Feast of the Strawberry Moon returns for final year?

Samantha Lewakowski • Jun 9, 2016 at 8:00 AM

This weekend marks the 16th Feast of the Strawberry Moon festival and the final year that the Tri-Cities Historical Museum will be hosting the annual event.

The two-day event on Grand Haven’s Harbor Island takes visitors back to the shores of the Grand River circa 1760. It’s open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, June 11-12.

Curator of Education Kevin Geary, who is also serving as the museum’s interim director following the resignation of Steven Radtke last month, said Radtke’s departure hasn’t had an effect on this year’s festival. 

“Most of the staff has been with us for 8-10 years, so Steve leaving didn’t cause any disruption in the preparation,” Geary said. “We were able to go on as usual.”

Geary noted that planning for the festival starts 5-6 months in advance of the June event.

“One of the original founders of the event, Ernie Marvin, is still very involved in planning,” Geary said. “We have been really relying on him to help us out.”

The festival brings Michigan fur traders living along the Grand River in the late 18th century back to life.

A new magician’s act, put on by Ric Carver, will be a fun addition to the entertainment, Geary said. The Critter Barn petting zoo will return — as well as the Budobui Brothers, an act that includes juggling and jokes.

“The brothers have been been a part of the festival for many years,” Geary said. “It is a crowd favorite. They are very well-loved.”

The museum has yet to come up with a new program to fill the festival’s void.

“After the Feast is over, we will sit down as a staff and talk about what could be meaningful to the community and will continue our mission of creating new, relevant events,” Geary said.

The museum has had many conversations with potential groups to take over sponsorship of the event, but nothing has been finalized. 

Admission to the Feast of the Strawberry Moon is $5 per person or $15 for a family. Parking on Harbor Island is free.

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