OUR VIEW: Are you ready for four days of fun?

In just four days, the City of Manistee will look a little different.

Local residents will notice an influx of traffic, both on foot and on the roads.

The parking lot at First Street Beach will be transformed into a carnival, and a stage will be set up near the Lion’s Pavilion.

Exotic animals will take over the area near the baseball diamonds and a marketplace will be host to a variety of wares.

Red Szymarek Park will be overtaken by a world of arts and crafts.

It has been 80 years since the first Manistee National Forest Festival  was held in 1936, and the event — and town — have changed a lot since then.

However, a few things remain the same. With news of senseless tragedies happening more frequently, we hope everyone will keep safety in mind during their holiday celebrations.

With an increase in foot traffic in the city, we urge drivers to be on high alert for pedestrians crossing the streets. Not all intersections are controlled with traffic signals.

Pedestrians should remember to look both ways before crossing, and then look both ways again.

While you’re taking the kids for a few rides at the carnival or to pet the animals, keep a close watch on them. Be sure you know where they are, and don’t let them slip off into restricted areas.

We want everyone to have a great time during the Forest Festival.

After all, organizers have put together three nights of some of the best music the area has to offer.

Starting with music from local band Awesome Distraction during Business After Hours at the Beach, and ending with festival tradition Scottville Clown Band, the beach will be rocking all weekend long.

Smack dab in the middle of all that, is a tribute to the ’80s, with a mock rock event on Friday and The Journey Tribute Concert on Saturday.

Everyone is encouraged to don their best ’80s outfit for the events.

There are many events for the whole family, such as the chalk art contest and Beach Buddies Kids Parade & Activities.

Take a little extra caution this week to ensure that everyone has a happy and safe holiday weekend!

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