The public is invited to celebrate Onaway State Park’s 90th anniversary on Saturday, Aug. 27, with a day of activities planned for visitors and guests.
Historically, Onaway State Park, located at 3622 North M-211 in Presque Isle County, was donated to the State of Michigan in 1920 and dedicated as a state park in 1921. Prior to becoming a state park, it was a county park named Indian Orchard, after a prior Native American village. The park is situated in a unique location that was heavily used by Native Americans, travelers and settlers throughout history.
The park’s natural features are indicative of the huge limestone shelf it sits on, and developing the park was an engineering endeavor that will be described during historical tours taking place from 2 to 8 p.m., starting at the Campground Host site. A band will be providing live music from 2 to 4 p.m. at the park pavilion, followed by Karaoke with Gary Sayers from 6 to 9 p.m.
There will also be a Chili Cook-Off. Participants should have entries signed in by 4 p.m. at the pavilion porch, where judging will begin at 5 p.m. A cake, donated by Citizen’s National Bank in Onaway, and ice cream will be served on the porch at 7 p.m.
The day also includes Children’s Summer Lawn Olympics, with events such as ladder ball, water balloon toss, sky darts, bean bag toss and a squirt gun contest. Sign up begins at 1 p.m. at the pavilion porch. Prizes, donated by the 211 Bar and Grill and Brewbaker’s Housing and RV of Onaway, will be awarded.
Family games, such as three-legged races and egg toss, start at 6 p.m. on the pavilion lawn, and Smokey Bear will be putting in periodic appearances throughout the day and evening.
For more information about this event, the park, accessibility, or persons needing accommodations to attend this event, contact the park at 989-733-8273 (TTY/TDD711 Michigan Relay Center for the hearing impaired), or visit www.michigan.gov/onaway.
The event is free; however, a Recreation Passport is required for vehicles entering Onaway State Park. The Recreation Passport has replaced motor vehicle permits for entry into Michigan state parks, recreation areas and state-administered boating access fee sites. This new way to fund Michigan’s outdoor recreation opportunities also helps to preserve state forest campgrounds, trails and historic and cultural sites in state parks, and provides park development grants to local communities. Michigan residents can purchase the Recreation Passport ($10 for motor vehicles; $5 for motorcycles) by checking “YES” on their license plate renewal forms, or at any state park or recreation area.
Nonresident motor vehicles must still display a valid nonresident Recreation Passport ($29 annual; $8 daily) to enter a Michigan state park, recreation area or state-administered boating access fee site; these can be purchased at any state park or recreation area, or through the Michigan e-Store at www.michigan.gov/estore.
To learn more about the Recreation Passport, visit www.michigan.gov/recreationpassport or call 517-241-7275.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state’s natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. For more information, go to www.michigan.gov/dnr.
Photo: John Fink