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Arts & Entertainment

The cultural vitality of the Bay Area is strong and growing, owing to the innumerous opportunities to enjoy art, history and entertainment all year.

Studio 23/The Art Center, nestled within the heart of Downtown Bay City, is comprised of two exhibit spaces, which showcase the works of local, state and national artists. Its studios are always bustling with a wide range of classes for artists of all ages, and its annual All Area Juried Show is highly anticipated.

Located on the SVSU campus is the Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum, a display of more than 1,000 works of art by the award-winning Detroit-based sculptor. Adjacent to the museum facility is a stunning outdoor sculpture garden currently featuring more than 20 bronze sculptures.

History buffs are invited to step back in time at the Bay County Historical Museum, a facility operated by the Bay County Historical Society in Bay City. The museum houses an extensive collection of archives and artifacts dating back to the 1870s, and features the Kantzler Maritime Gallery, Butterfield Research Library and a miniature exhibit of the Saginaw River Rear Range Lighthouse.

The Antique Toy and Firehouse Museum is another hot spot for history enthusiasts. The museum holds the world’s largest collection of fire trucks, totaling more than 60, as well as 12,000-plus antique and collectible toys. Patrons enjoy traveling through the NASCAR Room, Tonka Room, Coca-Cola Room and many others—and be sure to check out the New York Super Pumper, the biggest fire truck ever built.

High quality theatrical performances are discovered through the popular Bay City Players, the oldest continuously running community theatre in the state. The historic State Theatre of Bay City also offers live theatre, along with film screenings, educational programming and performances by comedians and well-known musicians and musical groups.

The Bay Area is replete with opportunities to enjoy the melodic sounds of the symphony or chorus as well. The Bijou Orchestra and Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestra, along with the Bay Chorale and Bay Concert Band, make regular appearances throughout the area. Many performances can be seen at the beautiful Wenonah Park Amphitheater and the State Theatre, among many other venues.

The Bay Area provides its residents and visitors a calendar year full of exciting community-wide events. Thousands of people line the riverside every year for the annual Bay City Fourth of July Fireworks Festival, Michigan’s finest fireworks display. The Riverside Art Festival in Wenonah Park, the Pig Gig, the Downtown Bay City Sidewalk Sales and the Downtown Bay City Gallery Walk are tops in the summer months.

The River of Time Living History Encampment, Dow Bay City River Roar, Bay County Fair and Youth Exposition, the Midland Street Bike Bash and Bay City Air Show are among the many other fantastic festivals happening in the Bay Area year round. Plus, the Bay Arts Council hosts several well-attended events, including the Dow Corning Young People’s Summer Series, “Wednesdays in the Park” concerts at Wenonah Park and Hell’s Half Mile Film & Music Festival in Downtown Bay City.

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