With the 66th annual Perchville USA winter festival quickly approaching, event organizers have announced the 2016 Perchville King and Queen – Mike and Judy Merluzzi. Perchville weekend is Thursday February 4th through Sunday February 7th.
“We are so pleased to name Mike and Judy as our Perchville royalty this year,” said Jay Jacobs, Treasurer of the Tawas Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. “Crowning a King and Queen for Perchville is a long-standing tradition to honor individuals who give back to our community and the Merluzzis certainly fit that description.”
Mike and Judy Merluzzi have resided in Tawas for over 20 years, moving here after Mike retired from GM after 39 years where he ran the Graphics Department at their headquarters in Warren, Michigan. Judy worked for Macomb Schools with the trainable mentally impaired and volunteered for many years in the radiology department at South Macomb Hospital.
After becoming residents of East Tawas, the couple became involved in the community. Mike serves as the President of the Tawas Lake Association, often works on set design and artwork for Tawas Bay Players productions, and loves skeet shooting and duck hunting, even placing at the state level in skeet shooting competitions. He participates in the Skeet League at Lost Lake Woods in Lincoln, and has coached kids in skeet and trap shooting over the years.
Judy is very involved in Quota International of Iosco County, working to support local disadvantaged women and children through fundraising efforts including coordinating Quota’s Fall Dances. Her efforts with Quota also include working on providing school supplies, holiday gifts, and blankets to families in need throughout the County. Judy also enjoys her work volunteering for the Women’s Shelter at their Second Chance store in Oscoda.
Together, Mike and Judy volunteer at Blues by the Bay and the Fine Arts Festival each year and have worked to support the East Tawas Business Association Christmas Parade. They have volunteered to support Relay for Life and the Iosco County Historical Museum Christmas Home Tour. They both enjoy landscaping and their flower gardens. Mike and Judy have a son and daughter, Michael, of Warsaw, Ohio, and Cathy Klemish, of East Tawas. They are proud grandparents of five: Melissa, Craig, and Kyle Klemish of East Tawas and Michael and Matthew of Ohio.
For the first time, a Junior King and Queen will join the Merluzzis to reign over the Perchville festivities. The junior royalty will be nominated by their peers and selected from area 5th, 6th, and 7th graders. According to Malone, the selection criteria is similar to the adults. “The Junior King and Queen will be chosen based on outstanding character, community service, leadership, or academic achievement,” explained Janel Malone, Tawas Area Chamber of Commerce managing director. The junior royalty will preside over the Family Tent during Perchville.
On Saturday, January 30th at 10:00 a.m., the public is invited to the Perchville Kick-Off Breakfast at the East Tawas Community Center to witness the crowning of all the Perchville royalty. Admission to the breakfast celebration is just a $5 Perchville button, which are on sale at local businesses throughout town and will be sold at the breakfast.
Attendees will also have the chance to enjoy watching the start of the Amazing Perchville Race immediately following the breakfast. The race event pits teams of two against each other to compete in physical, mental, and sometimes just plain silly challenges over the course of the day. The community is invited to follow the race teams around the Tawases as they compete for the chance to be named Champions of the Amazing Perchville Race and win cash prizes of $1,000.
For a complete schedule of Perchville activities, visit tawas.com or call the Chamber at (989) 362-8643. Event schedules are posted throughout town and are available at the Chamber.