ESCANABA - Escanaba is in store for a busy weekend with three festival events today and Sunday. The Waterfront Art Festival and Rock the Dock are happening today in the Ludington Park area. Sunday will bring the Daily Press Children's Back-to-School and Health Fair in the Ruth Butler Building and surrounding area at the U.P. State Fairgrounds.
Waterfront Art Festival returns to Ludington Park today. The annual celebration of area artists and their creations, sponsored by the William Bonifas Fine Arts Center, will kick off at 10 a.m. and run until 4 p.m. near the Karas Band Shell in Ludington Park.
Artists of all ages participate in the annual event. This year more than 50 artists creating one-of-a-kind items like paintings, jewelry, sculptures, and textile items will set up shop for the one-day event.
Even young artists will be getting in on the fun and supporting their crafts by participating in the Young Artists' Market. All items sold at the market tent are the creations of area artists 18 years of age or younger.
ROCK THE DOCK
A water ski show will be featured today at Escanaba's third and final Rock the Dock event for this summer. Rock the Dock, sponsored by the City of Escanaba, offers a variety of fun activities for all ages at the municipal dock located in Ludington Park at the east end of Ludington Street.
A three-hour water ski show is set to begin at 3 p.m. today on Little Bay de Noc east of the municipal dock. Children's activities are scheduled from 3 to 6 p.m. and include a bounce house, face painting, and balloon twisting. A dunk tank will be taking place from 4 to 7 p.m.
At 4 p.m., Escanaba Public Safety will have a fire safety smokehouse available for children to learn what to do in the event of a fire in a building. A K-9 police dog demonstration is also scheduled at 4 p.m.
The band "Jellyhead" will perform on stage from 5 to 10 p.m. Attendees are reminded to bring their lawn chairs to sit back and enjoy the music.
At dusk, a Venetian Night will take place with an evening parade of decorated boats alongside the municipal dock.
In the event of inclement weather, Rock the Dock activities that can be moved, will take place inside the new barn at the U.P. State Fairgrounds.
CHILDREN'S BACK-TO-SCHOOL AND HEALTH FAIR
The annual Daily Press Children's Back-to-School and Health Fair will take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday in the Ruth Butler Building at the U.P. State Fairgrounds. The free event features a variety of fun activities, demonstrations, displays and prizes - including free pizza compliments of Papa Murphy's.
A new display this year will be the Marquette General Hospital emergency medical helicopter. The helicopter will be at the fairgrounds for kids to examine.
One of the new events this year is a hot dog eating contest with participants from area high school football teams including Escanaba, Gladstone, Bark River-Harris, Rapid River, and North Central. There will be three heats of the hot dog eating contest at 1 p.m., 1:30 p.m., and 2 p.m. Winners receive cash prizes for their school's booster clubs.
Also featured are the Delta County Regional Inclusive Community Coalition (RICC)'s "Walk a Mile in My Shoes" program, Lions Club Project KidSight program vision screenings, and the Michigan Masons' Michigan Child Identification Program.
Additional highlights include disc golf, putt-putt golf, AAA driver training simulators and an obstacle course, fire safety smoke house, Delta Area Transit Authority and Escanaba Area Public Schools bus rides, Dag the Dog of the Escanaba Public Safety K-9 Unit demonstration, Zumba demonstrations and demonstrations by the Escanaba Robomos Team.
Children and their parents will also have opportunities to take home bigger prizes through competitions and raffles.
Returning this year are "report cards" which are given to children and stamped at each booth at the fair. Once the card has been filled out, it is placed into a drawing for an Apple iPad Mini or LeapFrog LeapPad, compliments in part to a cash donation from Walmart. The winners are announced live on the Eagle Monday morning. The cards will also be used in a second drawing where parents can win a free dinner and movie tickets for two.
Each child attending will receive a goodie bag with school supplies and other back-to-school related items.
Major sponsors of the Children's Back-to-School and Health Fair are the Daily Press, The Eagle 107.3, Northern Lights YMCA, OSF St. Francis Hospital, Papa Murphy's, EMP, and Super One.