Main Street Celebration to return in June, offering entertainment, fun for all ages

The Wayland Main Street Celebration will return Saturday, June 25, offering activities for young and old alike including live music, cultural performances by the Gun Lake Tribe, an Art Clash Jr. competition, a bean bag tournament, pet show, dunk tank, family movie, and much more.

The celebration will take place all day, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., in downtown Wayland.

In 2010 the city earned the Michigan Main Street designation, which is helping Wayland to refocus and revitalize the downtown area.

Since earning the designation, a number of volunteer groups have been working to make Wayland once again a vibrant downtown.

To celebrate achievement toward that goal and to honor the Main Street team’s first birthday, volunteers have put together a birthday celebration.

“This year our Main Street Celebration will be a full day of fun for the whole family,” said Wayland Main Street Director Alicia Verardi. “We have added on to last year’s event by adding hours of more fun and activities. We have also reached out to many local organizations and groups to get everyone involved in the Celebration.”

The Wayland Main Street team has partnered with the Allegan Area Arts Council to host a juried artist market from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. The juried market will feature more than 30 artist booths along with live demonstrations and caricature drawings.

The AAAC is also sponsoring an Art Clash Jr. competition, featuring 30 to 50 high school artists and their masterpieces pitted against one another. While art will be on display beginning June 10, the winner will be determined by popular vote cast the day of the event. The winner will be announced on the main stage at 7 p.m.

Instead of a horseshoe tournament, the Main Street Celebration will host the inaugural Beanbag Tournament.

The tournament, scheduled to take place along Pine Street, will pit teams of two against one another, with first- through third-prize winners receiving cash prizes. The competition is limited to the first 50 competitors. Registration deadline is Saturday, June 18.

Live entertainment will be presented all day long. Bands featured on the stage include Rick and Krystal from Tricks, Big Dudee Roo, and Delilah DeWylde & the Lost Boys and more.

Also new this year is a dunk tank, a downtown movie presented at dusk and cultural tribal dances performed by the Gun Lake Tribe.

Since its inception, the Wayland Main Street team has brought a whirlwind of change to the downtown area.

The group has established an Economic Restructuring Committee, creating a network for local business owners; addressed the area’s exterior through the Wash Up Wayland event; replaced cracked sidewalks with grass and dahlia flowers on the south side of West Superior Street; surveyed businesses on effective store hours; received approval to establish redevelopment liquor licenses; and offered free Michigan Main Street architect design services.

“We have achieved a greater community awareness and support of the program over the last year,” said Verardi.

Projects planned for next year include establishing sign guidelines, developing historical building plaques, planning more green spaces, establishing a Halloween bash and creating a public art program.