Want to go?
WHAT: Huron Rotary Festival
WHEN: 5-11 p.m. Friday, Aug.10; 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 11 and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 12
WHERE: Huron Boat Basin, 330 N. Main St., Huron
INFO: 419-625-1000 or huronrotary.gov
With only so many summer weekends to fill with fun it can be imperative to plan ahead. Plus, with so many choices of things to do with your weekends on the north coast, it can be hard to choose. With all that in mind, we suggest making the Huron Rotary Festival one of your fun-filled weekend choices.
Huron Rotary officials are offering more bang for your buck at the free 35th annual Arts Festival and 12th annual Rotary Festival Aug. 10 -12 at the Huron Boat Basin and Amphitheater.
“The Rotary Festival is our main fundraiser,” said former Huron Rotary President and Festival Chair, Christine Crawford. “The idea was to bring music and food into the picture with a successful art festival, which is one of the longest running art festivals on the north coast. So we’ve just been adding on and giving the attendees a little bit more to take in.”
Weather permitting, Crawford said anywhere between 7,500 to 10,000 people could come through Huron. Over the past few years the Rotary Festival has undergone a programming shift from a rib cook-off event to a more family friendly and affordable affair. While those folks wanting to get their hands sticky while eating a bone dry will have the chance, with two rib vendors present, there’s also other carnival-type food available that is cheaper.
However, where the event has really focused is on its music. This year’s lineup includes Friday performances from Sandtown and Geeze Cats, and appearances from Colin Dussualt, Alan Greene Band and Deja Voodoo Band on Saturday.
“We’ve got great music,” Crawford said. “I’m really excited about the Geeze Cats. They’re a great show, a variety of music. They’re showmen. They get the crowd motivated and hopping. That will be a great way to spend an evening. And more than that, obviously it’s a terrific venue. Just walking along the river’s edge watching the ever-changing skyline. It’s an amazing atmosphere.”
But Friday and Saturday aren’t the only chances attendees have to enjoy music while at the festival. On Sunday afternoon local churches and community groups will be offering light music in the amphitheater, giving the Arts Festival a quaint musical soundtrack.
The lynchpin of the weekend is the art festival, which, in case there was any confusion, is decidedly not a crafts show.
“Has the event grown as far as number of attendees?” Crawford said. “Probably not. But has it evolved so it appeals to a broader cross-section of people? Absolutely. It’s always been a niche. It has a following. Some of these artists have probably been with us for over 20 years. It’s very well attended, and it’s quality. It’s not a crafts show. It’s truly an art festival. We’ve got quality artisans from across the state, a few from out of state. It’s a fabulous mix of very talented artisans. So it’s a good show for both the shopper and artisan.”
People can expect to see everything from glassware and pen & ink to paintings, pottery, jewelry and metal smiths. As for the proceeds of the Arts Festival and 12th annual Rotary Festival, Crawford said the money goes back to the community in the form of scholarships for high school students, immunizations for newborns and Huron’s dictionary project. The latter of the three gives every third grader in Huron Schools a new dictionary.
Crawford said, “It’s really a self-encompassing circle.”
For more information, visit www.huronrotary.org.