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Wooden Boat Show and Summer Solstice Festival

Fri, Jun 19, 2020 - Sun, Jun 21, 2020
Image of Wooden Boat Show and Summer Solstice Festival
Image of Wooden Boat Show and Summer Solstice Festival
Image of Wooden Boat Show and Summer Solstice Festival
Image of Wooden Boat Show and Summer Solstice Festival

Overview

Rows of hand-made and unique watercraft, a boat parade, craft demonstrations, an evening square dance, boat and tool auction, chowder and brats...there’s a bit of everything during our Wooden Boat Show and Summer Solstice Festival. Try your hand at a workshop or course; be inspired by the stories of boat builders, sailors and travelers and plan your next adventure. Join us as we welcome the summer season in the best way possible: talking boats, celebrating community and hanging out on the shores of Lake Superior. 

Preliminary event details below—full event schedule coming in May. Sign up for our eNews to stay up-to-date!

In the meantime, check out the 2019 event page for an idea of what to expect!

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Boat Show & Parade

Explore a wide variety of interesting and custom boats on display. Past boats have included cedar strip canoes, Greenland Inuit skin-on-frame kayaks, skifs, prams, drift boats, and more. Have a boat to show off? Plan on bringing it along!

Details & Boat Registration

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Speaker Series

Watch, listen, be inspired. The adventurous and spirited journeys of boat builders and historians converge for two days of inspirational presentations.

Image for Featured Speaker: David Thoreson

Featured Speaker: David Thoreson

David Thoreson has sailed to the far reaches of the globe as he studies the world’s oceans and changing climate. In his talk Over the Horizon: Sailing and Exploring the Polar Regions of a Changing Planet, David will share incredible photos and stories from his time as a modern-day sea adventurer with a purpose.

Sunday, 12pm (following member meeting)

Details

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Boats-to-Tools Auction

The Boats to Tools Auction features hundreds of items, from trusty canoes to woodworking tools. Help support North House's mission by donating your own items for auction!

Sat, 10am-4pm

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Contra Dance

What better way to wrap up the day than a community contra dance with all our friends? Grab a partner and listen for the sound of the fiddle. The first hour will be geared towards families with easier kid-friendly dances.

Fri, 7-10pm

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Lake Superior Chowder Experience

Get your bowl for the 21st annual Lake Superior Chowder Experience – a festival highlight that brings chowders of North Shore restaurants for you to taste.

Sat, 12-1pm

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Crafting on the Commons

Witness skilled traditional craft artisans as they join as a community over the weekend to celebrate the process of craft. Observe, engage, and ask questions!

Fri - Sat

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Fika and Friends

Join us for coffee and and a light fare on Sunday morning as we thank our members and friends for their involvement in North House.

Sun, 10:30am

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Volunteer Opportunties

Join the vibrant and hard-working group of volunteers that help make Wooden Boat Show a success — a variety of volunteer roles will be available—details coming in early May.

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Summer Solstice Pageant

Presented by the Good Hill Harbor Players, the pageant is a spectacular presentation including hand-made paper mache puppets, live musical accompaniment, and more. It is truly a show you're unlikely to forget.

Sat, 8pm

Event Details

Boats on the Water: Wooden Boat Display

Friday, Saturday and Sunday

Wooden boat builders and enthusiasts from across the Midwest are invited to display their crafts on campus throughout the weekend. Admire the work of others, get your questions answered and perhaps feel inspired to build one of your own.

Bringing a boat to show? Advanced registration required—please complete this form.

Friday, 6pm: Boat Parade

Let’s get on the water! Bring your boat down to campus and enjoy a paddle or a row about with other boat enthusiasts. Or, show up a bit early and hop in one of ours. North House is home to an abundance of boats & helpful people. Put on a life jacket and get on board! At 6pm, we’ll parade by an appreciative audience gathered on the North House dock, and then gather in the harbor to enjoy one of the longest evenings of the year with other boat enthusiasts.

Featured Speaker: David Thoreson

Sunday, 12pm following the Annual Meeting.

David Thoreson has sailed to the far reaches of the globe as he studies the world’s oceans and changing climate. In his talk Over the Horizon: Sailing and Exploring the Polar Regions of a Changing Planet, David will share incredible photos and stories from his time as a modern-day sea adventurer with a purpose. 

