CHEBOYGAN, Mich. – The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw is scheduled to load 1,220 Christmas trees onto the ship at its homeport of Cheboygan, Mich., on Nov. 25, in preparation for the 2013 Christmas Ship celebration.
The trees will then be transported to Chicago where they will be offloaded on the morning of Dec.7 following a public ceremony at Navy Pier. The trees will be given to nonprofit organizations, selected by members of the Chicago maritime community, then given to deserving families.
The journey and ceremony honors the traditions of the Rouse Simmons, the original Christmas Ship, which sank between Kewaunee and Two Rivers, Wis. on Nov. 23, 1912 in a storm during its annual transit from northern Wisconsin to Chicago.
The trip coincides with the Mackinaw’s annual seasonal buoy operations in southern Lake Michigan in support of Operation Fall Retrieve, the nation’s largest domestic aids to navigation recovery operation.
During the transit to Chicago, the crew of the Mackinaw will conduct a wreath laying ceremony near the wreck of the Rouse Simmons to honor the ship and its crew.
“The crew and I are looking forward in participating in this year’s event. We feel it’s an extremely worthwhile cause.” commented Cmdr. Michael Davanzo, the ship’s commanding officer.