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Heritage Fest finale

Becky Vargo • Jun 18, 2018 at 12:30 PM

SPRING LAKE — Having the fireworks back helped make this year’s Spring Lake Heritage Festival one of the best ever, according to festival committee president Steve Van Belkum.

“We are very pleased with how it all turned out,” Van Belkum said. “And we thank the community for coming out and supporting us.”

After a two -year absence, because a barge was not available, fireworks filled the sky in front of hundreds of people Saturday night at Mill Point Park.

Van Belkum said they had 600 people come through the gate and there was easily a couple hundred people outside of the fenced area along the bike path.

Storms earlier in the day caused issues with some events.

“The storm took out some tents and kind of disrupted things a little bit,” the festival committee president said.

Van Belkum said the pickle ball tournament, scheduled to begin at 8 a.m., eventually started around 1 p.m.

The Spring Lake Heritage Festival 5K run was canceled because lightning, thunder and rain continued well beyond an extended rain delay.

Race organizer Ron Knoll said anyone registered for the 2018 run would receive a 25 percent discount next year.

Some food truck vendors scheduled for Saturday evening at Mill Point Park also failed to show, Van Belkum said, presumably because of the weather.

Skies eventually began to clear around 3 p.m.

Still, Arturos Tacos, Mata Food Concessions and Halaula Hawaiian Ice were on the scene. There was also no cover charge to enter the grounds Saturday night.

The whole idea is to make it more family friendly, he said. It’s more about the families and less about the beer tent.

Van Belkum said the Senior Day went really well and the Dog Walk “was probably the biggest one we had in years.”

Organizers changed the walk to go from Mill Point Park to Old Boys Brewhouse and back, a much shorter walk than the 2-mile, 1-way walk from Central Park to Old Boys.

Wings on the Water chefs cooked 17,000 wings and served them to more than 1,200 people, Van Belkum said.

A new event, the Wet and Wild Foam Party, featuring a D.J, was a big hit and will be back next year, he said.

Van Belkum said the fireworks is the most expensive cost for the festival at $15,000. The tug and barge take up a big part of that. 

Anyone interested in making a donation to keep fireworks a part of the festival can go to the website: slheritagefestival.com.

“There’s a donate button on every page,” VanBelkum said.

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