Want to go?
WHAT: Huron River Fest
WHEN: July 13-15
WHERE: Huron Boat Basin & Amphitheater,
Many local festivals fill a niche. Vermilion has its Festival of the Fish, while Marblehead has its Festival of the Arts. Offering everything under the sun is the idea behind numerous Northwest Ohio events, but in Huron, the mindset is bigger. The result is the 21st annual Huron River Fest, which takes place July 13 through 15 around the Huron Boat Basin.
“Basically it’s what you would get from specific festivals in the area all put into one,” said Huron River Fest Committee Member William Biddlecombe. “We basically combine a music festival with a family-friendly festival. There’s something for everyone. Some festivals are real specific but we are the river festival so we have pretty much everything along our riverfront.”
People will be coming to Huron this weekend for a slew of attractions ranging from fireworks and the Pets on the Pier Parade to the Queen’s Competition and car show. The idea is to offer something unique that draws more than 10,000 folks – locals and tourists – to the area.
Huron Parks and Recreation Operations Manager Doug Steinwart said the city sees an increase in family reunions and class reunions normally around the River Festival dates.
“It provides an opportunity for people getting together, just like small town and hometown traditions,” Steinwart said. “It also provides economic opportunities for the businesses to get more people through their doors.”
While River Festival does have traditional amenities, foods, fun and rides, changes have been made in recent years to enhance the experience. The biggest difference involves how music is being utilized for the 2012 fair.
“There are times in the past where you’ll go down to the midway and really there’s nothing going on,” Biddlecombe said. “It started last year instead of having just a couple of bands a day, we added a couple extra throughout the weekend. This year we added some more. This year we had bands scheduled from beginning to end, there’s always going to be something going on when people go down.”
Also returning this year is the Queen’s Competition, which Biddlecombe stressed is good business for the Huron River Fest considering the winner will be traveling around to other parts of Ohio promoting the Go Coast event.
“This is the fifth year for the car show,” Biddlecombe said. “This year we’re changing it up. We’re going to have not only cars but motorcycles and tractors too.”
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.
Overall, the future appears bright for Huron River Fest.
“It’s a fun activity that everyone can enjoy and help give back to the community at the same time,” Biddlecombe said. “I see us as only getting better as time goes on.”
For more information, visit huronriverfest.com/home
. See below for the full schedule of events at River Fest.
Huron River Fest Schedule:
5 p.m. Midway Opens
5:30 p.m. Opening Ceremonies
6 p.m. Queen's Pageant
7:15-10:15 p.m. New Decade
10:15 p.m. Fireworks over the river (Rain date for fireworks is Saturday, July 14)
8 a.m. Anytime Fitness/Tiger 5K Run
9 a.m. Royalty Breakfast
11 a.m. Huron Lions Club River Fest Parade & Midway Opens
8 a.m.-3 p.m. Huron River Fest Road Show
1 p.m. Parade Awards
2-4 p.m. The Slush Buckets
4:30-6:30 p.m. Sandtown
7:30-10:30 p.m. Eddie Brunswick & the Hot Rod Lincolns
8 a.m.-12 p.m. Huron High School Band Pancake Breakfast
10 a.m. Pets on the Pier Parade
11 a.m. Midway Opens
1 p.m. Huron High School Cheerleaders
2:30-5:30 p.m. Monkey Love
5:30 p.m. St Pete’s Duck Race in the Huron River