Paddle to the Symphony

The Michigan Council of Hostelling International once again is presenting Paddle to the Symphony. This signature annual event takes place on Friday evening, June 24, 2011, at Kensington Metropark in Milford, MI. Participants will enjoy an evening on Kent Lake while listening to the Michigan Philharmonic lead by conductor Nan Washburn. Selections of classical and fun American composers are on tap for the evening. Featured songs include, “Hoedown,” by Aaron Copland, “An American in Paris,” by George Gershwin and selections from Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story. A medley of patriotic songs like, “Yankee Doodle,” “God Bless the U.S.A.” and “This Land is Your Land” will also be performed. A rousing rendition of our national anthem, the “Star-Spangled Banner,” will open the concert and it will close with the “1812 Overture” by Tchaikovsky. The concert itself is free and family-friendly. However, the Paddle to the Symphony is a fundraiser. It offers attendees a wonderful way to enjoy the music, eat and play for a good cause.

Members and non-members of The Michigan Council will have several options to select from. Canoeists may paddle across the 1/4 mile span to the amphitheater on the opposing shore. Canoeists will return as the sun goes down and the music keeps going. To enjoy the evening without going on the water, guests may choose to hear the music from shore. A box lunch-style dinner is available whether an attendee chooses to canoe or stay on shore. Since the Paddle to the Symphony begins and ends across the lake, participants will have an easy time driving in and out of the park through a different entrance. Please register in advance at the council’s web site,

Heavner Canoe Rental will be providing the canoes. All visitors to Kensington Metropark are required to purchase a daily use vehicle pass for $5.00 (yearly is $25.00) and are encouraged to spend the afternoon at the park before Paddle to the Symphony begins. The North Martindale Picnic Shelter is reserved for participants of the event and a reception will start the evening at 4:00 p.m. Official registration is at 6:00 p.m., lake activities begin at 7:00 p.m. and the concert begins at 8:00 p.m. The event concludes by 10:00 p.m. Details, directions and registration is available at The Michigan Council’s web site:

Here are the 2011 options:
Paddle with dinner is $35.00 per person
Paddle only is $25.00 per person
Dinner only (hear the music from shore) is $15.00 per person
Event only (stay on shore and bring your own snacks) is $5.00 per person
Event Hot line Number: 248-302-8026

2011 marks Hostelling International’s 77th anniversary in the United States. The Michigan Council of HI has over 1,500 members that travel, hike, bike, and paddle the Great Lakes state, as well as the world. Their mission is “To help people of all ages gain a greater understanding of the world, locally and internationally, through educational programs, cultural connections, recreational activities and positive hostelling experiences.”

By Michael Dwyer

About Michael Dwyer

Michael Dwyer is a freelance content provider. Michael writes about happenings in the Rochester area, travels across Michigan and destinations around the world. Contact him at

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