The annual Fruitport Old-Fashioned Days kick off Wednesday. It will include a carnival, the Lions Club Ox Roast, a petting zoo, music, two fireworks shows, a 5K and 10K race on Saturday, and a Memorial Day parade at 2 p.m. Monday.
The carnival will have a “facelift,” festival chairman Mike Johnson said, as new rides join the lineup with a user-friendlier layout. Children are in store for three new rides, and the Drop Tower returns for thrill-seeking adults.
Festival-goers can purchase $17 wristbands for the carnival until 5 p.m. today online or at participating vendors. After today, wristbands will cost $20.
Saturday is filled with family-fun activities, such as the Kids’ Parade at 11:45 a.m. and a free trout pound at noon.
“(Families) don’t have to go broke coming to our festival,” Johnson said.
Johnson said children can enjoy a new theater attraction on Saturday. "My Adventure Theater" at 1, 3 and 6 p.m. will give children the chance to become part of the show.
While the six-day festival typically draws between 125,000 and 150,000 people each year, Johnson said he anticipates a larger crowd this year because of the entertainment lineup and a change to Sunday’s fireworks show. The Friday night fireworks show will remain the same, but Sunday’s show will be longer with bigger pyrotechnics, he said.
The band Yard Sale Underwear takes to the park's stage at 7 p.m. Sunday, and Johnson said he expects a crowd of 30,000 to 40,000 for the show followed by fireworks at 10:30 p.m.
Last year’s festival generated about $60,000 for the Fruitport Lions Club, Johnson said. Lions Club secretary Jim Kauppila said proceeds go into the community for such projects as student scholarships and food drives.
For the complete list of events, visit fruitportlions.com.