by Richard Lamb–Advance Editor
It’s reorganizational time for the 2018 Nautical City Festival committee. Meeting at the Rogers City Area Chamber of Commerce offices Monday night, the group that plans and runs the biggest celebration in the city met to continue planning the summer event. The 90-minute meeting had everyone around the table offering positive ways to make the 2018 festival a successful event.
The current festival committee (and the representatives for each organization) consists of two voting members each from the Rogers City Area Chamber of Commerce (Kim Margherio, Mary Pritchard), the Knights of Columbus (Mike Stempky, Paul Bennett), Rogers City Servicemens’ Club (Alec Brietzke, open seat), Rogers City Optimist Club (Mike Peltz, open seat), Rogers City Lions Club (Melissa Zinke, open seat) and the Rogers City Kiwanis Club (Mike Myers, Dick Peacock).
The clubs without two representatives will be going back to their organizations to fill the open seats. Anyone interested in joining a club to be considered for a seat on the festival committee is encouraged to contact that organization for more information.
Also at the meeting were city manager Joe Hefele and mayor Scott McLennan.
“I’m here to see how things are going and if there is a need for the city to help out. The festival is so critical to the city, as everyone in this room knows,” McLennan said.
Myers, who served as chairman of the meeting, thanked McLennan and Hefele for attending and said a long letter requesting various things would be coming to the council soon. He said the city has always been a big supporter of the festival and critical to the success of the summer events.
Myers led the group in a status review of events planned for the 2018 festival. He said Milissa Bannon and Nicole Bannasch have agreed to return to manage the Miss Rogers City and Teen Miss Rogers City pageants, John and Beth Budnik will return to manage the car show and Paul Dubbs, a former festival committee chairman, returns to manage the juried arts and crafts show. Dubbs said the show is filling up and anticipates another good event at the Presque Isle County courthouse grounds.
Other volunteers who ran various events will be asked to return to help out the festival in various capacities. Popular events include the poker tournament, the parades and various activities organized by the Presque Isle County Historical Museum.
“Schmidt Amusement is onboard. This is the third year of a three-year contract we signed with them a couple of years ago,” Myers said. The fireworks company is also signed for this year.
Contracts for the big tent rental, security and bands were discussed as the schedule is being finalized. The bands being considered have drawn good crowds in the past and are good at engaging the audience, Myers said.
The festival committee voted to have a review of its finances done by an independent accountant, as suggested in a meeting of all the club presidents in November of last year. The accountant will also be tasked with suggesting a system of checks and balances to more accurately account for festival funds.
Volunteers are always needed to fill the many things going on that weekend. Anyone who is interested in helping in any way is encouraged to call the festival at 734-4656. The 2018 festival is planned for July 31-Aug. 5.