Leelanau News and Events

The Dog Days Of Summer Are Here In Leelanau County

By Kandace Chapple | July 20, 2022

It’s time to enjoy the harvest, the parades and the pups that make Leelanau County one of a kind. Here’s a look at what’s dog-centric in the county this summer, from the Annual Northport Dog Parade (and its famous two-legged grand marshals) to the mascots at area farms and businesses.

The annual Northport Dog Parade is happening Aug. 13 at noon with the undeniably charming theme: “Alice in Wonderlab, Through the Woofing Glass.”

The event draws hundreds of locals and tourists every year and raises money for local pet charities. This year’s parade, though, has a couple of special guests on the docket: “Leading the parade with a banner will be the chef Mario Batali and actress Amy Smart,” says Daniel Caudill, one of the parade’s volunteer organizers and owner of Olean’s in Northport. “Dress your dog up and join us. We will have a large tea party set up for the kids and dogs at the end — yes, a long, long table like Alice in Wonderland.”

Caudill said this year’s event will likely be bigger than ever.

“Everyone got a dog during COVID,” he says with a laugh. “I’ve lived in a lot of places and feel very lucky to be a part of Northport. This is one of those events that make you happy that you live here. You just don’t find them everywhere.”

There will be food, drinks, and dog treats along the way, as well as prizes awarded for best group (an entire group or family can dress up in coordinating costumes to fit the Alice theme), best pet and owner, best kid and owner, and overall grand prize.

It is $6 to register per dog. Click here to join the one and only Northport pup parade

There are also plenty of pups showing their faces at seasonal harvests throughout the county. And there’s nothing that boosts the bottom line like a wagging tail to welcome customers.

Bulldog Berries just opened for this year’s blueberry u-pick season this week — and you just might find Ford, their resident dog, on duty. Ford is a 3.5-year-old Australian Cattle dog. He’s definitely not a bulldog, but his predecessor was!

The farm is named after the late, great “Rooney,” an all-white bulldog with one black patch on his eye. An artist used Rooney’s face when designing the farm’s logo even! Nowadays though, Ford runs the show (and was named after a 1996 Ford F-250).

Bulldog Berries is a u-pick and wholesale Blueberry and Saskatoon Berry farm, located at 7187 E. Harrys Rd. in Traverse City. Go out and pick this season’s earliest blueberries — Bulldog Berries provides the buckets, lined with plastic bags, to take your berries home in. The price is $2.50/lb. Call for picking days and times at 231-360-9964.

Omena Cut Flowers is in peak season with flowers, and their young Golden Retriever named — of course — Marigold, bringing joy everywhere.

“My husband chose her name,” says owner Carolyn Faught. “The funny story is that as a flower farmer, marigolds are not exactly my favorite flower! But everybody loves the name and it really fits her color, so he was 100 percent right.”

Marigold is just a year-and-a-half old and follows in the footsteps of her golden predecessor, named Sunny, who lived to be 13.

“People who follow the flower farm online are always asking or looking for Marigold now, too,” Fraught says. “I feature her often on my Instagram and Facebook page for Omena Cut Flowers. She has invisible fencing, so she can come down the hill, but can’t go past a certain point. Sometimes she barks at people who come to the u-pick and wags her tail, hoping they will come over and pet her.”

Faught made Marigold a little wreath of marigolds last October, to commemorate her name.

Right now, the farm is flush with hydrangeas - Incrediball and Endless Summer are blooming and super productive Limelight is budding up, Faught noted in a recent Facebook post.

Omena Cut Flowers is a U-Pick flower farm located 7 miles north of Suttons Bay on M-22 in Leelanau County, open dawn to dusk daily. They offer 23 flower beds to pick from. All of the flowers in the beds are labeled with prices on signs throughout. Grab a clipboard and pen from the garden shed to take with you while picking to keep track. And don’t forget to pause…and rub Marigold’s belly.

Cherry Republic in Glen Arbor is in full swing for full-on cherry harvest – with resident Bernese Mountain Dog “Sonny” in attendance. Founder Bob Sutherland brings his dog to work often and says the pup has “full roaming rights” in the Glen Arbor Headquarters.

You might treat your own pup to Sonny’s favorite, Cherry Republic’s Woof Whompers!, these cherry dog cookies are handmade and include a free dog tag.

For the humans, it won’t be too long before their 2022 Montmorency Nouveau Preserves hits store shelves, an annual must-have for locals. It’s their freshest jam of the year, made from the first tart cherries harvested in Northern Michigan and ready any day now. You can sign up for an email when it’s ready here

Editor's note: a previous version of this story referred to Cherry Republic's resident dog Sonny as Sunny. ;-)

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