Bayview Mackinac Race ‘fashion judges’ plan for 20th race and you’ll be a part of

Veterans from Port Huron to Mackinac Race may recognize them, but newbies might be surprised to find the group of about 20 people in teal laminated nines and tens as they pass by.

These are the unofficial, “official judges,” a group of people who judge the crews on their uniformity and have fun, said Port Huron resident Jo Westphal.

“Yes, it’s unofficial, but for us it’s very official,” she said.

Westphal said this will be the group’s 20th year when it comes to racing team style. They are sitting in a grassy area south of the Black River, east of Desmond Marine. They put their chairs in the open space around 7am and then head to Maria’s Downtown Cafe for breakfast before returning to judge the parade of sailboats.

Elvis Presley will even make an appearance as the group has a life-size cardboard cutout of the singer that they will take to breakfast.

“If there is someone who would like to join us, there are no requirements!” Said Westphal. “I will have the numbers we have for the crews if they are uniform and if they are not they want to know why and we will tell them.”

Westphal said the only numbers she has are nines and tens. If the racing teams are all in uniform they get a 10. If someone isn’t, they get a 9. When the teams ask why they didn’t get a 10, the judges point to the person who is not wearing a uniform.

“And if they’re really bad, we don’t judge,” she laughed. “It’s really flat.”

Port Huron residents and Bayview Mackinac Race

There are people who have judged the race for years, like Port Huron-based Joanne Adair who has been doing it for 12 years, but they also encourage people sitting near them to take part.

“We pick up people who are down there to watch the boats and they really interfere,” she said.

Unfortunately, the group couldn’t judge the event last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Westphal said her cousin was putting up a sign saying “We’re back”.

Continue reading:

Adair said she was looking forward to this Saturday and eager to see who’s coming. In the mornings there is a lot of activity and in the past a church group sat next to it and distributed donuts and coffee.

Westphal said the crews really appreciate your presence. They’ll clap and cheer and she even thinks a boat pulled a “U” turn to come back and get a 10 after the last crew member put on his uniform.

Usually the judges are ready by 11 or 11:30 am when most of the boats are out. They’re there to give a boost to the crews going into the St. Clair River, Westphal said.

To participate in the fun Saturday, “just show where our chairs are,” she said.

Participants should wear a teal shirt or tight color, and should bring sunscreen, jacket, sunglasses, and their own drinks. People with questions can call or write to Westphal at (810) 982-7277 or (810) 334-5583.

Port Huron residents and Bayview Mackinac Race

Contact Bryce Airgood at (810) 989-6202 or Follow her up Twitter @ bairgood123.

20th Empty Bowl dinner to be to-go fashion | Native Information

A local nonprofit is shaking an ancient tradition as it marks the 20th anniversary of a popular community event.

The Open Door is hosting its annual Empty Bowl dinner on May 22nd. This year’s meal is available for takeout, by appointment only, as a drive through experience at the nonprofit’s 228 Emerson Ave.

Guests follow the same route down Emerson Avenue that became a lifeline for so many during the pandemic to enjoy the simple meal of the special dinner – soup, bread, and a biscuit – at The Open Door. As always, the bowl will go home as a reminder that someone’s bowl is empty somewhere.

With the paperback taking a heavy toll this year, The Open Door is happy to offer “Pay-What-You-Can” tickets so everyone can enjoy this community tradition. Diners must have a ticket reservation which can be made at or

For each reserved ticket, guests receive:

A beautiful bowl made with love, chosen at random and prepackaged. As always, the bowl will go home as a reminder that someone’s bowl is empty somewhere.

Homemade soup – chowder, chicken, vegan or gluten-free – to take away and warm up.

Bread, biscuits and a bottle of water round off the meal.

Artists have once again come to the table with unique bowls for auction. An exhibition of the auction trays can be viewed at Cape Ann Savings Bank on Main Street.

Instead of last year’s silent bids during dinner, the auction was put online.

The bidding is on and is open until May 31st.

Circuses offered common leisure for 19th and early 20th century Burlington

Old Burlington has always loved a great show – be it a band concert in the park, a stage show at the opera house, or a street brawl on Front Street. Regardless of the event or venue, with sufficient publicity, you can always count on an enthusiastic crowd.

This was especially true with the arrival of the circus, and circuses were an integral part of the city’s entertainment calendar in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Promise a couple of elephants, tigers and clowns to the audience paying tickets in Burlington, and then toss an acrobat in tinsel tights and you were sure to attract a crowd.

