Weekend replete with fun activities in city, area

Happily, we seem to say this quite often here in the Marquette area: What a great weekend of fun is in store for our local communities.

It starts with Blueberry Fest today in downtown Marquette, featuring sidewalk sales, food vendors, artists, demonstrations, pony rides, inflatable arcade games, activities for children and families and all things blueberry.

Live music is also part of the schedule, with activities beginning at 10 a.m. and continuing until 7 p.m.

Two great art festivals take place in the city from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. The 55th annual Art on the Rocks will feature more than 175 artists at Mattson Lower Harbor Park, while the 20th annual Outback Art Fair will highlight more than 100 vendors at Picnic Rocks Park.

In Negaunee and Ishpeming, Olympic gold medalist Peter Vanderkaay will join in the 10th annual Teal Lake Swim for Diabetes as a participant.

Swimmers of all ages and abilities will hit the water at Teal Lake Beach in Negaunee and swim across to the shore in Ishpeming’s Al Quaal Recreation Area, raising funds for youngsters to attend diabetes camp.

For more information on participating or volunteering, visit the event website at teallakeswim.com.

The western Marquette County community of Champion will celebrate its 150th anniversary with a family parade at the Berle LaPin Veterans Park Saturday. Line up begins at 12:30 p.m. and the parade begins at 1 p.m. An ice cream social will follow, with games for youth.

Also on Saturday, Gwinn will be celebrating Fun Daze, with a parade at 10 a.m. and a day of special activities in Peter Nordeen Park beginning at 11 a.m.

The activities will include a dunk tank, food sales, a zumba demonstration and much more. The Negaunee City Band and Superior Pipes Band will both perform in the park immediately after the parade.

Saturday includes another event with great history behind it, the 114th annual Italian Fest at Al Quaal Recreation Area. Started in 1899 by The St. Rocco Society and bringing in The St. Anthony Society in 1937, Italian Fest is a day of fun for all ages from noon to 7 p.m. highlighted by delectable Italian Food.

Whatever the weather brings, this weekend is packed with events that appeal to everyone. Please get out to enjoy some U.P. summer fun.