Events canceled at Presque Isle; no race, fireworks or boat show

by Peter Jakey–Managing Editor

The list of Presque Isle County events canceled due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic just got a little longer as organizers of the Presque Isle Harbor Wooden Boat Show (PIHWBS) and the Fireside 500, that would have been this weekend, have chosen to wait until 2021.

PIHWBS has been conducted the third Saturday in June for more than a couple of decades. 

2420-boat-raceLast year, poor weather and the dark cloud hovering over the situation with the Portage Restaurant that remains closed, along with the passing of key organizers, many thought the event could fade from existence.

Not at all, the year 2020 was going to be a comeback year until COVID-19 put the brakes on all that.

PIHWBS president Dave Kowalski said, “We had to cancel. The main reason was that most of our participants are somewhat elderly people.”

Kowalski believe

d the event was on the comeback trail with the owner of Ida Mae’s Portage Store making food and getting involved in the show. “It was going to get good again,” he said. 

It’s all been put on hold until 2021, as well as the Fireside 500 on Grand Lake. 

“We could not obtain a permit through the state,” said Kowalski of the race.

There will be no fireworks in Presque Isle Township or 150th celebration for New Presque Isle Lighthouse. Additionally, the gift shops and museums will stay shuttered until August when the situation will be re-evaluated by the township board. 

Along with the summer concert series, the Fourth of July and Labor Day picnics have all been canceled.