The community’s love affair with the Big Top began back in 1846 when the Howie and Mabies Olympic Arena and US Circus floated into town. Howie and Mabies were closely followed by IW French’s Great Oriental Circus and Egyptian Caravan, where the audience stood in line to take a breathtaking breath of fifty cents for a ticket.

This price of admission was considered reasonable as IW French had some world class acts. There was a team of geese trained to pull a wash tub, Don Stone – “the clown of the era” – and La Bell Jeanette, “the best rider in the world”.

Of course the newspapers would grumble that the circus was “the lowest form of entertainment,” but that didn’t put off the Burlington crowd. Circuses became such a profitable attraction that James Johnson and P. Sells built a circus amphitheater on Market Street in 1867 and started their own permanent circus and equestrian company.

Much later, when the Hagenbeck and Wallace Show rolled into town in 1914, it treated the town with a grand parade with a herd of elephants that managed to stir panic among the horse teams on Jefferson Street. But what is best remembered about the Hagenbeck and Wallace Show is that day’s afternoon show.

The performance started late thanks to the unfortunate incident on Jefferson Street, but by 2 p.m. an estimated 5,000 spectators had crowded under the big screen tent where they were being serenaded by the circus band. Many in the crowd had noticed storm clouds were gathering in the west, but no consideration was given to canceling the show.

But when the clouds reached the exhibition grounds, it became ominously dark in the circus tent. The now concerned crowd fell silent as the clerks rushed over to turn on the gas lamps and then the storm hit them. There was a faint rumble of thunder and then a strong gust of wind made the tent press the tent against its ankles and then it roared outside.

The Hawk Eye newspaper reported, “Halfway up the stands, a sturdy, middle-aged woman stood up and shouted, ‘My God, the tent is going by. ‘And then she jumped down the seats and out of the exit with an agility that was contrary to her size. “

Then there was another gust of wind stronger than the first, and the billowing canvas lifted one of the center supports skyward from its base to create threatening arches over the center ring.

The crowd gasped and stood up, and then suddenly the band tossed their instruments aside and ran for the nearest exit. And the panic began. Children screamed and there were shouts as the crowd shot over the seats and pushed the few narrow exits.

When the audience began to spill out of the main tent, the menagerie tent near the buffeting area collapsed. Most of the audience had already left the smaller tent, but a man had to cut his way out from under the canvas with his jackknife. Animal trainers rushed to the scene to calm the frightened animals in the cages.

At that moment, a heavy downpour poured over the exhibition grounds, soaking the crowd that was spilled by the Big Top. Those who were still in the tent hesitated at the gush of water and calmer heads in the audience indicated that the tent was the safest place.

The circus attendants now picked up the scream and urged the guests to return to their seats, and slowly, somewhat embarrassed, most of the people returned to their seats to await the storm in the dubious safety of the wildly fluttering tent.

Those who ran out of the tent were now soaked from storm, wind and rain. Parents looking after children could be seen running through the park, taking shelter on the porches, parlors, and outbuildings of the surrounding residential area.

The storm was supposed to end as soon as it started. In less than an hour the sun was shining through the clouds. In the big tent the lights went out and the cowardly band picked up the music where it left off and it was show time.

But the thrill of the acrobats and lions couldn’t match the excitement the crowd had already experienced.

ESPN, Echo Leisure Energy By Pandemic Challenges To Ship 20th Winter X Video games

Despite the reduced schedule and less presence, ESPN will produce 17.5 hours of content

What should have been a historic X Games 20th anniversary celebration in Aspen this weekend is a toned-down affair with no spectators. Due to the pandemic, local ESPN and Echo Entertainment production has been scaled back, and the normally harsh X Games atmosphere with live concerts and festivals will instead be a largely virtual experience for fans. The mere fact that the X Games are even taking place in Aspen this weekend is a testament to the will and perseverance of ESPN’s dedicated X Games team.

ESPN and Echo deployed 24 manned cameras that will be repositioned to 55 camera positions throughout the competition.

“I couldn’t be more proud and grateful that we are here [in Aspen]and that pays homage to all of the teamwork, ”says Tim Reed, Vice President, X Games, ESPN. “The amount of work the operations and events teams put into developing our plan is just incredible. You have almost two events at the same time: one is the actual competition that we have been running for many years, but then you also have that health and safety component that has created a significant amount of work on a completely different layer. I am so proud of the team and the work they have done and we are all excited to be here. “

Despite a reduced schedule of events and a reduced on-site presence, ESPN will produce a lot of content: 17.5 hours of live content over three days on ESPN, ABC and ESPN2 (ESPN’s Facebook and Twitter will host live-stream competitions on Friday). as well as exclusive streaming content via @XGames social and ESPN created one too virtual X Fest experience for fans and has teamed up with Psyonix on one Rocket League Championship Series (RLCS) X Regional Event.

