Olde Ellison Bay Days to Celebrate Grand View Forever! June 22-24

Special events include pop entertainers, fireworks and a few surprises in this 46th annual festival …north of the “tension line.”

Grand View Scenic Overlook and Park

Grand View Scenic Overlook and Park

The 2012 “Olde Ellison Bay Days” festival is always held on the last weekend in June, from Friday afternoon through Sunday afternoon – this year from June 22 – 24. The 46th annual promises to be the grandest in festival history because it will highlight the Door County Land Trust‘s acquisition of a scenic 16-acre Ellison Bay vista known as “The Grand View.” On Saturday afternoon at 4 pm, the “Grand View Scenic Overlook and Park” will be dedicated and opened to the public. A guided hiking tour of the property will follow.

Previously slated for commercial development, this Door County natural treasure will ultimately be deeded to Liberty Grove Township for long-term management and preservation. Accordingly, “Grand View Forever!” has been adopted as this year’s Festival theme. The Cherryland Trolley will provide free transportation between the large parking area on the Liberty Grove Historical Society’s grounds atop the Ellison Bay Bluff and the Festival grounds at Ellison Bay Community Park below.

This year’s Festival will feature a pie-baking contest on Friday afternoon, a talent show at Shepherd of the Bay Church on Friday evening and the first of several unique events at 9 am on Saturday morning – a “Slow-Bike Race.” Instead of pumping to come in first, bikers will see who can cross the finish line last without touching toe to turf.

Depending on how “slow” the “Slow Bike Race” turns out to be, a weekend-long “Artoramma” featuring demonstrations by local artists will commence around 10 am on the Festival grounds at Ellison Bay Community Park at the foot of the Ellison Bay grade.

Ellison Bay resident Dave Callsen, president of the Door County Land Trust when plans for acquiring the Grand View property were first drawn up and Terrie Cooper, its current Land Program Director will serve as co-Marshals of the Festival’s “Grand Parade” down the grade at 11 am Saturday morning.

Openings are still available for floats in the Grand Parade. Three will be chosen to receive commemorative award plaques and cash prizes: “Grand View” ($150); “Most Inspirational” ($100); and “Funniest” ($50). Entries are free; those interested in entering should call Bob Murray at 920.421.1753 or Kim Shumway at 920.854.4937.

Following the Grand Parade around noon, folk music favorite Charlie Cramer will perform at the Gazebo in the Park and another unique Olde Ellison Bay Days event will take place at the Park Pier – a “Water Golf Tournament.” Duffers of all ages will tee up and try to drive the ball onto the “green” (a raft) bobbing about on Ellison Bay some 50 yards away… with greens fee awards for the winners.

Water Golf Tournament

Olde Ellison Bay Days Water Golf Tournament

If golf isn’t one’s cup of tea, one can browse Arts & Crafts mall, take advantage of the art activities and games at the Children’s Tent, or enjoy pasties and slices of prize-winning pies at the Community Park Club House, as well as some of the finest Festival BBQ and picnic fare in Door County – including genuine Baumeister root beer floats and strawberry shortcake like grandma used to make.

Fireworks, Dancing and Katie Dahl

And the fun won’t end with the setting sun. From 8 pm Saturday evening there will be non-stop entertainment:

●  Street-dancing on Cedar Shore Road between Highway 42 and the Bay View Resort starting at 8 pm, with music supplied by the “Modern Day Drifters”, thanks to the Liberty Grove Historical Society and the Ellison Bay Service Club.

●  At dusk, an awesome display of Fireworks over Ellison Bay, with ringside seats at Wills Park, courtesy of Liberty Grove Township and “Door County North” (formerly the “Top of the Thumb” Association.)

●  From 9 pm on, at Mink River Basin Supper Club, even more music suitable for some dancing with the “Whiskey Ditch” rock n roll.

Sunday morning, the Festival grounds will be reopened for “early” arrivals at 10 am.  There will be more of everything, including “Water Golf” (but not another “Slow Bike Race”) plus, from 1 to 4 pm, Door County’s own incomparable Katie Dahl in concert at the Gazebo in the Park.

As a doubly rewarding climax to the wonderful weekend, the 2012 Olde Ellison Bay Days “Grand Raffle” drawing will be held at the Gazebo at 3 pm. Seven winners will receive prizes: a Leinenkugel Kayak; Green Bay Packers tickets; an “Ellison Bay” giclee by Robert Bentley; two-night stay at Rowleys Bay Resort; round-trip Washington Island tickets on the “Island Clipper”; a culinary “tool basket”.

The Ellison Bay Service Club, coordinator of Olde Ellison Bay Days, is dedicated to the enhancement, historic preservation, hospitality, beautification and conservation of Ellison Bay, Liberty Grove and Northern Door County. Ellison Bay is situated on Highway 42 some 45 minutes drive north of Sturgeon Bay, gateway to the Northern Door, offering a variety of attractions and accommodations for visitors.


 Friday, June 22

12-2pm Pie Baking Contest Judging at Ellison Bay Community Club House

6:30pm Shepherd of The Bay Church Amateur Talent Show

Saturday, June 23

9-11am Slow Bicycle Race – Mink River Rd at Hwy 42

10-5am Art Fair @ Community Park – Demos by Working Artists

11am Grand Parade – Shepherd of the Bay Church to Fitzgerald Park

12-3pm Water Golf from the Pier

12-4pm Prize winning Pies by the Slice and pasties at the Club House

plus folk music by Charlie Cramer and Friends

12-3pm Children’s Art Activities & Games – Children’s Tent

3pm Parade Prize Awards at the Park Gazebo

4pm “Grand View” Property Dedication and Hiking Tour

8-11pm Street Dancing on Cedar Shore Road

9:30pm Fireworks – Viewing from Wills Park or Ellison Bay Beach

9pm -1am Rock & Roll at Mink River Basin Supper Club

Sunday, June 24

10-4am Art Fair in Community Park Demos by Working Artists

12-3pm Water Golf from the Pier

12-3pm Children’s Art Activities & Games – Children’s Tent

1-4pm Music- Katie Dahl at the Gazebo in the Park

3pm Drawing for the Grand Raffle at Gazebo in the Park

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