Annual Lakes Fest Kicks Off This Weekend

The annual Northern Indiana Lakes Festival promises to be twice as much fun this year.

For starters, the event has been extended to two weeks. From Friday, June 5 to Saturday, June 20, enjoy equal parts of lake-related education and entertainment.

“We did have good attendance last year,” says Heather James, event coordinator for the Lakes Festival. “We wanted to offer a variety of activities and events that people could attend.”

This year activities include live animal show, display tanks (yes, the 5,000 gallon fish tank that has been a hit a past events will return), arts and crafts booths, educational workshops, a business expo, live music, canoeing, fishing, and swimming. Workshops are designed to educate attendees about the county’s more than 100 local lakes and waterways.

“We’re really interested in community education,” says Madisson Heinl, communications specialist at the Center for Lakes and Streams. “We can fun on these lakes if we take care of them. We all affect the waterways.”

Among those workshops will be composting, rain barrels, recycling and one on native plant species. Additionally, there will be fish cooking demonstration, canoeing clinic and safe boating course and a build-a-boat course.

Moving toward the entertainment side of the fest, the Art Around the Lakes activities will be returning. There’s a special surprise planned for some of the art created, but you’ll have to come to First Friday to see what that is.

There will, of course, be some aquatic fun to be had. Kayaks and canoes will be available during the festival. Play nautical bingo one day. The Warsaw Aqua Mile Race (if that’s your kind of fun) return to the fest as well. Also free fishing will be June 6 and 7.

“We want to continue growing our community partnerships,” says James. “I’ve been really happy with people who just say ‘yes’ to participating.”

For this year’s fest, organizers have partnered up to make the Lake City Skiers, First Friday, Central Park Concert Series, and many others to expand the fun of the fest. Not to mention a great lineup of local vendors.

While there is plenty going on throughout the two weeks, the big days are the Winona Lakes Festival on Saturday, June 13, and the Center Lake Festival on Saturday, June 20, which includes a concert from family-friendly band, The Moon Cats. Organizers are still looking for volunteers. For more information, plus a full schedule of events, visit



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