April Fools Day: Liko Smith acquires Glen Arbor Art Association’s Manitou Music Festival


The following parody story was published on April Fools Day. It is not true.

From staff reports

More big news emerged today in the storied saga of Sugar Loaf resort, the long-shuttered ski resort in Northern Michigan’s Leelanau County, and the mysterious characters behind the property.

Eneliko “Liko” Smith, the enigmatic Samoan-born boxer turned hotelier who has made two ill-fated bouts for Sugar Loaf, has shifted gears and will instead acquire the Glen Arbor Art Association’s Manitou Music Festival — the popular classical and folk music concert series that takes place in the summertime at area churches, at the backyard studio stage at Lake Street Studios, and at the Sleeping Bear Dune Climb. Ann Arbor teacher and performer Harry Fried had run the Festival until stepping down last year. The Manitou Music Festival was founded about 20 years ago by world-renowned cellist Crispin Campbell, who has since gone on to found symphony orchestras in the Columbian jungle in land formerly occupied by leftist FARC-rebels.

Smith reported the takeover via PRNewswire.com, a credible online news source that rivals the New York Times in accuracy, authenticity and fact-checking prowess.

“Since I was a little kid, kicking bigger kids’ asses inside and outside the ring, it has long been my dream — my opus — to own a classic music festival along the pristine shores of Sleeping Bear,” wrote Smith in the press release. “I’ve taken the extra step here to ensure that this festival continues in all its glory since its founder Crispin Campbell moved to Columbia to fight Communists with strings and fiddles. I’ve scaled the trees around Lake Street Studios. I’ve cleaned the outhouses in the back 40. I’ve even painted the white picket fences white!”

Smith was unavailable for additional comment. According to his Facebook feed, he was at the Cedar Tavern, “tossing back a few” before the popular hangout’s Tuesday-night karaoke begins. Smith is expected to takeover Manitou Music Festival duties on April 15.

Peg McCarty, director of the Glen Arbor Art Association, confirmed Liko Smith’s takeover of the popular summer festival.

“At first we didn’t know what to make of this Liko Smith guy,” said McCarty. “For months he emailed our concert season ticket holders, claiming that he already owned the Manitou Music Festival, and asking them for money to help subsidize his yacht trips between Glen Arbor and Traverse City.”

On his personal Facebook page, “The ROK at Manitou Music” Smith disputed this claim in a lengthy jeremiad. He claimed that the money he solicited from season ticket holders was so he could engrave their names in gold on the deck of Lake Street Studios, or for cancer research, or brand marketability, or something like that.

Regardless, McCarty and other Glen Arbor Art Association members were ultimately won over by Liko Smith, his charming demeanor, his boastful war stories (Smith shared his battle wounds from Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and the U.S. invasion of Syria last year), and rides in his pimped-out Jaguar. Plus, the dude “bought” quite a few rounds at nearby Art’s Tavern (Smith never paid for his drinks, but in his defense, he didn’t know that Art’s didn’t accept credit cards. A couple times he had to sneak under the deep frier, break a Tim Barr tackle, and duck out the backdoor.)

DuneClimb-LisaJohanssonThe Art Association appears ecstatic with Liko Smith’s presence and his ability to take the Manitou Music Festival to new heights. Plans are currently in the works for a hipper, younger, sexier music festival to replace the Bach and Beethoven of old. In accordance with Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore approval, stripper polls are being built on each side of the stage where this year’s Dune Climb concert will be held. Smith plans to fly in both a blonde and a brunette from the Las Vegas strip to accompany the music. They’ll be wearing nothing but — you guessed it — beach sand. Smith also plans to eliminate the folk element of the concert series and replace it with an electronic music series that will run from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. in downtown Glen Arbor. Those still standing at sunrise will hike up to the top of Sugar Loaf mountain, where Smith apparently has other plans.

“We gotta decrease the median age here in God’s country,” Smith offered. “Out with the old, in with the bold!”

All in all, with Liko Smith now in charge of the Manitou Music Festival, Glen Arbor looks primed for a great summer!