Column: Summer tourism season underway

ESCANABA — The fun is just beginning for what looks to be a record breaking summer in Delta County filled with music in the parks, farmers markets, racing, conventions, sidewalk sales, fishing tournaments, and much more. Our community has once again prepared a host of events to attract visitors to our special part of the U.P. for sun and fun on the bays.

This weekend you can celebrate the opening of the new lakeside trail in Gladstone at the MISH Events Waterfront Half Marathon & 10K presented by Upper Hand Brewery. Registrants for this experience are coming from places like Alabama, South Dakota, Colorado, and North Carolina, as well as more traditional visiting states like Illinois and Wisconsin. Many community members have sponsored and volunteered time to support this event at our new lakeside attraction. Participants will take in the sights as well as amazing local brews at this unique event that highlights some of what makes our area so special.

Great live music has become a part of the Delta County summertime experience as well, and there are plenty of opportunities to get out and enjoy live music nearly every day this summer. On Father’s Day, Sunday, June 17, you can catch some Cajun music compliments of UP Gumbo at the Sunday Funday Winery Concert Series hosted at Northern Sun Winery. Relax to the sounds of talented songwriters and musicians while surrounded by the Anthony Vineyards on Sundays through August. You can catch more live music in the parks this summer as well. Escanaba’s Ludington Park hosts music from 7 to 9 p.m. on Mondays through August at the Karas Band Shell, and you can head to Van Cleve Park in Gladstone on Thursdays this summer from 7 to 9 p.m. for a variety of music as well. Grab your crew and have a picnic in the park while watching live music all summer long.

These are a few of the attractions and events that are getting a lot of interest on the Visit Escanaba website and social media pages from visitors. Visit Escanaba is the Destination Marketing Organization for Delta County and is reaching out to people across the globe via a variety of platforms to let them know about all of the excitement our area has to offer.

In May, over four million screens in the Midwest saw digital ads and information about Delta County as part of marketing campaigns carried out by Visit Escanaba. This approach has led to a significant increase in traffic to the organization’s website as well as an increase in visitors coming to our area for overnight and multiple night stays.

One of the areas that has shown the most significant increase in digital traffic to information about Delta County is the Chicago, Ill., market. Over two million screens in the Chicago area were served information about Delta County in May, which led to an increase in sessions to Visit Escanaba.com of 199 percent. This points to a high level of interest as people are clicking ads to find out more about the sights and sounds of Delta County.

I hope you are ready for a busy summer as new and returning visitors find Delta County and stop to see everything we have to offer. Thank you all for making our area special as we roll out the red carpet this summer tourism season.

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By Robert Micheau is the executive director of Visit Escanaba