Surf n' Safari
This was the very first time we had ever been to St. Joseph, Michigan and for a relatively small town on the Michigan side of Lake Michigan we were surprised by the amount of activities going on in town late on a Saturday afternoon in July.
It appears from some information I've read that the arts council in St. Joseph is very active and every year has a fun little theme like this year's Surf N' Safari statues of members of the animal kingdom.
Pictured here are several of the 2009 entries.
A Special Place on the Lake
"Michigan's Most Romantic City"
Taking the monikers from the Welcome to Downtown St. Joseph sign I was intigued to find out more about the "Most Romatic City" claim. Apparently in 2006 Susan Ager of the Detroit Free Press suggested that the city’s beautiful beaches might have earned that title for St. Joseph. But the true claim may go back more then 100 years ago with this information which I will quote here.
"At the beginning of the twentieth century, Michigan’s arms were opened wide, inviting potential couples to come and tie the knot. Michigan’s marriage requirements, far more lenient than those of neighboring states, brought eager couples here to wed. St. Joseph was the most popular marriage destination. Amorous Chicagoans by the thousands boarded steamers early Sunday mornings, arriving in St. Joseph four hours later. A band greeted them as they disembarked — as well as large crowds of curious onlookers. The lovers hurried off to the county clerk’s office, tied the knot and returned to the steamer before it traveled back to Chicago the same day.
Now you wonder was this the Nevada (Reno and Las Vegas) of the 19th century? And unlike many quicky marriages and divorces in Las Vegas today, how many of those marriages lasted?
"#2 City in the World"
Here is another claim that St. Joseph can make according to a recent publication in Delta Airlines Sky Magazine. They are the #2 city in the world ranked as a Great Escape. They were only beaten out by Nice, France and ahead of Railay, Krabi, Thailand.
I haven't read the article, but I can only assume that because St. Joseph is located less then 100 miles from Chicago and a drive across Michigan from Detroit that it is a Great Escape from the big Midwestern Urban cities.
They do have a great beach and a nice town atmosphere so no argument from me on that claim.
Venetial Festival is alway Th-Sun, the third weekend in July, in St. Joseph. The carnival runs for all of those days, but Thursday night and Sunday day are the best times to go. You can pay one price, get an armband, and ride all the rides. Most people love the giant ferris wheel, but I am afraid of heights! Michael loves the obstacle course/fun house type attraction. There are plenty of rides for both adults and kids.
On Saturday, the kids have the chance to play games all day. For about $5, they can play for six hours, winning little prizes like rings, fans, etc... Michael always gets his face painted.
All of the kids love the kiddy pools filled with bubbles. Here is my niece, making a giant bubble.
Another thing that most of the kids love is the temporary tatoos. Michael picked a frog this time. The light saber was bought the night before at the fireworks.
There is dancing for everyone at Venetian. The Whitcomb, an old resort turned senior citizen home, hosts a big band dance. If you love swing, this is the place to be. There is always plenty of country line dancing, too. The fun thing is anyone is welcome to join in, including the kids. Here Michael does the upside down dance :)