LAKE CITY – The 42nd annual Festival of the Pines in Lake City will be different than any recent festival celebrations. Because of safety restrictions resulting from the pandemic, the Festival of the Pines will be a one-day celebration this year instead of the typical three-day event. It is slated for Saturday, Sept. 19, in the city park.
It will still be shorter than usual this year but it will be an event full of family fun says Lake City Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Michelle Reichert.
“We had to make some changes but we believe everybody who comes will still have a good time and will enjoy the day,‘ Reichert said.
“We’re introducing some new things and at the same time we’re going back to the original idea behind the festival. Originally the festival was a way of saying thank you to the community for a good summer and at the same time to welcome in the new harvest. The purpose behind the Festival of the Pines from the start was a community coming together to support and appreciate each other and this year we want to return to that theme.‘
There won’t be a tent in the city park and nightly live entertainment this year as there has been in the past but there will be a focus instead on family entertainment, Reichert added.
The 37th annual Prince and Princess Pageant will be held at 10 a.m. in the city park on the day of the festival. In past years this included all kindergarten students from Lake City but this year it is expanded and includes any kindergarten students from any of the Missaukee-area schools. The kindergarteners will still come dressed as Lumber Jack or Lumber Jill for the pageant.
Something new added this year is the Festival of the Pines Lumber Jack and Lumber Jill parade. Those who would like to participate are encouraged to dress in their best Lumber Jack or Lumber Jill costume and parade through town. Families are welcome to participate and even the family pet. Dogs must be on a leash, however. Meet at the middle school circle drive on Russell Street at 11:45 a.m. The parade starts at noon, going over to Main Street and then to the city park.
Another new event this year is the gathering of nonprofit groups in the city park during the day. Each nonprofit participating will be decorating at tree in the city park and they each get to share their story from the city park stage starting at 1 p.m. Each nonprofit group gets about 10 minutes on the stage. Donation boxes will be set up for each nonprofit in the park and there will be prizes awarded to the ones that bring in the most donations between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Some of the nonprofits participating include Relay for Life, the United Way, Habitat for Humanity, the Evangelical Presbyterian Church Food Pantry, Wertz Warriors, the Lake City Women’s Club, the Missaukee Historical Society, Friends Ministry, the Lake City Senior Center, Community Hope, and the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps, among others.
In addition to the parade and nonprofit gathering in the park, the Lake City Eagles will be holding its annual horseshoe competition, the Missaukee Conservation District will be holding its annual native plants sale, the Ardis-Missaukee District Library will be holding its book sale, and the Lake City Women’s Club basket auction will be held in the boardroom of the city building. This will take place between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
There will also be an open air flea market and craft show in the city park at the same time and vendors will have local products available, everything from produce to plants to soap to woodworking and homemade sweaters and blankets.
The Lake City Tap House will be hosting the annual Chili Cook-Off, too. Residents are welcome to come by and taste the different entries during the day and cast their votes. Gift certificates and ribbons will be awarded to the winners. To register for the Chili Cook-Off, call Sylvia at (231) 878-9357.
Passports are available now at the chamber office. Get your ticket and go to the participating businesses between Sept. 12 and Sept. 20 and it punched to enter the grand drawing for a number of prizes and gift certificates.