Arcadia Daze celebration begins Friday

ARCADIA — Over the course of the next few days people will be flocking to the northern portion of Manistee County in anticipation of the 37th annual Arcadia Daze celebration.

The Arcadia Daze Gala Parade will be taking place on Sunday at 1:30 p.m and is part of the three-day 37th annual celebraton coming up this weekend.

The Arcadia Daze Gala Parade will be taking place on Sunday at 1:30 p.m and is part of the three-day 37th annual celebraton coming up this weekend.

The three-day event that is put on by the Arcadia Lions is always one of the highlights of the summer season. It draws thousands of people to the small community for lots of fun, good music, food, artwork and much more.

“We have a lot of the favorite events back again this year, but there are some new things as well,” said Arcadia Lions member Wes Hull. “We have the pulled pork, chicken dinner and the pancake breakfasts Saturday and Sunday.”

Hull joked that they even have a good way to work off any weight people may gain from indulging in lots of good food.

“You may gain 10 pounds, but if you enter the 5K race you can lose all of it,” Hull said with a laugh.

All the fun begins on, as the organizers say “Fridaze” with the 4:30 p.m. opening ceremony at Finch Park that will feature members of the Arcadia VFW Post.

A Pickle Ball tournament will be at 5 p.m at the community center and that should help work up plenty of appetites for the pulled pork sandwiches that will be served up at Finch Park with all the “fixins” to go with it. Then it’s time to sit back and enjoy the music of “Shotman” for dancing and enjoyment from 9 p.m. to 1 p.m. while enjoying a domestic or craft beer in the process. Shotman will perform both Friday and Saturday evenings.

At dusk the fireworks at Sunset Station will light up the skies over the village.

Things start early on Saturday at 7:30 a.m. with registration for the 5K run at Finch Park and the Lions Club Pancake Breakfest from 8 a.m. to noon at the Lions Den at Fourth and Oak streets.

From 10 a.m. until 6 p.m there will be plenty to view along the streets of Arcadia with the Arts and Crafts Fair and the Auto muster that runs from 8 a.m. to noon. Vintage automobiles and arts and crafts offer something of interest to people of all ages and backgrounds.

Starting at 10:30 a.m. kids will have the chance to compete in some fun games at the community center. Inside the building a variety of vendors will be selling their wares to give parents and grandparents something to view while the kids have some fun outside.

Something else that is quite unique will be going on from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. when rock painting will be taking place at the community center.

“That is a new event for us this year and it is something that is catching on,” said Hull. “People are painting small rocks and even putting at the Sunset Station here. Some are painting them with little messages on them. We had one group that painted a bunch to look like bees and when you flipped them over they had messages like ‘be nice,’ ‘be kind’ and so on.”

Good food can also be found all over the place as besides the pancake breakfast that morning, the Methodist Church pie and coffee sale will be taking place at the township hall.

Arcadia Daze also wouldn’t be the same without the Trinity Lutheran Church serving up their Ham and German Potato Salad at the church beginning at 11:30 a.m. until it is sold out. A line usually starts forming outside the church before they start dishing out this crowd favorite.

People have several hours to work that appetite back up before the famous barbecue chicken dinner, which begins at 4:30 p.m. and runs until it is sold out at Finch Park. People can also enjoy the music of the group “Feral Cats” while they dine.

Everything wraps up on Sunday with the big highlight being the Arcadia Daze Gala Parade that starts at 1:30 p.m. and is followed by the world renowned Scottville Clown Band in concert at Finch Park right after the parade.

“The clown band is always fun to watch and listen to,” said Hull.

Hull said the three-day event always draws people from all over Michigan and several surrounding states to enjoy the fun.

“I wish they could take some kind of survey on the number of people and where they come from because it is a tremendous amount that influx into this area for that weekend,” said Hull. “We like to keep it family oriented and the one thing we have going for us is the closeness to Lake Michigan.”

Hull said, this being the 37th year of the event, that many people have faithfully volunteered their services every year to make Arcadia Daze a success.

“We are trying to recruit more to get involved and hope to do that to keep it going strong for the future,” he said.

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Posted by Ken Grabowski

Ken is News Advocate’s education reporter. He coordinates coverage for all Manistee County schools and West Shore Community College. He can be reached by phone at (231) 398-3125 or by email at kgrabowski@pioneergroup.com.

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