Don’t miss this weekend’s ninth annual Empire Asparagus Festival, which celebrates the arrival of spring and precedes the official opening of Northern Michigan’s tourism season a week later.

Art’s Tavern owner Tim Barr turned 60 years young on Feb. 16. Nearly 100 Glen Arbor locals came out to the tavern to celebrate him. Riverfront Deli owner Sue Nichols baked these cupcakes in Tim’s likeness (photo below), and Beach Bard Norm Wheeler recited the following poem for Tim (adapted from Stone Circle founder Max Ellison’s poem “50”):

We barely had a white Christmas, and now the white was gone. What was happening? The jet stream was still parked up over Canada, blocking the cold air and extending our mild autumn into what is usually deep winter. How was it affecting the town’s businesses?

Glen Arbor, Michigan, has a lot going for it. Lake Michigan, the Sleeping Bear Dunes, friendly locals, a vibrant art scene … and here’s a new notch for the belt. (“Every bro has a story”), an online fraternity-spirit lad mag, has named Glen Arbor among the most “Bro Towns” in the United States.

The windstorm that hit Leelanau County this week was the strongest storm ever to hit the continental United States, rivaling the pressure of tropical storms and surpassing the winds that doomed the famed Edmund Fitzgerald in 1975 in Lake Superior.