‘Arcadia Daze’ to celebrate tradition with three day festival

The Arcadia Daze Auto Muster is a popular event, and will be taking place once again this year on Saturday. (Ashlyn Korienek/News Advocate)

ARCADIA — People will be flocking to Arcadia next week to join the 38th annual Arcadia Daze celebration.

The three-day event is put on by the Arcadia Lions Club and acts as their main fundraiser each year. Milton Whitmore, Arcadia Daze chairperson, said while there’s still plenty of work to do before the big weekend, this year’s festival is a bit different.

A variety of staple events will be held all weekend, however, Whitmore said they are altering the setup to make it more open and welcoming.

Arcadia Daze takes place July 26, July 27 and wraps up on July 28.

“Last year, Finch Park across from the fire hall and town hall, we had it lined with a double roll snow fence,” Whitmore said. “The way we had it setup, with people walking by, they did not get a good view of what was going on in that park.

“We want people to walk by and see what’s going on. We are welcoming people. We will have credit card sales for food and beer, which we have never done before, and more signage.”

The entire weekend is packed with events, but one of the biggest draw for attendees is the grand fireworks display over Lake Michigan — dazzling crowds on Friday night at dusk.

Whitmore said the fireworks show is definitely the best around.

“We do it every year on Friday night, and they are probably the best small town fireworks you will ever see,” he said. “It’s just awesome.”

This year’s event is sponsored by Arcadia Marine, Arcadia Ice House, Bear Lake Insurance Agency, Inc., BJ Hopwood, Inc., Catanese Customs, LLC, Little River Casino Resort, and Pleasant Valley Resort Motel.

“We are emphasizing that Arcadia Daze is the main fundraiser for the Arcadia Lions,” Whitmore said. “Where does that money go? Some of it goes back to Lions Club activities, leader dog schools, hearing impaired health, but it also goes to local Manistee and Benzie County organizations.”

FRIDAZE

Kicking off the weekend event, an opening ceremony will be held at Finch Park featuring the Arcadia VFW Post from 4:30-5 p.m. Following will be a pickleball tournament at 5 p.m. at the Community Center on Seventh Street and Glovers Lake Road.

Music will be a staple of the night at the Finch Park Pavillion, and the craft and domestic beer tent will be open to those over 21 years old.

The band “Shotman” will play from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.

SATURDAZE

The 5K registration starts off Saturday at Finch Park at 7:30 a.m., while the run takes off at 9 a.m. sharp — starting at Saint Pierre Road and Glovers Lake Road.

A beloved event, the Lions Club Pancake Breakfast at Fourth and Oak streets will start the day off from 8 a.m. to noon. From 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. people will be able to enjoy the arts and craft fair on Fourth Street, in which Whitmore said is well attended.

“We have been doing this for years, but people like that it is shaded because they are not under the hot summer sun,” Whitmore said.

Another popular event is the Auto Muster, with registration from 8 a.m. to noon and at 3 p.m. there will be an awards ceremony.

“It’s a very, very popular car show,” Whitmore said. “There will be anything from vintage cars to vehicles dating up to 1966 to 1967.”

Vendors in the Valley will take place at the Community Center on Seventh Street and Glovers Lake Road from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

People are also invited to check out the Methodist Church Pie and Coffee sale at the Arcadia Township Hall from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., and the Ham and German Potato Salad Lunch at Trinity Lutheran Church on Third and Mill streets which starts at 11:30 a.m. (open until it’s sold out).

Rock painting with “1, Rocks” will also be held at the Community Center from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. There will be kids activities all day, as well.

A local favorite, the BBQ Chicken Dinner at Finch Park is a sell out each year, and will be held from 4:30 p.m. until it’s gone.

“We will sell out about 450 chicken (dinners),” Whitmore said.

Music by “Jive@Five” and “High Fidelity” will also be playing in the evening at Finch Park.

SUNDAZE

Finishing up the festival, the Lions Club Pancake Breakfast will be held once more from 8 a.m. to noon. People will also have one more chance to visit the arts and crafts fair until 2:30 p.m.

A Plymouth Fife and Drum concert will be held at 12:30 p.m. at Finch Park with a drum march to the marina.

The beer tent and vendors will be set up at Finch Park for visitors, as well.

Ending the weekend with a big celebration, the annual Arcadia Daze Gala Parade will take place on Lake Street starting at 1:30 p.m. Following will be the Lions Club raffle drawings, and Scottville Clown Band concert at Finch Park from 2:30-4:30 p.m.

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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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