With his many extreme adventures and Midwestern roots, photographer and sailor David Thoreson has a very unique and entertaining story to share. David grew up in a small town in Iowa, learned to sail on a glacial lake surrounded by corn fields and shaped these experiences to lead a life of exploration and discovery at the far reaches of the globe. Surprisingly, Thoreson got his opportunity to sail the world’s oceans with a southern Minnesota farmer. David’s presentation combines stunning visuals and storytelling about sailing into the ice, lives of indigenous hunters, scientists in the Arctic and ultimately meeting the issue of climate change face-to-face. Thoreson presents a great glimpse of modern-day adventuring at sea, adventures with a purpose. The presentation includes stories of Thoreson’s sailing expeditions and the quest for the infamous Northwest Passage beginning with the 1994 passage attempt aboard the 57’ fiberglass sailboat Cloud Nine, owned by Minnesotan, Roger Swanson. David also completed a 28,000-mile circumnavigation of the North and South American continents on the research sailboat Ocean Watch, working with NASA, NOAA and universities in two hemispheres.

 

BECOME A MEMBER — GET THE PASS!

North House members receive a special event pass, allowing free admission to the speakers, demonstrations and the contra dance throughout the weekend. $5/presentation or workshop for non-members. Become a North House Folk School member today, Get The Pass! $25 individual; $50 family.

Wooden Boat Show Pass Holder Benefits

  • Speaker Series: free entry
  • Sneak Peek: Boats to Tools Auction 7pm, Friday
  • Discount on Saturday mini-course registration
  • Free Entry to the Community Contra Dance: 7pm, Friday
  • Featured Speaker: Over the Horizon: Sailing and Exploring the Polar Regions of a Changing Planet with David Thoreson: Sunday, Noon

Year-Long Benefits

  • Membership at North House Folk School, an educational non-profit organization
  • Event Passes for Unplugged & Winterers’ Gathering
  • Members Day Registration: sign up for new courses one day early!
  • Receive the quarterly newsletter and annual report and a discount on one item in the School Store

Become a Member!

Interested in boat building? We offer a number of boat building-related classes throughout the year. See them below!

Course Offerings

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Handmade Pasta

Space Available
Wed, Jun 17th, 2020
9am-5pm
Instructor: Karalyn Littlefield
Teaser image for Scandinavian Style Flat-Plane Figure Carving

Scandinavian Style Flat-Plane Figure Carving

Almost Full
Wed, Jun 17th, 2020  –  Fri, Jun 19th, 2020
9am-5pm
Instructor: Harley Refsal
Teaser image for Hand-Forged 'Using' Knife

Hand-Forged 'Using' Knife

Join Wait List
Wed, Jun 17th, 2020  –  Fri, Jun 19th, 2020
9am-5pm
Instructor: Robert Schulz
Teaser image for Bead Embroidery:  The Pin Series

Bead Embroidery: The Pin Series

Space Available
Thu, Jun 18th, 2020
9am-5pm
Instructor: Jo Wood
Teaser image for Hand-Sewing the Sailor's Ditty Bag

Hand-Sewing the Sailor's Ditty Bag

Space Available
Thu, Jun 18th, 2020  –  Fri, Jun 19th, 2020
Day 1: 9am-5pm; Day 2: 9am-noon
Instructor: Ted Gephart
Teaser image for Beaded Leather Bag

Beaded Leather Bag

Space Available
Fri, Jun 19th, 2020
9am-5pm
Instructor: Marcie McIntire
Teaser image for Explore the Summer Solstice Light: Photography as Storytelling

Explore the Summer Solstice Light: Photography as Storytelling

Space Available
Sun, Jun 21st, 2020  –  Mon, Jun 22nd, 2020
Day 1: 4pm-6pm, sunset shoot 8pm-10pm; Day 2: 9am-noon
Instructor: David Thoreson
Teaser image for Fly Fishing the North Shore: Grand Marais Area

Fly Fishing the North Shore: Grand Marais Area

Almost Full
Sun, Jun 21st, 2020  –  Wed, Jun 24th, 2020
Days 1-3: 12pm-8pm, Day 4: 10am-4pm
Teaser image for Build Your Own Kayak: Stitch and Glue

Build Your Own Kayak: Stitch and Glue

Space Available
Sat, Jun 13th, 2020  –  Fri, Jun 19th, 2020
9am-5pm
Instructor: John Hodnefield
Teaser image for Sausages for the Summer Grill

Sausages for the Summer Grill

Join Wait List
Mon, Jun 22nd, 2020
9am - 5pm
Instructor: Jay Arrowsmith DeCoux
Teaser image for Baskets, Baskets, Baskets: Birch Bark Weaving

Baskets, Baskets, Baskets: Birch Bark Weaving

Space Available
Mon, Jun 22nd, 2020  –  Tue, Jun 23rd, 2020
9am-5pm
Instructors: Julie Kean, Jack Sneve
Teaser image for Cedar-Strip Boat Construction: Techniques & Fundamentals

Cedar-Strip Boat Construction: Techniques & Fundamentals

Join Wait List
Mon, Jun 22nd, 2020  –  Sun, Jun 28th, 2020
9am-5pm
Instructor: Ken Koscik