Boo, Brews and Brats is back on

Manistee Elks to host annual Halloween-themed event

The 2017 Boos, Brews and Brats festival in Manistee had many costume contest entries. This year, the festival will be hosted by the Manistee Elks. (Ashlyn Korienek/News Advocate)

The 2017 Boos, Brews and Brats festival in Manistee had many costume contest entries. This year, the festival will be hosted by the Manistee Elks. (Ashlyn Korienek/News Advocate)

MANISTEE — Earlier this week the annual Boos, Brews and Brats event in Manistee faced its unfortunate end, as the Manistee Downtown Development Authority (DDA) was forced the cancel the festival on Wednesday.

However, the Manistee Elks Lodge No. 250 stepped up to host the annual event this year.

With the recent resignation of the DDA’s executive director, Tyler Leppanen, board members decided at a meeting on Wednesday, the festival would be too difficult to plan, especially with the multitude of other tasks the DDA has yet to complete.

The DDA is also considering holding only Spark Manistee, Hops and Props and the Victorian Sleighbell Parade and Old Christmas Weekend in the future, leaving the other events up to the downtown merchants. A final decision has not yet been made.

After hearing Boos, Brews and Brats was canceled, the Manistee Elks swiftly agreed to start planning the event, within merely 12-hours of finding out the news.

“Well, we were already hosting a Halloween party for the community,” said Amy Loftis, Manistee Elks exalted ruler. “When we heard that this was something that was going to be canceled, it was kind of a no-brainer.”

The Manistee Elks holds a Halloween party each year, and was planning in October to hold live music by Sunset Groove, serve food and drinks, and invite the public to join. The Elks has been a part of the Boos, Brews and Brats event in the past.

Loftis said stepping up to host the festival was only natural.

“We are just going to expand that event, with the Boos, Brews and Brats festival,” she said. “The parties are well attended. The Halloween, Fourth of July and Sleighbell parties are the largest we hold.”

With a short amount of time to plan, Loftis said they already spoke with Rachel Brooks, DDA chair, and previous event planners, and will reach out to downtown businesses. She said the Elks’ board of directors is positive the festival will not only benefit the lodge, but it will be fun for the community.

“We are really excited to host and expand our current offering,” said Loftis. “Rachel (Brooks) approached me, and we already had some conversation with our board of directors. It will be a great opportunity to showcase our lodge and show the community that we are so much more than a private club.”

This year, Loftis said they plan to host kids events, fun activities for the adults and, hopefully, pull together some new attractions for the festival.

“I think this is a great opportunity to use this as a fundraiser to support (the community),” Loftis said. “The board members I spoke with are extremely excited with the opportunity to continue on with an event, that’s decently attended for that time of the year.”

More details to come as they are made available.

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Posted by Ashlyn Korienek

Ashlyn is the cops & courts and city reporter for the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach her at (231) 398-3109 or akorienek@pioneergroup.com

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