MARQUETTE – Tiina Harris hopes folks will not only look at the buildings, parks and other sites that make up the City of Marquette but also see the people who work for the municipality.
That’s the intent behind the third annual Marquette City Open House, which takes place from 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at Peter White Public Library. The open house is being hosted by the library and organized by the Marquette Arts and Culture Center, of which Harris is the community services manager.
“I am hoping the community comes to meet the human beings who work for the city,” Harris said. “These people love and care for this city. They are very passionate about what they do and I want people to get to know them.”
The event is being planned as a family-friendly evening featuring a chance to meet the city manager, city commission members, the fire chief, the captain of patrol operations for the police department and many other people from those departments.
In addition, representatives from the Marquette Board of Light and Power and Superior Watershed Partnerships will be part of the event.
“All city departments will be represented, most by department heads,” Harris said. “This is a centralized opportunity to learn more about the city in which you live. It’s a chance to look beyond the department titles and at the people.”
The PWPL Community Room and the entire arts center will be used to set up for the event.
“It’s a chance to learn about every department in the city,” she said. “And about all the committees serving in the city. There are 24 advisory boards and committees in the city right now, all made up of community members. This open house is a chance for people to find out about how to get on these boards and committees.
“Also, people can learn about projects that are going on in the city, like at Presque Isle playground and Tourist Park,” Harris said. “They can find out about upcoming projects like the Third Street corridor, the core economic plan and the regional transportation project.”
Youngsters are encouraged to attend.
“Some of the highlights for kids will involve the police and fire departments,” she said. “The firemen are going to be bringing their ‘turnout’ boots and jackets for kids to try on. Scud, one of the Marquette Police Department’s K9 unit dogs, will be there. Kids will get fire safety tips and will learn about special police patrols, like the snowmobile patrol. Some people don’t realize we have that, but there are 14 miles of snowmobile trails in the city.”
Police officers are also going to bring the dive equipment they use for water rescues and will have small badges to give to children who attend the open house, Harris said.
Children can also participate in a scavenger hunt.
The BLP will be debuting its Pedal-A-Watt bicycles, one for children and one for adults to try.
Raffle drawings are part of the open house as will be refreshments.
Harris, who has been with the MACC for about seven months, said her time working at her previous job at the Marquette Regional History Center helped her to appreciate Marquette even more.
“We take for granted our city sometimes,” she said. “But where we are today is based on decisions that were made in the past. We’re now working on decisions that will decide the vision for the future, how we want the city to look 50 years from now.
“People coming to the open house will get a sense of how it all connects,” Harris said. “I don’t just see bricks and mortars, I see the people who passed through here. We have to carry on the torch. You get a sense of pride knowing you’re a part of it all.”
Renee Prusi can be contacted at 906-228-2500, ext. 253. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org