Fanfare and fireworks start the SS Badger car ferry season

MANITOWOC, Wisconsin (WBAY) – The Badger SS Lake Michigan Carferry is back in the water after a hectic 2020.

The ferry left Manitowoc at 3 p.m. for Ludington, Michigan, on its maiden voyage of the season Thursday.

The Manitowoc area community welcomed the ferry at S. Lakeview Dr.

“It’s exciting today for the city of Manitowoc. It’s always because it’s the unofficial kick-off to our summer here at Manitowoc when the Badger SS arrives in port for the first time for the sailing season, ”said Mayor Justin Nickels.

The Manitowoc Lincoln, Lutheran and Roncalli high school orchestras performed “A Jubilant March” for the passengers – a march, we are told, that was composed for the 150th anniversary of the town of Manitowoc.

The mayor said Manitowoc’s tourism was hit last year. He said everyone was excited to bring back lakeside tourism.

“You talk to any business in the city center, at the restaurant, they always look forward to the car ferry season because these tourists stop at all the stores, and some restaurants depend on it during the summer season,” Mayor Nickels said.

the Badger SS has been traveling across Lake Michigan for over 60 years. The 410-foot ferry can accommodate up to 600 passengers and 180 vehicles.

This year, she is sailing under a new owner.

“Everyone said, ‘Wait. You get to Manitowoc, it’s gonna be quite a show, ”and I said,“ Yeah, that’s gonna be cool. And you really can’t take it until you stop and see the Red Hat Lady clubs and the welcome sign and then the bands were just amazing so it’s special, ”said the president of ‘Interlake Maritime Services, Mark Barker.

“We sat down and said, really, it’s ours, you know? We have this and we run it, and it’s really cool. I mean, the engine room on this boat is amazing. The history of this boat is incredible. And then, what he is doing for these communities is incredible. So it’s really, at the end of the day, it’s a lot of fun, it’s a lot of excitement. It’s a lot of work, but it’s great, ”added Barker.

“We are delighted to welcome them, especially here in Manitowoc, right in the heart of our downtown area, and to show them all that Manitowoc has to offer and we hope they will stay awhile,” said Mayor Nickels .

Interlake Maritime Services has scheduled a fireworks show Thursday at 8:30 p.m. by the lake. It will take about 20-25 minutes. The public is invited.

The season ends in October.

SS badger schedule:

Watch the ferry on the First Alert Weather Skycam network:

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About Kevin Strickland

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