Riverdays Festival modifications coming in 2015

BIG RAPIDS — The Big Rapids River Days Festival will go on — at least for another year.

On Monday, the Big Rapids Riverdays Exploratory Committee held a meeting and decided the festival will continue into 2015, despite a decline in sponsorship and attendance during the last festival which was held over Labor Day weekend.

Although the details have not been set in stone, the festival will see some changes in 2015 in hopes of keeping it afloat, said River Days Festival committee member Ashley Adams. The festival will be moved to earlier in the summer and the location also will be changed.

“It was evident that volunteer participation, sponsorship and attendance were significantly down,” she said. “We’re not sure if it was because it was on Labor Day weekend or what happened. By moving the date we are losing the arts and craft and car show, but we decided to try that to keep the festival alive.”

The committee also is looking to shorten the festival to two days and move it to one of the local riverside parks to get the event more centered on the Muskegon River, Adams said.

Adding a 5k race, disc golf, vendors, river safety education and more family activities are all ideas being tossed around within the committee to better the festival.

Adams is hopeful modifications to the event will draw more people in so the festival can continue.

“Big Rapids is a really amazing community and we have this free, family-centered festival which is a great way to pull families in to community and parks,” Adams said. “It’s important to revitalize and reshape it to try to save it. You don’t like to see community events like this disappear.”

The committee will have a meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 12, to work on finalizing details for the 2015 River Days Festival.

 

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Posted by Emily Grove

Emily is the Pioneer and Herald Review crime and court reporter, covering crime in both Mecosta and Osceola counties. She can be reached by e-mail at emily@pioneergroup.com or by phone at (231) 592-8362.

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