Food, Rides, Fireworks, Music- this weekend at Huron River Fest

A summer tradition like no other, Huron River Fest is this weekend and this year's it's bound to be better and bigger than ever.
John Benson
Jul 11, 2013

Summer sun bouncing off shiny hoods is what comes to mind when Huron River Fest Committee Member William Biddlecombe thinks about the annual festival taking place July 12 to 14 around the Huron Boat Basin.
Specifically, it’s the popular Riverfest Road Show taking place July 13 in the First Presbyterian parking lot.

Want to go?

WHAT: Huron RIver Fest 
WHEN: July 12-14 
WHERE: Huron Boat Basin, 417 Main Street, Huron
“It’s our car, motorcycle, tractor show – basically, anything with wheels and an engine,” Biddlecombe said. “This is the sixth year for that. It started out as a car show and last year for its fifth anniversary we decided to combine it with a motorcycle event. Everyone seemed to like it, so we continued on this year.”
The suped-up event boasts more than 50 vehicles that range from old cars and custom hot rods to newer cars and even oddball means of transportation, such as a Cleveland Browns Backer bus.
“It’s just an event that appeals to outside people with cars and motorcycles and stuff,” Biddlecombe said. “If somebody doesn’t want to come out and sit and look at fireworks late at night or listen to music, maybe they want to bring their car down and show that off. We basically try to have events for everybody. That’s why we have our family day on Sunday where we have a variety of different bands. We don’t have just one type of music. We also have our parade, which appeals to a whole bunch of different demographics of people.”
While the Huron River Festival does have traditional amenities, foods, fun and rides, popular attractions include the aforementioned fireworks, as well as the Pets on the Pier Parade, Huron High School Band Pancake Breakfast, the Queen’s Competition and widely attended parade. There’s also plenty of live music scheduled for the Huron Amphitheater. The list includes the blues-rock Alien Blues Project, classic rock act Neo-Funk, ‘70s and ’80 band Belligerent Chimp and ‘90s group Monkey Love.
“It’s the 22nd year for the Huron River Fest,” Biddlecombe said. “Everyone enjoys it so much. They see people they normally wouldn’t see throughout the year.”
Added Huron Parks and Recreation Operations Manager Doug Steinwart, “It’s a good community hometown festival in the middle of summer. Not only just the festival itself but it brings a lot of people back into town. We see a lot of reunions going on, whether it’s class reunions or family reunions. And hopefully it’s an economic engine for a lot of local businesses.”
The other side of the Huron River Fest is how it helps local church, school and civic organizations financially. Biddlecombe said much of the labor for trash cleanup and such goes out to volunteer groups.

As far as programming the Huron River Festival, Biddlecombe said it involves walking a delicate line between remaining traditional and not becoming stale.  

“Right now we’re just building on what we started the last couple of years and then we’re going to look into having some new stuff next year,” Biddlecombe said. “We’re always wanting to add things to the festival. We work all year to make it bigger and better.”
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