Archived Story

Summer in the City returns

Published 8:00am Thursday, July 3, 2014

Action events and roaming street performers, along with six bands and three dance troops, plus karaoke and children’s performers, headline the 29th-annual Dowagiac Summer in the City Festival, July 24-27.

This community’s largest and oldest summertime gala is being funded this year by 13 corporate sponsors and a $1,000 grant received by The Pokagon Fund.  The announcement was made this week by Vickie Phillipson, program director for the Greater Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce and DDA, who handles grant writing and raises the monies needed to fund the presentation of vocal, instrumental and specialty entertainment. She also oversees advertising and advance publicity for the event.

“While the festival in recent years had been funded primarily by grant dollars, this year’s event truly represents a strong commitment to our community by local corporations that have stepped forward to help underwrite the $12,000 four-day event,” Phillipson said.

In addition to the $1,000 grant from The Pokagon Fund, the Chamber is pleased to welcome the following corporate sponsors: AK Montgomery, Burling & Gillesby DDS, Chemical Bank, Clark Chapel, Creative Vinyl Signs, D. MottL Realty, Kim MacGregor’s Office of Edward Jones, Family Fare, Four Winds Casino, Lyons Industries, Southwestern Michigan College, Wightman & Associates and Wolverine Mutual Insurance Co.

New this year, Summer in the City kicks off Thursday evening, July 24, as Kalamazoo Avenue takes the stage at Beckwith Park, presenting a Rock, Rhythm & Blues Revue in conjunction with Huntington Night, which pays tribute to the underwriter of this community’s Beckwith Park Summer Concert Series.

The festival events center, named The ‘Jack, which is a spinoff of the phonetic pronunciation of Doe-Wah-Jack, also opens Thursday evening within Twistee’s parking lot, located off Front Street.  Sponsored by The Wounded Minnow Saloon, festival goers will enjoy a variety of entertainment at that location throughout the weekend, including family-friendly and adult karaoke Thursday evening.

Phillipson said organizers plan to close Front Street to through-traffic Friday and Saturday, as the specialty shops present their summer sidewalk sales. Non-profit and commercial vendors are also invited to join the festival by contacting the Chamber at 269.782.8212 or by e-mail at

For the first time in the history of Dowagiac’s summer gala, organizers are extending activities into Sunday, as ACTION hosts a community-wide worship service and family picnic at The ‘Jack events center, beginning at 11 a.m.

Festival organizers are pleased to present a variety of music and dance, from Rock, Rhythm and Blues to Country, Folk and today’s favorite covers.  Appearing at the festival will be: Kalamazoo Avenue, The Outta Towners, Tex Mex musician Rene Meave, Rebel Pride, Due Process, Exit 41 and Jordi.  Dance exhibitions will be presented by the Pokagon Band Dance & Drum Troop, Miss Michele & Co., MKSOD and Positively Dance.

To receive a schedule of events, call the Chamber of Commerce at 269.782.8212 or visit

By using this website’s user-contribution features, including comments, photo galleries, or any other feature, you agree to abide by the terms of use. Please read this agreement in its entirety because it contains useful information that will help you better understand the rules and general "good manners" that are expected when contributing content to this website.

Editor's Picks