ESCANABA - Gov. Rick Snyder made a special appearance in Escanaba Friday to kick off the Maritime Festival by ringing the Escanaba Municipal Marina bell.
"I really appreciate the chance to be here. I'm glad it worked out for me to have a chance to join this celebration," Snyder said.
Snyder, who has been traveling through the Upper Peninsula with his family, noted the harbor was one of the major factors in the creation of the city.
Gov. Rick Snyder is shown Friday at the Escanaba Municipal Marina, where he helped kick off the Maritime Festival. (Escanaba Daily Press photo)
"Having one of the finest, safest, best harbors in the entire Great Lakes was really a catalyst to bring people here," he said.
"It was the starting point and it's great you still have that wonderful asset available to you."
While the governor sees the harbor as an asset to the community, he also said a community requires more than a great harbor.
"The key to a community are the people in it and that's where you're really to be complimented for the wonderful things you're doing here," he said, adding that creating jobs, a strong and stable livelihood for citizens, and tourism are important.
"Also, the fact you make great things here. You've got great companies building products here. You have timber/paper products, so it's a strong industry in terms of the things available," Snyder said.
H also said the Maritime Festival has great potential for the future and that the city's sesquicentennial celebration is well deserved.
"Congratulations on getting to 150 years, because what I can see from the hardworking people here is I think the next 50 are going to be the best 50," Snyder said.
Following Friday's Maritime Festival opening, he and his family continued their trip around the Upper Peninsula.
"Much of the U.P. is a secret that most people don't know about, a lot of Michiganders don't even know so that's part of getting the message out that they need to explore more," he said.
Snyder plans to return to the Escanaba area next month for the U.P. State Fair.