It's that time of year once again. The sudden influx of humanity, increased activity at local businesses and the declining availability of choice parking spaces can only mean one thing ... the school year has begun for Michigan Technological University.
As of this week classes are now in session at Michigan Tech as well as our area's other colleges, Gogebic Community College, the Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College and Finlandia University.
For the next several months, students from around the world are now sharing this unique corner of the globe with us.
Some will be our neighbors, sit near us in church, chat in the grocery store and bring their children to the same schools and daycare facilities as those of us who are fortunate enough to live here all year long.
Although summers in the Keweenaw are pleasant and, as always we welcome the thousands of visitors and former residents who briefly stay with us, we feel there is something about the return of college students that fills a void left after the academic year ends.
The reality is, the cities of Houghton and Hancock, and for the most part most of the surrounding communities, are college towns and without college students we're just not the same.
Although the school year is just days old, already things are heating up. K-Day will be held Friday at McLain State Park, always a great way to start the year. In addition, work has already begun for events and activities that impact the entire region. The Parade of Nations is little more than a week away, a highly anticipated opportunity for those from other lands to share their culture and cuisine.
The Michigan Tech Theatre Company is holding their final night of auditions for their first production of the season, "Brighton Beach Memoirs" tonight in the McArdle Theatre.
On top of that, bands, choruses, troupes and many other social, artistic and cultural groups are now forming, all adding to the melting pot that is the academic year in the Keweenaw.
So as the new school year begins, we'd like to take this opportunity to welcome back returning students and to extend a Copper Country welcome to our new friends. Now sit back and enjoy ... it's going to be a great ride.