Canoes on display in Marquette

A weekend event at Tourist Park in Marquette is sure to float the boats of canoe enthusiasts.

Starting at 10 a.m. Saturday, close to 60 different new and antique wooden canoes will be on display at the park.

Members of the Regional Assembly of the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association will be coming from across the country to show off their hand–made birch bark, laminate, and wood canvas canoes.

“Some people will be interested in the history that they see here.  It’s part of the U.P. history,” canoe enthusiast Craig Kitchen said.  “These boats were used from the native people with their birch bark canoes, all the way up through the area.  They were used for trapping, they were used for fishing, they were used for everyday transportation.”

Demonstrations will take place on and off the water to showcase what it takes to build a canoe, and how to handle it once you get it in the water.

“For wood strip canoe, (it takes) six months to a year (to build). Those are the little three–quarter inch wide strips,” added Kitchen. “These boats they have planks that are three inches wide.  A person can plank one of these boats out in a weekend, and have the boat ready to put in the water in two weeks.”

A parade of canoes will take place Saturday at 7:30 pm.m at Tourist Park Beach.

The canoe assembly wraps up on Sunday with canoe trips planned throughout Marquette County.