MARQUETTE - Marquette Rotary West's Seafood Fest has been a huge success over the course of almost three decades.
This year, organizers are trying something a little different in addition to the usual activities that make Seafood Fest a summer highlight.
Seafood Fest, which is celebrating its 29th year of raising funds to help the community, traditionally takes place in Mattson Lower Harbor Park the weekend before Labor Day and that won't change. But the schedule is a bit different in 2012.
Project Pink, a Pink Floyd tribute band, will play Friday in Mattson Lower Harbor Park as part of Marquette Rotary West’s annual Seafood Fest. (Project Pink photo courtesy of Shannon Schmitt)
"Over the years, people have made comments that they'd like us to up the game a little on the entertainment," said Christine Pesola, a co-chair of the event.
She and Gayle LaJoye of LaJoye Productions discussed what to do, Pesola said, keeping in mind the arabesque tent available for use in the Lower Harbor Park.
"We kept thinking of (Lake Superior) Big Top Chautauqua and the kinds of things they do," Pesola said. Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua in Bayfield, Wis., provides 50 nights of entertainment throughout the summer in a tent on the shores of Lake Superior.
Seafood Fest schedule:
The Marquette West Rotary's biggest fundraiser is the Seafood Fest, which Is celebrating its 29th year, and takes place in Mattson Lower Harbor Park. Through the years, the club has raised more than $500,000 to provide for community needs.
Thursday, 5:308:30 p.m.
The gala is an outdoor dining experience meant to tantalize the palate. A steak and lobster dinner will be served with appetizers, dessert and a cash bar. A string quartet will perform and silent and live auctions are planned. All tickets are pre-sale, cost $60 per person or $500 for a table, which includes reserved seating for eight and two bottles of wine. For reservations, call Jamie Tomczyk at (906) 251-1891.
Project Pink, a Pink Floyd tribute band
Friday, 8 p.m.
A musical laser light show of Pink Floyd favorites including "Dark Side Of The Moon" in its entirety. Gate opens at 5 p.m., opening band Sukker Punch performs 5:30-7:30 p.m. Food tents and the beer and wine tent (featuring KBC beers) are open starting at 5 p.m. Seating Is limited, lawn chairs are welcome and no carry-ins are allowed. Admission is $18 In advance, $20 at the gate, and $10 for children 12 and under. Advance tickets are available from NMU ticket outlets or online nmu.edu/tickets
Traditional Seafood Fest
Saturday, Aug. 25 (noon to 10 p.m.)
Free admission. Events include the Show and Shine Car Show 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Kids Jumparooz Inflatables. Lobster dinner (presold only, tickets $25) includes with whole fresh lobster, baked potato, coleslaw, corn and roll. Other food for sale at the event includes fresh whitefish, trout, crab legs, mussels, fried scallops, peel and eat shrimp, fried shrimp and clam chowder with sides of corn on the cob, baked potato, cheddar biscuit, fries and slaw. Vango's will be there to sell pizza, burgers, hot dogs, cudighi, gyros, waffle fries and brats.
Noon-2 p.m. Derrell Syria Project
2-4:15 p.m. Wednesday Night Music Club
4:15-6:15 p.m. Gator and The River Boys
6:15-8:10 p.m. Shotgun Kelli and State 51
8:10-10 p.m. Vent
"Seafood Fest was one of the first organizations to rent Marquette's arabesque tent, which absolutely great to use, so we wanted something that would work with that. We talked about who we would get for a concert."
LaJoye attended a performance in Green Bay, Wis., of the band Project Pink, which is a Pink Floyd tribute band, and was wowed.
"He said they were fabulous, so we decided 'let's do it.' So that's why we're doing this," Pesola said. "After 29 years (of Seafood Fest), people need a change and this is definitely something different."
So Friday night's Seafood Fest will be a concert featuring the band, including a laser-light show and the entire "Dark Side of the Moon" song list. Local rockers Sukker Punch will open the festivities from 5:30-7:30 p.m., with Project Pink to follow at approximately 8 p.m.
Project Pink, according to its website (projectpinkband.com) is "North America's premier Pink Floyd tribute band. Armed with a 20-foot projection screen, a virtual armada of lights, and world-class sound production, Project Pink faithfully recreates the complete Floyd experience - the sights, the sounds, the intangible vibe. Project Pink's award-winning musicians pour out the most authentic performances of your favorite Floyd tunes from 'The Dark Side of the Moon,' 'The Wall,' 'Wish You Were Here,' 'Meddle' and more."
Pesola is excited to hear the group.
"They literally sound exactly like Pink Floyd. They use the same guitars and everything," she said. "It's going to be amazing."
While there are some benches available at the park, Pesola said those attending should bring lawn chairs to assure they have a place to sit to both hear and watch the show.
"Of course, there will be food, beer and wine available," she said. "We are featuring the KBC microbrewery beer."
Tickets for the Friday night event are $18 in advance and $20 at the gate for adults, with children's tickets $10 (ages 12 and under).
The rest of Seafood Fest will be what people have become accustomed to, with Thursday night being the Waterfront Gala from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. and Saturday being the traditional lineup of great eats and excellent local music.
Pesola said if the Friday night concert is a hit, it could be a building block for future festivals.
"If this is a hit, maybe next year we can get on the circuit with the Big Top Chautauqua," she said. "We could be morphing into that."
Renee Prusi can be contacted at 906-228-2500, ext. 253. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.