Singing in the rain | News, Sports, Jobs
MARQUETTE – A party in the rain is better than no party at all.
That’s the mentality of the HarborFest organizers on Friday afternoon, when the festival kicked off under wet and rainy conditions.
A handful of people braved the elements and made their way to Ellwood A. Mattson Lower Harbor Park in Marquette to experience the live music, food vendors and entertainment the festival has to offer.
Organizers had considered canceling the event for the day, but with the headlines already booked and a community eager to attend local events again, they decided the show should continue.
“We could have called (tonight), but we just thought that in 2018 it rained on Friday night for (Chicago-based funk / soul band) Bumpus, and the crowd still came out and had a blast. “, said Pamela Christensen, co-chair of HarborFest and a member of Marquette West Rotary, the organization that hosts the festival. “So we decided to go ahead. Bumpus couldn’t wait to get back to Marquette. They’ve been here for two years, so we’re thankful they’ve agreed to make the trip, and we just hope the best is all we can do.
Bumpus wrapped up the festival’s first night of live entertainment. Keweenaw’s country band, Outlaw’D, and Marquette’s classic rock / blues band, Tuesday Jones, preceded them.
Today’s slate has a brighter outlook, with the forecast for partly cloudy skies and 80-degree weather.
“(Today) should be a nice day, and we hope people get off”, said Christensen. “We have a lot of volunteers who help us. People really came for us.
The festival will run from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and will once again feature live music, food vendors and more.
“The Northern Marching Band (University of Michigan) will do a program at 1:30 pm, that’s all new. “ said Christensen. “So people might like to come for that. The children’s inflatables will be in place, the auto show will be in place, and our vendors are expected to start selling. We don’t start the music until 2:45 p.m., but some of the vendors are going to come and sell (before that).
“It’s like that. We just hope people come and support us, come over and have a few drinks. The beer tent is how we fundraise, so if people can come, we would really appreciate that.”
The funds that Christensen refers to to return directly to the community. HarborFest is Marquette West Rotary’s main annual fundraiser. Since the festival’s inception in 1984, the club has helped raise over $ 700,000 in grants for local nonprofit organizations.
This year alone, the club awarded 16 grants totaling $ 20,000 from the remaining funds from 2019.
Today’s music lineup includes the NMU Marching Band at 1:30 p.m., Marquette’s acoustic duo Beechgrove & Blacksmith from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m., Marquette’s party group The DayDreamers from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., Negaunee Daisy’s electric rock band Iron from 6:30 p.m. to 8:15 p.m., and headliner Jovi, a Detroit-based Bon Jovi tribute band, from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m.
The festivities start at 11 a.m. with the annual classic car show until 4 p.m.
Food vendors, which include Rollin ‘Smoke Barbeque, Smelted Wood Fired Pizza, The Island coney truck, and Dia de los Tacos, are expected to operate from 3 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Double Trouble Entertainment will have inflatables for kids from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., and the Rotary Beer and Wine Tent will be from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Entrance to the festival is free and participants are encouraged to bring a lawn chair to enjoy the festivities.
For more information, visit www.marquettewestrotary.org or the event’s Facebook page at bit.ly/3ybJvFa.
Ryan Spitza can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 248. His email address is [email protected]