Volunteers make weekend festivals in area possible

Undaunted by a largely uncooperative Mother Nature, who had the temerity to mix rain with fog while punctuating both with bright sun and blue skies, thousands of people attended Art on the Rocks and the OutBack Art Fair in Marquette this past weekend.

The fact that the weather was, shall we say, inconsistent, and sizable crowds attended only underscores how popular these events, individually and together, have become over the years. Available for purchase was anything and everything from original works of art to mass-produced items.

Weather aside, the people we talked to in both locations loved the merchandise, the crowds and the positive vibe these big-ticket weekend events give the greater Marquette area. And that positive vibe, and how it comes about, is really what we’d like to touch on in this writing.

By our count, there are three more events yet to take place in the Mattson Lower Harbor Park before we bid farewell to the summer of 2014. The Harbor Festival, set for Aug. 22-23; the Marquette Area Blues Festival, Aug. 29-31; and the Upper Peninsula Fall Beer Festival, Sept. 6. Take it to the bank, each will draw large, enthusiastic crowds to the area.

And that, we think, is the point. All of the festivals we mentioned, and several we didn’t, are run by volunteers who give their time, talent and treasure to make these events happen. Without them, they wouldn’t happen, period.

If you’re an innkeeper or operator of a public house of any type, these events are important to your bottom line. If you’re a resident or casual visitor and your bottom line more relates to having a good time, fun events in town are a nice recreational option.

And none of it would happen without volunteers. So when you see them at these events, thank them for their service, for their willingness to work behind the scenes, often for months in advance of the events themselves. They’re doing it to make this area a better place to be. We think they have been successful.