Dowagiac Summer in the City Festival returns July 16-17

DOWAGIAC –   Next week, as the Greater Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce rolls out this community’s first festival since the pandemic, families can expect to see their favorite attractions return for Summer in the City.

Now in its 35th year, the two-day festival July 16 and 17, is packed with excitement for all ages, from children’s carnival attractions to daytime music and dance, and the sidewalk sales of specialty shops that will fill the streets.

Vickie Phillipson, chamber of commerce program director, said Vertical Edge Entertainment will present an expanded line-up of children’s amusement attractions, including a carnival wall of games, along with the High Striker, climbing wall and such carnival rides as the Dixie Twister, The Wizzer and Bumper Cars.  She said parents have the option of purchasing a $10 wristband that can be used on rides for the full day or they can purchase a $1 ticket for each attraction.

Children will also be able to ride the popular Withers’ Choo Choo Train and take a chance at dunking a Dowagiac police officer in the dunk tank.

Live music gets underway each day at 10 a.m. as two local favorites, Dennis Ferrier and Dave Bolin, take the stage at Front and Commercial streets. Ferrier, who performs on a regular basis with several local bands, will appear with a Touch of Texas on Friday.  He returns to the stage the following day, alongside Dave Bolin, as The Pride presents a great day of rock & roll, and country music.

Dance students return to Beeson Street for back-to-back performances Saturday, as Green Dance Academy performs from 11 a.m. to noon, followed by Miss Michele & Co. from noon to 1 p.m.

New this year, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, the Miss Dowagiac Scholarship Pageant will host Fairytale Friends, as children enjoy story time and activities with “Frozen” princess Elsa.  Participants will also receive their own crown, while quantities last.

Also on Saturday, festival goers of all ages will enjoy the excitement of Dowagiac’s own Indy 500 of lawn mower races, hosted by Outlaw Tractor Racing. Racing gets underway at noon within the city parking lot between Cass County Council on Aging and Twistee’s.  Phillipson encouraged festival goers to bring their lawn chairs for the race that runs from noon to 4 on Saturday.

The sidewalk sales of Dowagiac’s specialty shops open daily at 10 a.m. and will also feature the booths of community and commercial vendors.

Phillipson said this year’s festival has been underwritten by 29 chamber members. They are: Bakeman Barber’s, The Baker’s Rhapsody, Clark Chapel/Starks Family Funeral Homes, Cottage Gallery, Creative Vinyl Signs, D. MottL Realty, Deck the Halls, Dowagiac Elks, Dowagiac Pharmacy, Dowsett Chiropractic Health Center, Kim MacGregor’s Office of Edward Jones, Jeff Neumann of Farm Bureau Insurance, Janel’s Industries, Jansen Valk Thompson Reahm, John & Curt’s Brake & Alignment, Lyons Industries, The Marshall Shoppe, Midwest Energy, Oh My, Olympia Books,  Preferred Printing, Rosy Tomorrow’s, Sandy & Rachel’s Medical Massage Therapy PC, Southwestern Michigan College, Who Knew? Consignment, Wightman, Wolverine Mutual Insurance Co., Wounded Minnow Saloon and Yarn on Front.

For a full schedule of events, visit Dowagiac Chamber on Facebook or DowagiacChamber.com.

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