GAYLORD — The 55th Annual Alpenfest kicked off on Tuesday, July 9. Contemporary Christian artists Austin French and the Rhett Walker Band started the night off. 

Tuesday concluded with the annual burning of the Boogg. The Boogg is a wooden and cotton effigy of an alpine figure. Festival attendees are asked to write down their problems on a piece of paper and then stuff it into the Boogg. At he end of the evening, the Boogg is lit on fire and symbolically problems are reduced to ashes.

See the North Michigan Christian Voice’s coverage online through video and photos by photojournalist Rebekah Kolka.

Watch the crowning of their year’s Alpenfest Queen at

For photos, visit our Facebook page,

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Kurt J. Kolka grew up in the small community of Grayling, Mich., near the forested AuSable River. After majoring in English at college, he began a career in writing and newspapers spanning more than two decades. In his spare time he creates a Christian comic strip, The Cardinal, which has a 28-year history of publication. He has also authored a book, “Bullying is No Laughing Matter” (Front Edge Publications, Ann Arbor, Mich., 2014) and is working on his first novel. Kurt and his wife Diane have been married for more than 25 years and have one daughter, Rebekah, and an overprotective dog, Alli. Of life, Kurt says, “Life is never dull with God at the steering wheel, but, man, does He have a lead foot!” More about Kurt and his musings may be found at
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