The festival is located off Saginaw Street between Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue and Pine Street, and was designed by the Westside Alliance to strengthen the community for residents and business owners.
“The idea is to highlight the small businesses and bring people into the area,” said Jessica Yorko, event planner. “Lansing has a lot of great restaurants and retailers.”
Many business owners were involved on the planning committee, and others offered sponsorship for the festival. Local businesses also have the opportunity to set up booths to sell their food or merchandise at the festival.
“Several local businesses, such as Shanora’s Beauty Supply, Las Palmas Restaurant, Rathburn Insurance, and the dentists at 1500 W. Saginaw St. have been very generous in their involvement this year,” said Yorko.
A farmers’ market will be open from noon until 6 p.m. under the big tent. Local vendors such as Appleschram Organic Orchard, Giving Tree Farm, Hickory Corners Garden & Nursery and the MSU Student Organic Farm will be selling seasonal fruits and vegetables, honey, flowers and more. Children’s activities are offered from noon until 3 p.m., and include a bicycle rodeo, art activities and fire truck exploration. Other attractions include a cultural cook-off, jewelry and craft vendors. Throughout the afternoon and into the evening, local musicians and poets will perform.
Last year, the festival attracted over 500 people. This year, Yorko predicts that the Westside Summer Fest will draw even larger crowds.
“It’s a celebration of culture, diversity and community, and a great way to spend the day on the west side,” said Yorko.