Covid can't sink Edmund Fitzgerald

From left, master brewers Tom Winter and John Mateer; artist Thomas Paul Asklar, Brickyard Brewing’s Ken Bryan; musician, Dave Thurman; RMS Owner, Paul Beatty and Designer, Rob Hopkins.

“The Legend Lives On”… at 7 p.m. tonight as the Lewiston Council on the Arts brings its “A Tribute to the Edmund Fitzgerald” back to the Brickyard Brewing Co., 436 Center St.

After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic and the horrific fire at the BBC, the multi-sensory and multi-media tribute will be hosted by artist and Edmund Fitzgerald enthusiast, Thomas Paul Asklar, who will commemorate the 46th anniversary of the disaster.

The SS Edmund Fitzgerald, also known as the “Mighty Fitz”, was an American Great Lakes freighter that sank in a Lake Superior storm on Nov. 10, 1975, with the loss of the entire crew of 29.

The evening begins with a brief presentation by Asklar explaining the ship’s history, the timeline of the tragedy, and theories of its destruction. A tolling of the bell will honor each soul of the 29 crew members. Artifacts will be displayed, and Jim Rankine will provide bagpipe tribute.

Internationally renowned musicians Bruce Wojick, Jamie Holka, Dave Thurman and special guest Jeremy Hoyle, lead singer of Strictly Hip, will perform songs with a nautical theme, as well as music from the Fitz era. The centerpiece will be Gordon Lightfoot’s most famous musical tribute, the “Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.”

This year’s special tribute will be BBC’s very own beer “Gitchegumee.” Created by master brewers John Mateer and Tom Winter, Mateer describes it as, “a golden lager meant to be drinkable, but never boring. Brewed with barley grown and malted in the Great Lakes region. Hopped exclusively with Michigan Copper hops, a cultivar bred by Great Lakes Hops. This beer is an ode to all things regional, and a tip of the cap to the Mighty Fitz.”

Artwork on Gitchegumee was created by designer Rob Hopkins, whom Asklar actually taught in kindergarten! On tap and to go options will be available.

The event is free for Art Council members, and $10 for non- members.

On Saturday, the Mighty Fitz 5K race starts at 2 p.m. in front of the Brickyard Pub & BBQ, 432 Center St., Lewiston. The race will take runners through the Village of Lewiston, Artpark State Park and along the Niagara River waterfront. There will be a postrace celebration and awards ceremony at the Brickyard following the race with food, Gitchegumee beer specials, special edition “Mighty Fitz” commemorative t-shirts, and live music by Zak Ward.

For more info: (716) 998-5777.

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