LAKEVIEW — There’s just something about a small town summer festival — the banners, flags, music and food. All the folks with whom you already have at least a nodding acquaintance getting together at one time in one place to celebrate … well … to celebrate the simple pleasure, that is life in a small town.
Few small towns do it better than Lakeview, which will host Summerfest on Friday and Saturday. Sponsored by the Lakeview Area Jaycees in cooperation with the village government and many local businesses, this year’s celebration is shaping up to be a good one.
According to Jaycees representative Chad Lincoln, all the favorite events from past years, as well as several new activities, will be taking place.
“There will be all the normal stuff, like the townwide garage sale,” Lincoln said. “And of course the beer tent is back, right on main street like we did for Winterfest. We have live music both nights — Free Flight on Friday and the Tetrad band on Saturday.”
No summer festival is complete without parades and Summerfest features two of them. The first will be Friday at dusk and features emergency vehicles from Lakeview and surrounding communities. Always a hit with young children, fire trucks, ambulances and other emergency vehicles will drive through town with lights flashing and sirens blaring.
Saturday’s Summerfest parade gets under way at 2 p.m. and typically features area marching bands, Lakeview Wildcat sports teams, tractors, floats and the usual assortment of politicians and local businesses.
One new event sure to appeal to adults is the home brew beer and wine tasting, slated for Saturday afternoon in the beer tent. Vanderhyde Ford will sponsor a live jazz combo to play during the event.
The local home brew club will provide beer and wine samples. Proceeds from the tasting go to pay for the Summerfest fireworks display Saturday evening. And speaking of fireworks, this is another area in which Lakeview typically excels.
“This will be one of the better displays we’ve had in recent years,” Lincoln said. “We expect to burn through about $12,000 worth of fireworks this summer.”
The Lakeview Community Wellness Center will again sponsor Kid’s Day activities on Saturday at the center parking lot.
“We’re also going to have a dunk tank, a bounce house and a few other things going on there at the same time,” Lincoln said.
Also on Saturday beginning at 4 p.m., Lakeside Park on Lincoln Avenue will play host to a lineup of Christian rock bands geared toward younger listeners.
“It’ll give music lovers who are too young for the beer tent something fun to do Saturday,” Lincoln said. “They’ve lined up Page 4, Second Mile, Testified and a couple more bands. It should be pretty cool.”
Another Summerfest staple making an encore performance is the Lion’s Club chicken barbecue, also at Lakeside Park. The barbecue gets under way at 10:30 a.m. and will run until the food is gone. Typically, the barbecue wraps up by noon or 1 p.m., so it’s a good idea to show up early.
Lakeview Village Manager James Freed enthused about this year’s event lineup, which — for the first time in many years — features a professional carnival.
“This year is going to be bigger and better,” Freed said. “We’ll have a ferris wheel right on the lake and other fair-like activities. Summerfest brings over 5,000 people into town and the bigger it gets the more exciting it gets. The past two years have really been off the hook.”
Freed credits the Lakeview Jaycees and Chamber of Commerce with the event’s recent success.
“They’ve really stepped up to the plate,” Freed said.
Other events slated for the weekend include a 5K walk/run sponsored by Spectrum Health, a vehicle extrication exercise by the Lakeview District Fire Department, a dog wash, used book sale, sidewalk sales and more.
A complete list of Summerfest activities is available online at www.lakeviewmichigan.com.