Smaller footprint with the same big show mentality

This year ESPN has again signed mobile units from Dome Production for X Games

ESPN and Echo have rolled out an A-Unit and a B-Unit – Dome Productions Silver and Unite Trucks – for all three X Games venues at Buttermilk Mountain. A third dome truck has been brought in to transport equipment, and long-term partner BSI has a mobile unit to manage RF operations.

The X Games team also decided to forego a host set this year after switching to a mobile host set in 2020.

“We don’t have a set this year, partly because of the security protocol and partly because the benefit of having a host set was having hosts Jack [Mitrani] Sit down with the athletes and get to know them and spend time with them. We felt that it would be difficult to deal with social distance, ”he says Echo Entertainment President Hugh Arian. “From a production point of view, we’re just delighted that the event is taking place this year. This is the world’s leading action sports event. The fact that we actually do it is the most important thing. “

In the ESPN production office tent on Buttermilk Mountain

In total, the ESPN and Echo deployed 24 manned cameras – including 11 Sony HDC-4300 and nine HDC-2400 – which were repositioned under 55 camera positions throughout the competition. ESPN has also brought back the CondorCam point-to-point antenna system and will deploy it on both the SlopeStyle and Big Air venues. In addition, BSI has four RF POV cameras: three FollowCams and one camera attached to a snowmobile, which brings the athletes to the top of the course after each run. BSI also distributed 18 RF microphones to the three venues.

Echo and its partners have laid 450,000 feet of ST single mode fiber and 20,000 feet of SMPTE fiber over the Buttermilk Mountain.

“The biggest change this year is obviously the COVID logs, which while slowing us down a bit, keep everyone safe, which is most important,” he says Pierce Williams, Echo Entertainment’s technical director. “Everything else is pretty much on par, just with a smaller footprint. We still have big numbers when it comes to technology and equipment. “

As with all ESPN shows, Aspen crew members must wear masks at all times.

ESPN has a detailed health and safety plan in Aspen and has requested all employees to take a negative COVID test both before traveling to Aspen and upon arrival on site. Frequent tests are performed on-site on a variable basis depending on a person’s role and the segmented group to which they are assigned. All offices and production facilities in Buttermilk Mountain have been equipped with suitable filter systems, and the on-site staff must distance themselves socially at all times, wear masks and maintain hand hygiene.

“We have all the critical components for our health and safety protocols,” says Reed. “A lot of details went into this topic and we worked on it for a long time with the best health and safety experts. It got us to this point and I think we are all fine with the protocols we have here. “

Jam session format, active viewing strategy Keep the show moving

All of the ESPN crew were positioned at least two meters apart in the truck, and numerous fiberglass separators were also installed.

ESPN brought back the popular “jam session” format this year, which allows for more live competition with less downtime between runs. In this format, multiple riders compete for a period of time, and the judges officially rate each competitor based on their overall impression (rather than waiting for the judges’ scores to be given for each athlete individually).

“We’re doing a lot of things again that we implemented last year in terms of production approach and competitive format,” says Arian. “The jam format is back, and every athlete gets a timer. So we don’t wait for results between runs. We implemented that here last winter. We thought it would make the event faster. We were all pretty happy with it. “

Despite a smaller footprint in Aspen, X Games production from ESPN and Echo Entertainment is still sizeable this year

Also back is the “Active Viewing” strategy from ESPN / Echo, which aims to accelerate the cadence of the broadcast by increasing the camera movement and using mobile cameras such as FollowCams and CondorCam as much as possible. The front bench will also cut cameras faster within the show, and the production team has been working on shortening athlete profiles and sponsorship spots so that they can be more easily incorporated into the show instead of crowd shots.

“As part of the active viewing last year, we not only made a lot of camera movement. We also cut a little faster, ”says Arian. “We’re going to try to make more of it this year because we don’t have a crowd to adjust to. You will see that we are also reducing more to short form content. “

Though operations in Aspen look very different on site, viewers can expect the same style and quality from X Games – a boon for action sports fans starving for content during the pandemic.

“Of course the sports world has been hit hard,” says Arian, “but I think action sports.” [have been hit] even harder than other sports because we don’t have the deep pockets that they do [major leagues] to have. It’s amazing to be here and get everyone back to work. “

X Games Aspen kicks off today at 2 p.m. ET with streaming on @XGames social and, followed by coverage of ESPN2 starting tonight at 10:30 p.m. On Saturday and Sunday, reporting on ABC starts at 1 p.m.