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“The race of the season, the adventure of a lifetime, a destination like no other.”
The 104th Annual Race to Mackinac will begin in just a little over nine short days here in Chicago! Since 1921, The Chicago Yacht Club has sponsored this yearly sailing event from the Chicago Shores to the shores of Mackinac Island, Michigan. This tradition is the oldest annual freshwater distance race in the world and attracts over 300 boats and 3,500 crewmembers annually.
At 11:00 AM on Saturday, July 21st, 2012 boats will take off just off of Navy Pier at the lighthouse. To date, the record for fastest race is held by Pyewacket, owned a skippered by Roy Disney with the monohull record in ’02 with 23 hours, 30 minutes and 34 seconds. The multihulls record is set at 18 hours, 50 minutes and 32 seconds. Steve Fossett, on Stars and Stripes, set this in 1998. Generally, the race takes the fleet between 40 and 60 hours to finish.
Racing through the night and switching crews periodically is no easy task to accomplish. With luck, hopefully the sailors this year will not encounter any dangerous weather and storms. If needed, the Chicago Yacht Club and the US Coast Guard are on call should rescue measures need to be taken; however, the Race to Mackinac has one of the finest safety records in all of sailing.
So, how will you celebrate this years Race to Mackinac? Indulge in this year’s unique Chicago tradition by routing for your family, friends, or coworkers who are participating. Join in yourself by attending one of the many events that are hosted by the Race to Mac on the shorelines. The best spot to watch the send off of ships is with “A Shore Thing”. With A Shore Thing, viewers can pre-purchase picnic baskets for the race day and get admittance to the best seat in the house: the tip of Navy Pier!
Or consider showing your love of Chicago and the Race to Mac by pairing Chicago Belt Co.’s Chicago Flag Belt with some of the Race to Mac apparel found on their website. Until the race, Chicago Belt Co. will be running a promotion for Mackinac followers: 20% off merchandise with coupon code “Mackinac”. Whatever way you chose to celebrate this tradition, here at Chicago Belt Company we are certain it will be a good time!
For those of you who attended universities with Greek fraternities and sororities may have had Sigma Chi’s on your campus. Sigma Chi is a national fraternity with over 244 active chapters. One chapter in particular, Gamma Psi at Michigan State University in East Lansing had some remarkable events this year. One of their annual nationwide events, Derby Days, helps raises money and awareness for various philanthropies and charitable causes. This year at MSU, Chicago Belt Company sponsored their weeklong events providing belts and other merchandise to the winners. One of the Sigma Chi sponsored events, Derby Darlings, was a competition between different women in MSU sororities. It seems as though it was a fierce competition; however, in the end there can only be one winner. This year’s winner was Christina Sauchak, a member of Kappa Delta. Here at Chicago Belt Company we’re glad to see some beautiful ladies also supporting our gear! Congratulations Christina and thanks again to the men of Sigma Chi for showing your Chicago Belt Company support!
Everyone’s favorite time of summer is coming up in less than a month: the 4th of July! Whether you’re celebrating with family, friends, or some combination of both, you’re sure to have a great time—especially in Chicago! Here a several things you can look forward to that week to relax or wet your whistle.
- Navy Pier fireworks: Navy Pier is famous for their fireworks display so bring your family out and pick a good seat before they are all gone! The free show begins at 9pm and is synchronized to patriotic music for this Independence Day!2.
- Sox vs. Rangers baseball game 6:10pm at U.S. Cellular Field. Baseball is a favorite pastime of America—so what better way to spend your 4th of July! To purchase tickets head to whitesox.mlb.com or your favorite alternative retailer such as stubhub.com
- Beaches: How lucky are we that we have over 15 miles of beaches in Chicago right on Lake Michigan! Invite all your friends, pack a cooler and enjoy a day of fun in the sun! As always, admission to the beaches is free so this activity is perfect for those on a budget!
- Red, White and Brew Pub crawl July 3rd. Pubcrawls.com has set up yet another bar crawl! This time they have carefully selected several bars in the Chicago area and set up drink specials for you and your friends! For more information or to purchase tickets visit http://pub-crawl-tickets.ticketleap.com/happy-hour-july-4th-pub-crawl-chicago/
- African/Caribbean International Festival of Life in Washington Park July 4-8. The IFOL festival is celebrating their 20th annual festival this year with reggae, gospel and calypso music. Food and artist vendors will also be on site. Be sure to stop by and check this out—it is sure to be a great time!
Not interested in hitting the town this 4th of July Weekend? Here are several patriotic recipes to try at your next BBQ!
- Shrimp Boil Kebabs
1/2 pound small new potatoes
2 small ears corn, cut into 1 1/2 inch rounds
1/2 pound Andouille sausage, cut into 1 inch rounds
1/2 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 stick butter, melted
4 teaspoons Tabasco
2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning
Boil the potatoes in salted water over medium-high heat for about 12-15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. Drain and rinse under cold water.
Thread potatoes, corn, Andouille and shrimp onto skewers. (This makes about 4 skewers.)
Heat grill to medium-high. Clean and lightly oil the grill. In a small bowl, combine the butter, Tabasco and Old Bay. Grill kebabs turning and brushing with butter mixture occasionally until the shrimp are cooked through and corn in starting to char, about 8 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges. (Source: http://cookauvin.blogspot.ca/2011/07/shrimp-boil-kebabs.html)
2. Pretzel Americana
4 oz chopped semisweet chocolate
24 pretzel rods
sprinkles of your choice
Place chopped semisweet chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of simmering water. Stir occasionally until melted. Once melted, remove from heat.
With a pastry brush, coat the upper third of each pretzel rod with melted chocolate. Cover with sprinkles.
Stand pretzels upright in a glass and place in refrigerator until firm (about 5 minutes). (Source: http://www.marthastewart.com/272366/fourth-of-july-pretzel-sparklers)
Enjoy!! Happy 4th of July everyone!
Have you checked out our new belts yet? We have added some new color combos to our ‘Great Lakes’ line. Check them out on our website!
Hopefully you are all recovered from St. Patrick’s Day and enjoying the warm weather!
1.) Soup & Bread at the Hideout: Every Wednesday night from 5:30-7:30 (through April 11) the Hideout hosts a free dinner cooked (and donated) by chefs, musicians, writers, and home cooks from all around the city. The soup is paired with bread donated from local bakeries as well as a pay-what-you-can donations baskets that benefits a different local food pantry each week. Grab a cup of free soup and donate to the $15,000.00+ that have already been raised by Soup & Bread.
2.) Tequila Tasting Series at Zocalo in River North: The second Thursday of every month Zocalo hosts a $20 tequila tasting which includes tequila samples, two drinks, appetizers, a raffle ticket, and live music. Call 312-302-9977 today to make your reservation!
3.) Check out the Chicago River dyed green and go to your favorite Irish (or not) bar.
4.) Have lunch at Publican Quality Meats: The new West Town butcher shop/lunch spot will serve fresh house-carved meats from local family farms. Check out the website here. Made-to-order sandwiches and draft beer are sure to make a great mid-day work break or a leisurely weekend afternoon.
5.) Eat at RMP Chicago: Brought to you by R.J., Jerrod and Molly Melman of Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, as well as Giuliana and Bill Rancic. While the menu features some classic Italian dishes, it mostly consists of small plates – making it the perfect place to grab great drinks and food with friends.
What are your plans for the month of March? And have you checked out our new belt styles?