Mishawaka festival returns June 26-27

Published 11:18 am Monday, June 29, 2015

Submitted photo.

Submitted photo.

MISHAWAKA, Ind. — The City of Mishawaka Parks and Recreation Department is ready to make this year’s Summerfest bigger and better, adding new vendors and performances to the schedule of events.

“This year, we have a new face on Summerfest,” said Carmen Carpenter, the Mishawaka Parks and Recreation representative in charge of the festival.

The 32nd annual Mishawaka Summerfest will take place from 6 p.m. to 10:45 p.m. Friday, June 26, and from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, June 27, at Merrifield and Crawford Parks in Mishawaka.

New this year are five distinct vendor categories: food and beverages, arts and crafts, network marketing, not-for-profit and retail. Vendors open to the public Friday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at 9 a.m.

Also new this year, festival organizers welcome Tony Hoard and his K-9 Crew Disc Dogs, featuring several performances in Crawford Park beginning at 11 a.m. on Saturday. There will also be a wiffle ball home run derby and Zorb (human hamster ball) track.

One of the biggest new events at the first annual Summerfest Talent Show. There is a $10 entry fee, and registration will be open up until the time of the show. All acts will be given 10 minutes of stage time. The 10 minutes includes all setup, props, performance and teardown.

The talent show will be on Saturday, and the top three acts will advance to the finals Saturday evening. First-place prize is a $100 value and honorary City of Mishawaka VIP for one year. Second-place prize is a $50 value and third-place prize is a $25 value.

The acts will be judged on originality/creativity, entertainment value, audience appeal, skill level and aesthetic appeal.

Other featured events include racing pigs, camel rides, magic shows and a children’s treasure hunt. The treasure hunt is a hunt for $100 worth of coins hidden in the Crawford Park splash pad, and children are allowed to keep whatever they find.

Returning is the Summerfest 5K Run, which begins at 8 a.m. at Merrifield Park. Participants will run through the streets of Mishawaka, past Mishawaka High School, as far east as N. Roosevelt Street. The runners will then circle around and finish back at Merrifield Park.

Yvonne Teeter, organizer of the 5K Summerfest Run, said that around 250 people ran last year. She expects there to be similar participation this year.

“There will be awards for the overall top male and female runners, the top three runners, and first, second and third place overall,” Teeter said.

While official registration deadline was May 29, those interested can still register up until 7:30 a.m. on site the morning of the event. Registration is $35, and a form can be downloaded from the Summerfest website. Participants registering after the May 29 deadline are not guaranteed T-shirts.

While the there is a cost for some events, like the 5K run, most events are completely free.

“We have amazing pig races, we have amazing fireworks and we have amazing concerts — all of which are free,” Carpenter said.

The fireworks take place Friday evening. Some of the acts headlining the concerts are The Joe Feingold Project, The Michael Kelsey Group, David Barnett Thomas and Hotel California, an Eagles tribute band that has performed for more than two decades. Saturday night, Hotel California will be performing “A Salute to the Eagles.”

More information, including the Summerfest 5K Run registration form, can be found at mishawaka.in.gov/summerfest.