HarborFest a fun community event with heart

This weekend, people can have a great time in the Elwood Mattson Lower Harbor Park in Marquette while at the same time helping Marquette West Rotary raise funds to benefit the community.

Talk about a win-win situation: that’s HarborFest.

Activities will take place today and Saturday in the park. Admission is free thanks to the support of area businesses, which means everyone is able to go to this special last-weekend-of-August tradition.

Kids can play in the bounce house. Vintage cars, boats and canoes will be on display. The public can tour a U.S. Coast Guard cutter.

And there’s even a corn hole tournament on Saturday with practice tonight — available to adults over 21 only.

Great food from a variety of vendors will be available for purchase. And proceeds from craft beer, wine and hard cider will be used to support charitable donations distributed in the coming year by Marquette West Rotary in Marquette County.

There’s also the Fall Fishing Tournament starting at 6 a.m. Saturday before HarborFest at Mattson Lower Harbor Park. Live catch and release will be from 11 a.m.- 2:30 p.m., then there’s a fish weigh-in followed by the fishermen’s awards ceremony. Check out more information on the South Shore Fishing Association Facebook event page.

Music will be extraordinary at HarborFest. Tonight, local musicians Gerry and Allison Brown Band kick off the fun at 4:45 p.m. and then Good To Go plays at 6:15 p.m. Those two local musical acts open for Bumpus, a highly acclaimed act out of Chicago, which hits the stage at 9 p.m. today.

Bumpus plays a mix of their own original material along with covers. It’s soul music that “channels the uplifting energy of Sly & the Family Stone, the energy of James Brown and the reflective cool of Marvin Gaye,” according to the Rotary website.

Saturday, the opening acts are Sahl Metivier at 12:30 p.m.; The Pit Crew at 2:30 p.m.; Lumi at 4:30 p.m.; Trailer Hitch at 6:30 p.m.; followed by Kashmir, a Led Zeppelin Tribute Band from Chicago who will rock the house starting at 8:30 p.m.

For more information, visit the website marquettewestrotary.org.

Recently, Marquette West Rotary gave $25,000 to 38 Upper Peninsula charities and in the course of the 34 years Marquette West Rotary has been hosting a festival at Mattson Lower Harbor Park, the organization has provided more than $700,000 in charitable giving.

We hope the public turns out in big numbers at HarborFest to help the club continue this amazing tradition of giving.