Taking shape: Manistee National Forest Festival to kick off Friday

The Manistee National Forest Festival will kick off Friday and run through the Fourth of July. (Dylan Savela/News Advocate)

The Manistee National Forest Festival will kick off Friday and run through the Fourth of July. (Dylan Savela/News Advocate)

MANISTEE — All season long, Manistee’s First Street Beach is a  destination for those seeking to soak in all that summer has to offer.

Every Fourth of July, it also serves as the headquarters for the Manistee National Forest Festival. And this week, the beach began to take shape.

From carnival rides to welcoming signage, the 82nd installment of the Manistee National Forest Festival is now set to kick off Friday and run through Independence Day, offering six days of festivities to residents and visitors of all ages.

Daily events include the Anderson Midway Carnival, the Festival Market Place and the Little Smilin’ Choo Choo ride — all to be stationed at First Street Beach. The Manistee County Historical Museum, located at 425 River St., will also feature its “Automobiles in Manistee” exhibit throughout the festival.

Steeped in over eight decades worth of traditional events, the Manistee National Forest Festival — presented by the Manistee Area Chamber of Commerce — always features fresh additions to the fun as well.

This year, five new events will help make up the 2018 Forest Festival: Ask an Arborist; the Little Big Shots Talent Show; the Summer Sound Waves Concert; the Manistee Lumberjack competition; and the Beard and Mustache Contest.

Ask an Arborist : 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on June 30

I.S.A. certified arborist Ted Salingue will be answering general tree care questions and showing various tree climbing methods. Salingue works for Wildwood Tree Service of Manistee. This educational event will be held at Rotary Park at First Street Beach. Admission is free.

Little Big Shots Talent Show Finals: 1-3 p.m. on June 30

After auditions and rehearsals, children ages 3 to 13 will present their talents on the Entertainment Stage at First Street Beach. Admission is $10. Proceeds benefit the Blue Tigers Scholarship Fund.

Summer Sound Waves Concert: 6 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. on June 30

West Shore Bank brings a night of live music at the Lions Pavilion entertainment area of First Street Beach. Headliner, The Breakfast Club, will perform throughout the night with top hits from the ’80s and now. Local bands Cousin Curtiss and Clear Heels will warm up the crowd as the opening acts. There is no charge upon arriving before 8 p.m. Beginning at 9:30 p.m., admission is $5 per person and attendees must be 21 or over.

Manistee Lumberjack Competition: 1-3 p.m. on July 1

Presented by Watson Country and Ram Trucks, lumberjacks will put their skills to the test in several categories including ax throw, chainsaw competition, two-man crosscut and water boil. The competition winner will win a chainsaw from Will Zoscak Logging & Trucking, Inc. This event is free for all to watch at Douglas Park, First Street Beach.

Beard and Mustache Competition Day: 6:30-7:30 p.m. on July 1

Jamie B. Cosmetology and The Fillmore of Manistee introduces a contest where attendees can compete to win for their unique facial hair. Contestants can enter the facial hair category, or artistic facial hair category, that best fits their style from 1-3 p.m. on June 30 at the First Street Beach concert venue in the Lions Pavilion.

On July 1, competition day, contestants must check back in at 5:15 p.m. at the pavilion where the competition will be held. Three winners will be announced for each category, and one for the Best of Show award. A “Fake Facial Hair” category is included, allowing anyone to be involved and creative. Admission is free for spectators. Contestants must pay $10 and donations are also accepted. Proceeds will go to the Armory Youth Project.

The annual highlight of the Forest Festival is perhaps the traditional fireworks display over Lake Michigan.

This year, the Manistee National Forest Festival firework show will be tripled the size due to a $20,000 donation made by the Little River Casino Resort and Little River Band of Ottawa Indians.

The fireworks are slated to launch at 10:30 p.m. on July 3 on First Street Beach. During the display, the fireworks will be synced to military music for a patriotic touch, presented by 101.5 Mitten Radio.

The show is expected to last approximately 20 minutes.

For a complete list of events, visit manisteeforestfestival.com. Detailed brochures can be found at the Manistee Area Chamber of Commerce office at 11 Cypress St. in Manistee or select businesses in Manistee County.

avatar

Posted by Dylan Savela

Dylan is the county reporter for the News Advocate, he also is in charge of the Small Town Life, religion and senior pages. He can be reached at (231) 398-3111 or dsavela@pioneergroup.com.

Leave a Reply