Key Ingredients: Sense of community

Event features sights, sounds, tastes of Hancock

Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette Bob Hiltunen plays at the future location of the Keweenaw Co-op during Key Ingredients in Hancock Friday.



HANCOCK — Quincy Street was filled with food, music and people Friday night as Hancock hosted Key Ingredients.

Held during Canal Run weekend, the annual two-hour event gave people a chance to hear 14 local musicians, sample foods from 12 local restaurants and check out additional area businesses.

Putting the event together took about seven months, said Todd Gast, Hancock’s downtown development coordinator. He looked for a variety of styles, both in food and music. For musicians, that included bagpipes, accordions and the traditional Finnish folk band Laulu Aika.

Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette Cathy Campbell-Olszewski records votes at the Keweenaw Co-op’s Great Gelato Showdown during Key Ingredients Friday. People lined up for two free samples of gelato, picking their favorite flavor to help the co-op choose which to stock.

“It’s good to see everybody out, and that Quincy Street is closed, so people can really maneuver town and just not have the traffic,” he said. “Just seeing the families out, the kids, and they’re having a ball … We want family-friendly events in Hancock that really showcase all the wonderful things we have. We’re showcasing our businesses, showcasing our restaurants, showcasing our musical talent. It’s everything we want in one thing.”

While some businesses set up shop outside their buildings, Key Ingredients also let places from elsewhere in Hancock reach out to residents. The Griffin Cafe, located in the Jutila Center, dished up samples at a booth along Quincy Street.

“We participated last year, and we wanted to continue participating to support the city, and obviously continue to get our name out there, and have people sample what you make, and make an effort to come and find you at the hidden places of Hancock they maybe don’t think about going for meals,” said Thomas Griffin, the owner’s husband.

Speaking just after the event started, Griffin said there’d already been good traffic at the booth.

“It’s good to see people coming out,” he said. “It’s a great day for it.”

Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette A crowd lines up for gelato samples to help the Keweenaw Co-op decide what flavor to stock in its expanded store during Friday’s Key Ingredients event.

Friday’s lineup also unofficially included 11-year-olds Payton Gibbs, Kiri Archambeau and Lily Brentar, who set up a lemonade stand outside Refill U.P.

Their favorite part is “sitting and interacting with people,” Archambeau said. Friday’s crowd had been good, they said.

Part of Friday’s crowd included Donny Lusty, who came with his son Charlie, 5, after finishing his shift at the Hancock Police Department.

“I like to be able to walk downtown, and have everyone else walk downtown,” he said. “That’s something that doesn’t usually happen. I like that everyone’s able to get out and taste everything Hancock has to offer.”

He was also excited about this year’s new addition — a three-hour street dance with music by Outlaw’d after Key Ingredients wrapped up at 8. (Though with an early morning shift on Saturday, it would be “a little past my bedtime,” he said.)

Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette Adrienne Newman performs for a crowd by the Ryan Street Community Garden during Key Ingredients Friday.

Key Ingredients was one of the first community events for Abbie Linden and Curtis Adkins, who moved to Houghton a little over a month ago.

“Great time, free food, can’t beat it,” Linden said.

She also welcomed the chance to find out more about the area. One highlight was learning about “paint your own pottery” place The Magic Kiln, which Linden said was perfect for her daughter.

“I’ve been asking for information and cards from everybody, the local vendors especially,” she said. “We love to eat, so we’re trying to get as much information as we can from everybody.”

With about half an hour to go, they were watching art take shape at the Copper Country Community Arts Center. Artists were at work outside the entrance doing live demonstrations of various art styles. Acrylics artist Pamela Hecht brought some previous works and created new ones in front of a crowd.

Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette Finnish folk band Laula Aika plays outside the Finnish American Heritage Center in Hancock during Friday’s Key Ingredients event.

She began acrylics in 2015, and has since taught more than 120 classes. Kids especially love it, particularly when they get paint on their hands, she said.

Hecht said Friday was an opportunity to get people to look at more abstract work. And the Key Ingredients crowd was terrific.

“It’s unbelievable,” she said. “I’ve never been here before. This is awesome.”

Those demonstrations might show the way forward for future events. Gast said. He hopes to see it grow into a street fair, with more booths and other things out in the street.

“It may take a little while to get there,” he said. “But we’re always looking for really great ideas from our community. And the more community interaction we have with this, the better this event is going to be. It’s not just going to be the City of Hancock, it’ll be the City of Hancock with Gino’s, with OHM, with whoever else wants to be on board and active with it … if we get more people involved in our community, it makes our community better.”

Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette Artist Pamela Hecht demonstrates acrylics at the Copper Country Community Arts Center to a crowd including Abbie Linden and Curtis Adkins of Houghton during Friday’s Key Ingredients event.

Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette Artist Pamela Hecht demonstrates acrylics at the Copper Country Community Arts Center during Key Ingredients Friday.

Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette Artist Pamela Hecht demonstrates acrylics at the Copper Country Community Arts Center during Key Ingredients Friday.

Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette With traffic shut down during Key Ingredients, eventgoers were free to stroll down Quincy Street as they enjoyed local food and music.

Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette People line up for pizza samples outside Nutini’s Supper Club during Key Ingredients Friday in Hancock.

Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette Donny Lusty and Charlie Lusty, 5, of Calumet Township pick up Gino’s meatball samples being dished up by Tracie Williams and Lily Auguston during Key Ingredients Friday.

Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette Clay Hillman plays piano at KC Bonkers during Friday’s Key Ingredients event.

Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette Sergei Casper officially opens Friday’s Key Ingredients event with the March of Bagpipes down Quincy Street in Hancock.

Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette Jennifer Ormsbee and Todd Ormsbee serve up chips and salsa at La Cantina shortly after the start of Friday’s Key Ingredients event in Hancock.

Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette Maggie Brotherton signs outside La Cantina at the start of Friday’s Key Ingredients event in Hancock.


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