Hersey's River Town Fest to host favorite events
HERSEY — The annual River Town Festival will bring excitement, games and revenue into the Hersey community this weekend.
The 3rd annual event will begin on Thursday, Aug. 7, and will last through Sunday, Aug. 10. According to event organizers, the festival will bring back games and activities that were well received by the public last year.
Beyond that, festival events depend on the amount of support the planning committee receives from the community, said festival coordinator Ernie Clark.
"It’s really all about volunteerism," he said. "It depends on who comes to us and says 'Hey, I'd really like to run with this concept.' That’s generally where we begin. We’re a small nonprofit, but we've had a really good group this year."
One event back by popular demand this year is Hersey's Got Talent, which will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday in Albright Park. Participants of all ages who registered in advance will perform a talent for three minutes, from singing and dancing to telling jokes.
Saturday's festivities will kick off with the annual pancake eating contest at 9 a.m. and Hersey's River Town Festival Parade at noon on Main Street. From noon to 6 p.m., hungry patrons can visit the Hersey United Methodist Church for a chicken barbecue, which will offer half of a chicken, fixings and a beverage for $8.50. Advanced orders can be made by calling David Johnson at (231) 250-7118.
Visitors also can enjoy kids games at 1 p.m. at Hersey United Methodist Church, live music from the Scottville Clown Band at 1:30 p.m. and a special performance by country band Cadillac West at 9 p.m. at the River Junction Restaurant and Bar for $5.
Sunday is devoted to River Town Sunday in the Park, during which three local churches will come together to provide worship opportunities for visitors at 1 p.m. in Mosaic Park.
One new addition to the festival is the craft show, which Clark said will feature hand-made items from local and visiting vendors. Interested participants can sell their wares from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday for a $10 booth fee.
Clark said the festival has helped the Hersey community and economy to grow since its inception in 2012.
"It's been extremely successful," he said. " In 2012 we had somewhere around 500 people, and last year we had somewhere between 600 and 700 people come to visit. For a community that only has 300 people living in it, that’s a great turn out."
Clark said visitors come to Hersey from all parts of the state, and that he is happy to continue raising the bar set in previous years.
"It's very exciting for us and we’re happy to do it,” he said. "We're a small community and do our best to put our best foot forward."
Because of the craft show, Main Street in Hersey will be closed between 2nd Street and 3rd Street from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.