The annual Fun Fest by the River in North Manchester kicks off Aug. 8 and offers a weekend full of fun. The theme for this year’s festival is “classic.”
“It’s a great three days with many things going on that people can be a part of,” said North Manchester Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Tim McLaughlin.
A belly flop contest starts the events at 11 a.m. Thursday. There’s also a tennis tournament starting at 4 p.m., a three-on-three basketball tournament at 5 p.m., and a diaper derby for youngest of athletes from 5:15 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Also for the kiddos, the Cutie King and Queen Contest will be held Friday night. Registration starts at 6 p.m. Competition will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wright Place will be performing at First Financial Bank from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
On Friday, the Aug. 23, the annual Cruise-In Car Show begins at 2 p.m. “It’s mostly classic vehicles, but you will see some newer stuff too,” said McLaughlin. He expects there to be around 300 vehicles on show.
Awards for the car show will be announced at 9:15 p.m. Afterwards, at 9:30 p.m. the chamber will raffling off a Camaro.
Musical entertainment for Friday is Meet the Beatles, a Fab Four cover band. “They’re pretty well-known in the Chicago area,” says McLaughlin. They will be performing on the Crossroads Bank stage from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Saturday has plenty to offer for local athletes. The “Ride for Riley” bicycle ride will be held in the morning, featuring a 50-mile ride starting at 6:30 a.m., a 20-mile ride starting at 8 a.m. and a five-mile family fun ride at 9:30 a.m.
The 42nd 5K and one mile run/walk, the Summer Blast baseball tournament, the tennis tournament, table tennis tournament, the Ford Escape soccer skills challenge, the Nick Winters Memorial Bench Press Classic, and the three-on-three basketball tournament all commence between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. The Fifth annual Bellwood Canoe race starts at 1 p.m.
Starting at 10 a.m. is a new event at Fun Fest. The garden tractor pull will be going on until 4 p.m.
The “Classic” Parade begins at 5 p.m., awards will be presented afterwards. A street square dance and Texas Hold’em (21 and up) kick off at 6:30 p.m. Small Town will perform from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.
“They’re from the county,” said McLaughlin. “We had them last year, and people seemed to really like them.”
A nighttime golf outing is planned at the Sycamore Golf Club. “From what I hear, it’s a good time,” said McLaughlin.