Fun-Packed Venetian Festival In Saugatuck Getting Ready To Kick Off This Friday & Saturday
A lighted boat parade, fireworks show and ’80s concert are on tap for this weekend’s family-friendly Saugatuck Venetian Festival on Friday and Saturday, July 25-26.
Sponsored by the Cow Hill Yacht Club, the 2014 festival’s theme is a Pirate Invasion, as costumed pirates will look for “able bodied crew to join them in their quest to discover the pearls of Saugatuck” according to the event’s website.
Friday’s events start at 5 p.m. at Coghlin Park with children’s games and face painting. Later in the evening, a concert from retro band Starfarm along with pirate and ‘80s costume contests for the adults is scheduled.
Saturday’s itinerary includes an art fair and the popular Dinghy Poker Run during the day and lighted boat parade and fireworks show in the evening.
There is a $20 registration fee for the poker run where boats make seven stops along a scheduled route to choose a playing card at each while costumed pirates armed with power water guns invade the harbor in a quest for booty. The fun event offers the top three ranked poker hands local gift certificates as prizes.
Additional activities throughout the day on Saturday include goldsmithing demonstrations, a vintage baseball game, a family “farm fest,” brewery tours at Saugatuck Brewing Co., and more.
For more information visit, www.saugatuckvenetianfest.org or phone the Saugatuck-Douglas Convention and Visitors Bureau at (269) 857-1701.
* WARNING *
Local residents and tourists are being warned not to make any donations in support of the Saugatuck Venetian Festival or fireworks to anyone posing as representatives of the festival unless they are approved and/or appointed by the Cow Hill Yacht Club, the orgnaization which has been properly approved by- and has received a permit from - the City of Saugatuck.
A former fundraiser for the festival - Don Karaus of Ganges Township - is no longer affiliated with any legal entity associated with the Venetian Festival after several investigations found he could not properly account for past funds raised for the event.
Both city officials and Cow Hill Yacht Club members say a website set up and run by Karaus - www.saugatuckvenetianfestival.com - is still improperly and possibly illegally trying to collect donations.
The approved - and legal - website to visit to make a donation is: www.saugatuckvenetianfest.org