March 22 04:20 AM

Busker Fest will return to Imlay City next year

Festival committee decides to repeat event June 14-15, 2019

Busker Sam Malcolm says he'll make return visit to Imlay City for 2019 Busker Fest.

July 04, 2018
IMLAY CITY — Though reviews of the inaugural Busker Fest on social media have been mixed, Imlay City Chamber of Commerce Event Planner Shannon Hamel said the event will be back next year.

The date for the next Busker Fest has been set for June 14-15, 2019. The event will again coincide with Father's Day weekend.

Busker Fest Committee members made the decision to return the festival during Thursday's (June 28) follow-up session at the city hall.

Committee members and interested citizens present included: Hamel, Ian Kempf, Julie Salsido, Doug Halabicky, Rob and Andrea Mette, Stu and Deanna Davis, Barb Yockey and Frank Demske, Randy Hall, Jim Lewis and Kim Jorgensen.

"Our committee members said they had heard a lot of positive response from people who were there," said Hamel. "A lot of those people said they liked having something fresh and new."

And though many committee members had seen and heard criticism on the streets and on social media, Hamel said the committee opted to focus on "the things that went well."

Changes considered

While generally pleased with the outcome, committee members also discussed various changes for next year's event.

Hamel said changes will likely include closing a portion of Third Street to ensure the safety of pedestrians; providing more organized activities for children; and greater input from the Imlay City Rotary Club regarding entertainment and activities at the beer tent.

The festival's beer tent, operated by the Rotary Club, has historically been the place festival-goers congregate and reconnect with friends, neighbors and former classmates.

"We want to listen to people's ideas and suggestions for making things better," said Hamel. "I know that a lot of people said they missed the fireworks."

Returning buskers

Hamel said several of this year's busker entertainers had indicated they would like to return to Imlay City next year.

"Nothing is set in stone at this time," said Hamel, "but we'd definitely like to get some of them to come back next year.

"It sounds like (buskers) Sam Malcomb, and Tony Steinburg and the Silver Starlets want to return," she said. "The Ohio Burn Unit (fire act) said they also want to come back and try to set a Guinness Book of World Records."

Planning meeting

The next meeting of the Busker Fest Committee takes place on Friday, Aug. 17 at 6 p.m. at the Imlay City Hall.

Tom Wearing started at the Tri-City Times in 1989, covering the Village of Capac as a beat reporter. He later served stints as assistant editor and editor. Today, he covers Imlay City and Almont as a staff writer. He enjoys music and plays drums and sings with various musical groups in the Detroit Metropolitan area.
  1. reply print email
    July 03, 2018 | 05:48 PM

    Not child's friendly, where are all of the shops and food trucks? Bring back the blueberry fest!!!

    Imlay city
  2. reply print email
    Let's do it again!
    July 04, 2018 | 09:51 AM

    It was all kid friendly. The buskers had my small granddaughters attention with their fun performances. The future busker contest had good participation by local kids. The parade was fun. I never made it to the beer tent because I was so entertained by the street performers. My two cents;)

    Pearly Mae
  3. reply print email
    Busker festival
    July 04, 2018 | 12:26 PM

    Not happy with date. To many weddings & graduation parties during that time. Was VERY disappointed hat there was not many craft tents as in previous years with the blueberry festival. Not enough variety of food trucks. But.... hopefully t

  4. reply print email
    Busker Fest
    July 04, 2018 | 03:22 PM

    First, I wish the paper would publish the community comments on this post and not just the committees spin on things. Second, the date stinks. Not only is it Fathers Day weekend, it's graduation open house and weddings in June. I heard a lot of people say their schedule kept them from going. Third, performers asking for tips is not my idea of a community festival. Let's celebrate the rural area that we are & not try to compete with urban areas.

    Imlay Citu
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