Edwardsburg chamber expanding Memorial Day Festival

Published 1:34 pm Friday, May 20, 2016

The Edwardsburg Area Chamber of Commerce Memorial Day Festival is expanding in 2016.

The annual event will kickoff with the parade, which begins at 11 a.m., and will proceed down US-12 and will continue after a brief stop in front of the Edwardsburg History Museum for a flag ceremony.

The parade will then proceed to the cemetery to place memorial flags.

Anyone interested in participating in the parade should contact the Edwardsburg Fire Department, which is in charge of organizing the parade, at 663-8007 after 2 p.m.

The Memorial Day Festival officially begins at Gunn Park, which is located at Lake and Main beside Pleasant Lake, immediately following the parade and will run until 2 p.m.

New this year will be a celebrity dunk tank, a 52-foot obstacle course and live entertainment.

“That was a collaboration between the board members,” chamber administrator Sharee Leist said. “They wanted to do more for the kids and increase interest for families.”

The obstacle course is being sponsored by Edward Jones and Greater Niles Community Federal Credit Union, while At Home Realty Group is sponsoring the dunk tank.

The band Gypsy Red is being brought to the festival by State Farm Insurance, Coldwell Banker and the chamber.

Leist said the sponsors really stepped to help provide the additional entertainment.

“That is what really pulled us through,” she said. “Being able to get those sponsors allowed us to expand the festival.”

There will also be booths for crafts, food, games for children, business information and more.

The location of the booths will be determined by the number of booths and flat areas available in the park.

During both the parade and festival, Hamilton and Lake streets will be blocked off until 2 p.m., but will be open to pedestrian traffic.

Parking is available on the other side of US-12 for vendors and visitors.

Vendors who are interested in obtaining a booth may contact the chamber of commerce at (574) 343-3721 or by email at administration@edwardsburgchamber.org. Deadline for registration is Saturday.

The chamber is looking for artists, woodcrafters, jewelry makers, sewing crafts, quilts, business information, children’s games, face painting, food and more.

“So far it looks pretty good,” Leist said of the vendors who have already registered for the festival. “We have some vendors who have not been here before. We have about 25 vendors, which is in line with previous years. We always get a lot of vendors the last week.”

Even though the deadline is Saturday, Leist said late registrations will be accepted, space available, for an additional $10 fee.