Welcome Summer Ephraim-style
By Donna Marie Pocius
Special to DoorCountyNavigator.com
Everyone seems to love summer, but Ephraim probably has the best way to show the love and welcome the season.
During this upcoming weekend’s (June 15 to 17) Fyr Bal Festival, they burn the winter witch and welcome the summer solstice in Ephraim. On Saturday night, visitors and locals gather around nearly a dozen bonfires on the beach. The festival in Ephraim also honors a chieftain, who enters picturesque Eagle Harbor on a motor boat before lighting the first bonfire.
The festival is all about recreating traditions of early Norwegian settlers who would gather around the fires and give thanks for being safe and warm and for summer coming, according to the Ephraim Historical Foundation.
Also part of the 48th annual Fyr Bal festival this weekend in Ephraim are an arts and crafts show, live music, visiting alpacas and llamas, a raffle (with 75 prizes), silent auction, regatta, children’s activities (bucket raffle, watercolor fun) and more.
But you don’t have to come this weekend to have fun in Ephraim. This renowned pretty-in-white village offers diverse activities ranging from sailing, swimming and mini golf to hiking in Ephraim Wetlands Preserve, 9820 Water Street—a seven acre wetland ecosystem.
Many of the shops are in town and within walking distance from hotels and the beach. A favorite is Hanseatic Art Gallery, 3060 Hwy. Q (Church St.). Here, Karsten Toplemann and Ellen Sprogo-Topelmann present and sell their art in oils, watercolors and acrylics. Their subject matter ranges from Door County landscapes and flowers to European scenes.
Head to north Ephraim to discover more shops including City Farmer and Celeste Wegman Interiors (on the upper level)—a lovely shop in a repurposed dairy barn. Wander around the rooms to find home furnishings, accessories, pottery, garden art, handbags and much more.
As for restaurants, don’t miss Wilson’s Restaurant & Ice Cream Parlor. Established in 1906, it has a wide porch where you’ll have a water view of Eagle Harbor as you enjoy a burger and root beer that’s actually made on the premises.
Check out historical attractions including the iconic 1858 Anderson Dock and Warehouse (transformed into the Francis Hardy Center for the Arts). The Hardy stages many exhibitions of local and regional artists and celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2012. On Monday evenings, June 18 through Aug. 20, Door County artists will paint in the open air at the Hardy.
Ephraim gives travelers many accommodation choices—from B&Bs to resorts and hotels. They include the lovely Bay Breeze Resort, pretty Eagle Harbor Inn and wonderful Ephraim Shores Motel. Check out all the overnight options under the lodging tab at DoorCountyNavigatgor.com
To learn more about Ephraim and the upcoming Fyr Bal Festival, contact the Ephraim Visitor Information Center, 10049 Water St. (Hwy. 42), or call 920/854-4989. And tell them DoorCountyNavigator.com sent you!