WARSAW— The 2021 festival has been cancelled, but organizers are already making plans for the 2022 event to be bigger and better than ever.
The 2020 festival, which would have been the 12th annual Lakes Festival, was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Lily Center took advantage of the downtime to reimagine the event.
The Lilly Center reviewed its mission and goals and, with the help of its longtime partner, the city of Warsaw Parks and Recreation Department, assessed the strengths of both organizations to map out the future of the event.
The decision was made for the city to take over the operational aspects of the festival, combining educational and water activities with their annual blues concert.
“The Lilly Center for Lakes & Streams and the City of Warsaw and Warsaw Parks Department have been working together successfully for numerous years now,” said Lilly Center for Lakes & Streams Associate Director Alex Hall. “Sheila (Warsaw Parks Activities Director Sheila Wieringa) and her team have a vast array of experience in booking concerts and vendors, whereas the Lilly Center is a local expert in providing fun and engaging experiences and activities related to our local lakes and streams. By combining the festival with the city’s annual blues concert, the hope is that there will be fun things for all ages in the newly-reimagined 2022 festival.”
This new arrangement allows the Lilly Center to continue its role in the event but in a more specialized manner.
“The Lilly Center continues to value and appreciate all that the Warsaw Parks Department does for not only the Lilly Center and the Lakes Festival but also for the community as a whole,” Hall said. “Their team has the expertise to pull off great events and we are excited to continue this partnership into 2022 and beyond.”
The Lilly Center team will coordinate educational and water-related components. They plan to offer several science stations, where kids can engage in experiments. Other attractions will include boat tours of Center Lake and an inflatable obstacle course.
“We are excited for an even better Northern Indiana Lakes Festival in 2022 and beyond with a stronger partnership with the City of Warsaw Parks & Recreation Department,” said Lilly Center for Lakes & Streams Director Dr. Nate Bosch.
The Lakes Festival also plans to unveil a brand new logo for the 2022 festival at some point prior to the event next year.