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Tall Ships Offer Something for Everyone During Weekend Celebration

Activities Galore on Both Sides of the Saginaw River Provide Entertainment

July 23, 2006       Leave a Comment
By: Stephen Kent

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As thousands of people lined up to tour the ships at Bay City's Tall Ship Celebration 2006, others were entertained by the numerous exhibits, vendors, and activities on both sides of the river.

The West Side was host to a large craft and art show under a bright tent. Artists showed items ranging from pottery to paintings to wood turning. Many were making items or demonstrating on the spot. Some like Bay City artist Todd Stevenson (shown at left) really got into the spirit of the event. Stevenson dressed in full pirate costume at his booth where he sold original paintings. (More than one youngster noted the striking resemblance to a well known recent movie character.)

Walking outside the tent proved almost as entertaining as shopping inside. Behind the booth where Wilma Spyker from Freeland sold her hand made paper collages, husband Duane played violin and was glad to give a quick lesson to anyone who was sat down in his chair. Spyker, who plays with the Midland Community Orchestra, said that he loves to buy old violins and restore them. He then lends them out to young people interested in taking up the instrument.

Duane Spyker shows Bay City's Marla Kennedy some basic fingering. Spyker looks on as local musician Andy Rogers plays a few bars.

For kids who didn't want to stand in line to visit the ships, there was plenty to do with lots of free craft stations, the play yard, and souvenirs to buy. There were little pirates walking all over the place. Kids could make light houses, pirate ships, pirate hats, balloon swords, and many other crafts. For the brave, there was a Bunny Fencing arena where they could don actual fencing outfits and use real fencing foils to try to pop balloons on their opponent's head gear!

15 year old Megan Donaldson (in pirate hat) and 14 year old Kelsey Hallies helped kids decorate pirate eye patches at the Bay City Players Stages of Discovery booth.
Pirate Maiden Athena Eyster instructs Christian Forgrave and William Stamps on sword technique in the Bunny Fencing arena.

One of the most popular shows was the one put on by The Ring Of Steel Action Theater Troupe ( The shows always drew a crowd and lots of applause and laughter. Started in 1989, the Dexter Michigan, Ring of Steel Action Theatre is a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to developing and promoting the art of stage violence. Today they are the largest theatrical fencing salle in the nation, teaching classes, providing in-house workshops, choreographing shows, doing public performances around the country.

A Stunt Man's work is never easy!
The Ring of Steel presented a hands-on, touch and do display of swords and armour.

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Stephen Kent

Steve Kent and his family have lived in Bay City for 40 years. He is VP of Technical Services at MMCC which produces MyBayCity.Com. Kent is active in many Bay City civic organizations.

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