Wooden canoe group plans local assembly

MARQUETTE – Marquette’s Tourist Park will be invaded this weekend by dozens of boaters who have a common love for one thing – wooden canoes.

The event will be a regional assembly of the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association that is being hosted by the association’s Upper Peninsula Chapter.

There will be more than 50 canoes and their owners participating in the assembly, which will include a variety of activities Saturday that are open to the public and free of charge.

Included will be birch bark, laminate and wood canvas canoes, all hand made. Some will be more than 100 years old, restored to mint condition, while other will be of recent construction.

Demonstrations of skills used in the manufacture and handling of canoes will take place throughout the day. Included will be birch bark and wood/canvas canoe building, building a willow-framed coracle, carving paddles, blacksmithing and paddling demonstrations.

The Assembly opens at 10 a.m. and concludes with a parade of canoes by the Tourist Park beach beginning at about 7:30 p.m. vendor booths offering canoes and related items will be set up from 1 a.m. to about 5 p.m.

On Sunday, there will be organized canoe outings on various waters in the Marquette area that non-association members are invited to participate in.

For more information, call Judy or Craig Kitchen at 225-1769 or view the WCHA web site at www.wcha.org.