Lakefest, Fun Days offer fun for manyFor six years, Lakefest has offered a fun, low-cost family event for all. “It’s awesome; it’s refreshing,” said Kelly Raunio, who has attended past Lakefest events. “There’s smiles and there’s laughter.” Our area needs that, she said, especially following the June 20 flood.
By: Maria Lockwood, Superior Telegram
For six years, Lakefest has offered a fun, low-cost family event for all.
“It’s awesome; it’s refreshing,” said Kelly Raunio, who has attended past Lakefest events. “There’s smiles and there’s laughter.” Our area needs that, she said, especially following the June 20 flood.
People headed to Lakefest, which runs noon to 8 p.m. Saturday on Barker’s Island, can expect more than music, food and games.
This year, the focus is on helping others. Anyone in need can pick up free toiletries, baby and school supplies. There will be giveaways of cash, gas cards and Super One gift cards.
“This year it’s really just giving back to the community,” said Rose Ligman, who founded the nonprofit group eight years ago. At previous events, Lakefest has paid to bring in a touring band. Saturday, local musicians including the Arise Band, Saturday Midnight Special and MSA perform. The money collected through more than 15 fundraisers and the support of 50 sponsors will instead be earmarked for supplies.
“If you’re in need, just show up and fill a bag,” Ligman said. Admission to Lakefest is free. There is a minimal cost for food.
Super One Foods has been a sponsor of Lakefest since it began.
“We support it because it’s a great thing to get all the local people together,” said Raunio, frontend manager for the Oakes Avenue Super One Foods. “They’re helping a lot of people.”
It takes six months and about 75 volunteers from more than 15 different churches throughout the area to set up Lakefest. Organizers expect between 1,000 and 1,500 people to attend. The festival is their gift to others.
“Jesus said ‘Do onto others as you would have them do onto you,’” Ligman said. “We’re taking that forward.”
What is her favorite part of Lakefest?
“Watching the kids have fun,” she said.
Ligman stressed the event is for the entire community, supported by churches, individuals and businesses from the Twin Ports area — Duluth, Superior, Iron River, Brule and more.
“They work really hard to make sure the program stays alive,” Raunio said. These days, she said, it’s important to support each other.
People looking for something to do earlier in the day, or in a more rural section of the county, can check out Poplar Fun Days in the village Saturday. A craft sale runs 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the village hall. A kiddie parade begins at 11 a.m.
Children who want to participate should be at the town hall by 10:45 a.m. Kids games, including a bounce house, dunk tank, chicken “skat” bingo and carnival games, run 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. A Corn Hole Tournament kicks off at noon; limited to 20 teams.
From 3-5 p.m., take part in greased pole and greased pig competitions. Then stick around for a street dance 6-10 p.m. featuring “The Returnables” from food and drinks will be available for sale all day, and a mixed doubles softball tournament will be going on throughout the day. A car show by John Grube will also take place, and a farmer’s market is expected to be set up in the village.
For more information, check the Poplar Fun Days Facebook page.