who auditions gets a role) while some feature competitive casting. Some shows are intended for young performers, while others are aimed at adult participants.

Tickets run from $5 – $15 depending on proximity to the stage—a price so affordable you’ll want to go twice and see both casts!

What began in 1990 as a children’s summer theater workshop with only a handful of participants has grown into a full-fledged theatrical organization. Over the years, members have toured at various universities, and have performed everything from Shakespeare to Disney. After you see Seussical, keep your eye out for WCT’s future performances. Whether you want to take workshops, act, direct, stage manage, put together costumes, work lights and sound, garner publicity or simply watch a show, there is a place for you at WCT!

To learn more about Macomb County’s music, theater and dance scene, check out our brand-new Connect to Culture page. There you’ll find tons of venues and groups that suit your interests, whether you want to take center stage yourself or simply take in a performance. Hope to see you at the theater!

Jenna Russell is a summer intern at the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development. She is a senior at Oakland University.

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Armada Fair gets ready to amaze for 145th consecutive year

fair3As far back as I can remember, I’ve been a festival connoisseur.

My years of extensive research have led me to conclude that every fair offers something unique. Some are home to nostalgic carnival rides. Others exhibit animals, everything from the biggest cow to the tiniest duckling. Still others feature pageants that crown inspirational young women from the community. And some merely boast the best deep-fried Oreos around.

Luckily, there’s one fair that manages to capture all of those things and more: the Armada Fair.

To many Michiganders, the Armada Fair is something of a legend. And to fair enthusiasts like me, it’s the most wonderful time of the year.


This year the fair runs from Aug. 14-20. During that time, thousands will gather nightly to experience the thrill of a bump-and-run, a figure-eight race or demolition derby, for which the fair is famed. Other main events include truck and tractor pulls, a rodeo and a concert by Brothers Osborne.

During the day, fairgoers can experience everything from robotics demonstrations, to dog obedience shows, to silent art auctions. And you won’t want to miss the free eating contests held daily, featuring watermelon, corn, pizza and pie.

The Armada Fair is packed with activities for people of all ages, so much so that it would be impossible to mention them all. You can browse the full schedule here. Get your tickets soon, and revel in the magic of this fantastic Macomb County tradition.

Jenna Russell is a summer intern for the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development. She is a senior at Oakland University.

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34th Annual Shelby Township Art Fair

logo.tifAugust 2, 2017 – Mark your calendar for August 12 & 13 to stop by the Shelby Township Municipal Grounds for the 34th Annual Shelby Township Art Fair.  In addition to seeing some fabulous art from national, regional and local artists and artisans, this event features a variety of crafts as well as products from Michigan based businesses and family-friendly entertainment.

Bring the family for a day filled with activities and entertainment, and bring home a special piece of art, a hand-made item, product, or a souvenir from your visit.

Parking and entry is FREE and so is the shuttle bus (sponsored by Christian Financial Credit Union) that travels between the grounds and the Community Center, so you won’t have a long walk back to your car with all of the treasures you found at the fair.

shelby art

This event is presented by the Shelby Township Art Fair Committee, hosted by the Shelby Township Parks, Recreation and Maintenance Department and is supported by our generous sponsors including DTE Energy Foundation, Christian Financial Credit Union, Genisys Credit Union, C & G Newspapers, Macomb Charity Connect, Prime-Site Media, Shelby Community Foundation, Shelby Township FOP #142, Hayes Self Storage, and Eyeglass World – Shelby Township.

Entertainment Around the Grounds                

  • DTE Energy Foundation Kid’s Tent – Youth Art Display, Louie the Lightning Bug, Activities and Giveaways
  • Live Music at the Bandshell – Sponsored by Genisys Credit Union
  • Monster Mural Interactive Art for All Ages – Sponsored by Christian Financial Credit Union
  • Detroit Flyhouse Circus – show at 2:30 pm each day
  • Free Crafts and Bouncers at the Kid’s Craft & Activity Corner
  • See Live Critters from the Burgess-Shadbush Nature Center
  • Fire Department Safety Bounce House & Truck
  • Police Department Child ID Kits
  • Trashy Treasures Recycled Art Competition – Hosted by the Shelby Township Solid Waste & Recycling Committee
  • Andrews Schoolhouse Tours – provided by the Shelby Township Historical Committee
  • Shelby-Macomb Kiwanis Aktion Club Craft Fundraiser

The Shelby Township Municipal Grounds are located at 52700 Van Dyke Avenue, just south of 24 Mile Road and the fair hours are Saturday 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and Sunday, 11:00 am to 5:00 pm.

More details about the fair are available at http://shelbyartfair.wix.com/shelbyartfair, on the Shelby Township Art Fair’s Facebook page, or by calling the Shelby Parks, Recreation and Maintenance Department at 586-731-0300.

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