An upcoming musical storytelling program will tell the tale of what is arguably the most well-known shipwreck of the Great Lakes.

The Howell Carnegie District Library will present “The Edmund Fitzgerald: The Stories, The Song” on September 4th from 7 to 8:30pm. Popular Mackinac Bridge Speaker & Performer Mike Fornes is returning for a musical storytelling program about the loss of the Great lakes ship, its crew, and the song that told its haunting tale. In addition to this presentation, Fornes also does lectures about the Mackinac Bridge and the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Mackinaw. Howell Adult Services Librarian Brandi Tambasco says Fornes has covered the Mackinac Bridge and the Straits of Mackinac for different media outlets in Northern Michigan as a journalist for almost 30 years so he has that interest but also performs as “Gord” in the Gordon Lightfoot Tribute Band. He was at the Howell Library for a presentation back in 2016 for the 60th anniversary of the Mackinac Bridge and Tambasco says that program quickly reached capacity. She tells WHMI they like to hold events that appeal to the community and are of interest but also educate people and the upcoming event has it all, plus music.

Tambasco says Fornes is familiar with engaging an audience and performs so attendees can learn about the Edmund Fitzgerald, relive it or experience the memories and pay tribute to the people who lost their lives that night. She says the event is mostly a talk and Fornes will speak about the history of the ship itself, how it was built, what it was doing on the lake, the shipwreck and what happened that night and what has happened since. She says Fornes also talk about the song based on the shipwreck and how it has resonated through the years, as well as perform it. Due to the popularity of the other program, Tambasco says the upcoming presentation will take place at the Historic Howell Theater to ensure enough seating. There is no registration required - just first come, first served. Seating opens at 6:30pm and there is capacity for up to 200 people.

Tambasco says local and state history and anything Michigan-related speaks to the community and tends to draw a crowd. She says they knew people would interested because it has so much history and meaning for people –even for those who didn’t experience that point in time or were alive in November of 1975 when the ship went down. The upcoming event is one of several local interest programs the library will be hosting. Tambasco says they’re trying to meet the community desire for more information about the great state of Michigan, its history and celebrating it. Two events are planned at the Howell Library in October; The History of Tiger Stadium and Michigan’s Haunted Lighthouses. Details can be found on the library’s website. That link is provided. (JM)