Cycling the Leelanau Trail

Cycling the Leelanau Trail

By MIKE NORTON

Walking around Traverse City this week, the smell of blossoming trees is everywhere!

Big masses of white cherry blooms in the orchards, wispy boughs of Juneberry in the forests, little high notes of pink peach and apricot on the hillsides, great clumps of blue and purple lilacs in the neighborhoods and lacy white pear blossoms above the downtown sidewalks. All that unpleasant May rain and snow is finally paying off, it seems.

Trilliums and Violets in the Woods

Trilliums and Violets in the Woods

And the trees aren't the only things in bloom. The forest floor is alive with wildflowers this week. Seas of white trilliums; wild violets in their purple, gold and white; jack-in-the-pulpits (or is it jacks-in-the-pulpit?); Dutchman's breeches, toothworts, spring beauties, trout lilies and all manner of other blooms. It's a floral fireworks out there!

Speaking of fireworks, it looks as though there's going to be another great July 4 fireworks display over West Grand Traverse Bay this year, thanks to the Traverse City Boom Boom Club -- the nonprofit group responsible for raising money to finance last year’s impressive fireworks.

Former National Cherry Festival director Tim Hinkley, who helped organize the club and is its current president, says the whole idea is to "spur pride in our country and remembrance of our nation’s independence.” The club is receiving support through contributions from some local municipalities, businesses and private donations, but they're also asking for community grassroots help.

The 2012 Fireworks over Grand Traverse Bay.

The 2012 Fireworks over Grand Traverse Bay.

The Boom Boom Club was formed two years aho when it looked as though Traverse City might not have enough money to have a July 4 fireworks display, and its initial 2012 show was a great one. Produced by Great Lakes Fireworks of East Jordan, the program featured 1,100 shells and lasted 30 minutes with music simulcast by WTCM-FM.

Contributions are tax deductible, thanks to the fiscal sponsorship of the Cherry Festival Foundation, a Michigan nonprofit corporation exempt from taxation under section 501c3 of the tax code. Donations of any size are welcome, but the group has set up several levels of sponsorship. Donors who give as little as $25 get a VIP admission to the fireworks party area at Open Space Park, with complimentary hot dogs, soda and chips, and a cash bar for beer and wine.

Yeah, that was us at last year's fireworks!

Yeah, that was us at last year's fireworks!

Karen, Liz and I went last year, and had a great time. Best fireworks-watching venue I think I've ever been to!

You can learn more about the effort at the Traverse City City Boom Boom Club  website,   www.tcboomboom.org/ or their Facebook page, www.facebook.com/TraverseCityBoomBoomClub. Contributions can be made on line or by check to the Cherry Festival Foundation/Boom Boom Club at  250 E. Front St., Traverse City, MI  49684.

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