Put a fork in it: Eat Great kicks off the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational on July 14

What do locals, athletes and LPGA fans need in advance of next week’s Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational?

Good food and a warm welcome.

With that in mind, this year kicks off the first ever Eat Great Food Festival, intended to highlight some of the region’s food-focused talents as well as bring the community together. To build community and drive local business awareness and growth, each night will offer different experiences, from music, to drinks, to food.

Opening the week of the inaugural Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational is the two-day Eat Great Food Festival which starts Sunday, July 14 and runs through Monday July 15 in Downtown Midland, featuring live entertainment from both talented national and local artists.The first ever Eat Great Food Festival runs July 14-15 in Downtown Midland.

With over 100 dishes, beers, wines and other beverages from over 60 different vendors to sample from local spots and beyond, the Eat Great Food Festival is making sure to come in with a bang on the first year. From Bar Oxygen, Gratzi, The Creek Grill, Whine, Zitoon and more, you will see many Midland favorites.

Also on deck, is a long-anticipated newcomer to the Great Lakes Bay Region, MI Table, which is preparing final steps for a soon to be opening in the ground floor of The Legacy Building in Bay City. The restaurant will be featured at both the overall Eat Great event and as a special feature along the course.

“We are thrilled to have the upcoming MI Table featured during two different segments of the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational,” says Alexandra Maga, events manager for the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational. “Getting the opportunity to help showcase the restaurant before they open to the public is something really special for us.”

The event will feature a live demonstration on both Sunday and Monday evenings with both food and craft cocktail demonstrations from three different restaurants each night in the courtyard of the H Hotel in Downtown Midland.

On Sunday, Public House, Bay City’s craft cocktail destination will be a part of that feature, offering a specially made cocktail for the event as part of the appetizer pairing segment. In a nod to both the sport and the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational, the cocktail will be a riff on an Arnold Palmer, with a rum base and uniquely finished off with Public House’s cherry shrub that is made in house.The Eat Great Food Festival will feature over 60 local restaurants, chefs and vendors.

“We are honored to be a part of the first ever Eat Great Food Festival and providing demonstrations along with other exceptional local talented chefs and mixologists,” says Public House owner Lyndsay Edmonds. “The region has so many talent chefs and people dedicated to quality, the festival is the perfect stage to showcase what our region has to offer.”

For golf fans and Great Lakes Bay International attendees, the exceptional dining experiences don’t end there. The event will feature the Eat Great Hospitality Trail sponsored by Garber Chevrolet, highlighting 12 local restaurants on site running Wednesday, July 17 through Saturday, July 20 as part of the upgraded hospitality and viewing experience along with beer and wine samples.

“The hospitality and viewing decks took my breath away the first time I saw them set up,” says Maga. “They really give the audience such a great aerial view, with the ability to see action on multiple holes at once. Our hope is that attendees will be blown away by the scale and view.”

The mobile hospitality trail includes four different reserved viewing decks across the course, with food and drink options at each from 11:00 – 3:00 Wednesday through Saturday.

Eat Great participating partners include: BeAlive, Garber Chevrolet, Midland Sports Rehab, Members First Credit Union, Midland Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Three Rivers Corporation, and Midland Brewing Company.

Josh Sanders, Brandon Calhoon and Jedi Mind Trip are on tap for the entertainment and are sure to tee up a great week of community and athleticism.

Tickets for the Eat Great Food Festival and the overall Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational can be purchased at www.DowGLBI.com. Be sure to chronicle your Eat Great Food Festival experience with the tag #EatGreatFestival.

Enjoy this story? Sign up for free solutions-based reporting in your inbox each week.

Read more articles by Courtney Soule.

Courtney is a longtime Midland resident and enjoys telling the story of the community's evolution. She ran Catalyst Midland as the publication's managing editor from October 2017 through September 2020. Her favorite topics are interesting people, change makers, outdoor recreation and design. Aside from Catalyst, her published work can be found various places including Elephant Journal, Thought Catalog and a number of other websites, papers, menus and the occasional one-liner.