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Celebrate the greatest of lakes

Lake Superior is the cleanest, coldest, and clearest of the Great Lakes.

The largest lake by surface area in the world, Lake Superior fuels our local shipping, commercial fishing and recreational industries while providing a source for clean drinking water. Every day, each of the 600,000 residents of the Lake Superior basin use water from the lake for drinking, home use, industrial use or recreation. The lake is essential for countless fish, birds, animals and plants.

Celebrate it 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 20 at Barker’s Island Festival Park.

There will be free family fun with live music, kids’ activities, the Blessing of the Fleet, readings and workshop from the Wisconsin Poet Laureate, local art, informational booths and food vendors, all focused on celebrating and appreciating our Great Lake.

Lake Superior Day started in the early 1990s to highlight the importance of this great water body to the basin’s environment and economy. This year’s local event is coordinated by the Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve, a federal reserve encompassing more than 16,000 acres along the St. Louis River freshwater estuary and is one of four research centers at University of Wisconsin-Superior.

Music performances by Colleen Myhre, the Boomchucks and Lake Monster set the rhythm. Wisconsin Poet Laureate Max Garland inspires creative expression with a reading at 2:30 p.m. and hosts a free one-hour workshop 11 a.m. to noon. Workshop space is limited. Call 715-392-3141 to register.

Local artists exhibit and sell their wares all day.

The Lake Superior Binational Forum will honor regional stewards of Lake Superior at 1 p.m. and at 1:15 p.m., the Twin Ports Ministry of Seafarers conducts a Blessing of the Fleet for Twin Ports watercraft.

A fun photo booth and interactive exhibit on the Great Lakes will be open at the Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve. Lake Superior NERR staff lead a tour of the beautiful Barker’s Island native rain garden at 2:30 p.m.

The SS Meteor Maritime Museum offers half-price tours all day and food will be available.

North Shore SUP will also be hosting free stand-up paddle boarding demonstrations.

Enjoy the festivities in appreciation of the lake.