Nautical Festival in full gear in Rogers City

THE SAILORS’ Memorial is an annual solemn event that honors those who sail the Great Lakes and especially those lost with the sinking of the Carl D. Bradley in 1958 and the Cedarville in 1965. Capt. Mike Merrick read the names while Capt. Pat Hart rang the bell in honor of those lost.

by Peter Jakey–Managing Editor

The activities of the 2023 Nautical City Festival (NCF) in Rogers City are well underway with the best yet to come.

Family Fun Tyme Amusement has the rides up and running and the big tent at the marina is ready to kick off four nights of entertainment starting tonight (Thursday) with music by DJ Tim with Sounds of the 70s and UP tonight (7 to 10 p.m.).

Jedi Mind Trip is Friday (8 p.m. to midnight), Tommy K and the Rock Show Band are Saturday (8 p.m. to midnight) and “Pan” Franek, Zosia and the Polka Towners will take over Sunday (4 to 8 p.m.).

While bringing in entertaining acts and music is a big part of the festival every year, it’s the volunteers that are the backbone of a successful festival. 

There was a crew working earnestly Monday to put up the stage, set up the electrical and bring in the picnic tables one by one. 

That’s just one aspect of the annual event, and as events get rolling in the next few days, more volunteers are needed, according to NCF director Kim Margherio.

Margherio said the volunteers are mainly needed at the big tent.

“Whether it be entrance tickets, bar tickets, or bartending,” Margherio added. “People can show up at the tent and say, ‘I’m here to help, what can I do?’ And we would put them to work. Right now, we really need late shift bartenders.”

At the juried arts and crafts at courthouse square along Third Street, expect a few new artists in attendance as well as the food court. The vendors will be open from Friday to Sunday starting each day at 10 a.m.

Mark Munn will be the special presenter of the Rogers City Centennial Picture Show Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Rogers Theater on behalf of the Presque Isle County Historical Museum, who will also be running the Carmeuse Americas (CA) quarry tour from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m.  CA will have its giant equipment on display Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon.

The antique and classic car show takes place Saturday around the recently refurbished gazebo at Westminster Park. There is a cruise at 3 p.m.&n


There will be walk up pickleball competition at the courts Friday (no tournament is planned), the fun run/walk Saturday and the softball tournament Saturday and Sunday. 

The parade, with the theme “Rogers City…Living in Paradise,” will be led by grand marshal Kevin Wickersham starting at 12:30 p.m.

The festival will end with a grand fireworks display at 10 p.m.

“We have private and business donors and we raised around $2,000 from the bracelet sales,” said Margherio. “We’ve committed $15,000 to the fireworks show.

“So, anybody who can contribute, it’s all needed. Physical help and financial help is always needed. Not only to pay the current expenses, but to have enough in the bank to move forward.”