MANISTIQUE, Mich. (WZMQ) – Music flooded Downtown Manistique Friday evening for the first day of the 34th annual Folk Fest, one of the area’s most enduring traditions.
“Between the Fourth of July and Folk Fest, everybody comes here and plans their vacations around that, so it’s like a big family reunion,” said event organizer Paul Walker. “Plus, all our visitors who come here for the first time, we welcome them as well.”
Attendees enjoyed food and craft vendors, shopping at downtown businesses, and–new this year–axe throwing. However, the main attraction of Folk Fest is the full lineup of unique artists performing at the center of town.
“We show our diversity in music, because ‘folk’ defines everybody,” Walker said. “We have rock ‘n roll, we have country, we have folk music, we have all the different types of genres.”
In place of the usual beer garden, this year’s Folk Fest utilizes Downtown Manistique’s social district, where patrons can walk around with alcohol purchased from designated businesses.
“We actually sell craft and domestics out the window, so you can come right up to us and you can take it to go,” said Boardwalk Bar & Grill manager Christine Floyd.
Floyd expects the addition of the social district to Folk Fest to benefit the local economy.
“It’s going to create some more new customers, some more currency going through the downtown area,” Floyd said. “People will be able to socialize and bring more people into the downtown.”
Folk Fest continues on Saturday, July 8. The day will begin at 10:00 a.m., with the final band scheduled to begin playing at 12:30 a.m.
Schoolcraft Tourism and Commerce executive director Victoria George encourages Manistique residents and visitors to stop by on Saturday to enjoy the event.
“It’s a great, family fun function that doesn’t cost for admission, and I think that’s what everyone enjoys,” said George. “It’s our community coming together and having fun together.”
Click here for the full Manistique Folk Fest schedule.