2018-07-07 / News

Art Rocks the Boat Cruise Fundraiser To Feature Music, Views of the Straits July 9

By Marina Lindland

The Art Rocks the Boat fundraiser, a cruise on which participants can sip cold drinks and socialize while enjoying music and sweeping Straits of Mackinac views, will begin boarding at Mackinac Island Dock 1 at 6:45 p.m. Monday, July 9.

The cruise is open to the public at $30 per ticket, which can be purchased on the Mackinac Arts Council Web site or in person at the dock. Those who want to buy their tickets at the dock should not worry about them being sold out.

“The boats we use can hold about 400 people,” said Philip Rice, executive director of the Mackinac Arts Council. “More than likely, we won’t be turning people away because we sold out.”

He said the return of this fundraiser, after a one-year hiatus, has been highly anticipated.

“People were so disappointed when we had to cancel last year,” he said. “I got a ton of e-mails from people who said this was their favorite thing to do. Everyone is so happy that it’s back this year. It’s such a chill event.”

All of the proceeds from ticket sales help fund projects in the arts and music department of the Mackinac Island Public School. School uses of the money include off-Island field trips and art tablets to teach students about digital photography and editing.

“One ongoing program is with the music department,” said Dr. Rice. “We’ll buy any instruments they want to buy for their students. It’s really popular because a lot of students are looking to learn a new instrument. It’s up to the school whether they want to rent or buy.”

Local musician Gabi Bowditch and local drummer Donny Trahan will provide the entertainment. Ms. Bowditch has worked during the summers here for years and is co-owner of Flowers of Mackinac. Dr. Rice called her a rising star in the community.

“She worked for Jack Barnwell as a gardener for a while,” he said. “Now, she’s singing on Sip N’ Sails, and she has tons of gigs this summer. She’ll probably be able to perform full-time, eventually.”

The fundraiser was cancelled in 2017 because the Mackinac Arts Council was busy with various other a activities and because it was difficult for Star Line Mackinac Island Ferry to schedule the cruise during the transition year after it purchased Arnold Transit.

“They had a lot of records to go through and they were revamping all of the old Arnold boats,” said Mr. Rice. “It was just a lot easier to postpone the fundraiser to the next year.”

This year, beer and wine will be available on the boat, but not cocktails, as in years past.

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