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Celebrate LansingAfter seven years the Lansing Harbor Festival is gone, but a new event, Celebrate Lansing, is replacing it.  Community Council President Ed LaVigne says the Community Council wants to focus on the community and families in particular, shifting the festival to a more inward-looking family-focussed theme.  The new celebration will have many similarities to the Harbor Festival including taking over all of Myers Park on the second Saturday in August.

"As the Lansing Community Council evolves it is now going on to the next level," says LaVigne.  "The Lansing Harbor Festival was a wonderful celebration.  It was Karen Veaner's brainchild and she should be commended for it along with all the hard workers and volunteers from the Lansing community.  Now that we are a bonafide 501c3 nonprofit we can say 'what do we want to do for the next phase?'  So the Lansing Community Council sat down and said we need to get back to the basics and celebrate the wonderfulness of Lansing."

The celebration will be somewhat scaled back from the Lansing Harbor Festival, a merging of that celebration and the more modest Lansing Day.  Lansing Day was run by an earlier version of the Lansing Community Council.  It featured booths by a few local organizations and activities for kids, and was held on the Recreation Department's baseball playoffs day that is now known as 'Super Saturday.'  When the Council's dwindling interest and manpower ended the event the Lansing Volunteer Fire Department filled the gap with their popular annual carnival.

About eight years ago the Lansing Community Council was reinvigorated with an entirely new membership that wanted to do something big to celebrate the community and raise its visibility in the surrounding area.  Lansing Harbor Festival was born.  It featured four live bands and was hosted by then WHCU Morning Newswatch host Dave Vieser for most of the seven years it ran.  It included youth activities, a large number of local venders, displays, a bounce house, a variety of food vendors, and attracted affiliated activities like the Lighthouse 5K Run and a Fishing Derby.

Celebrate Lansing borrows from all its predecessors.  LaVigne says that while details are still being sorted out, the event will feature a DJ/MC throughout the day plus two live bands and a youth pavilion.  The Community Council is also looking into bringing back the carnival as part of the event, following this year's theme, 'Kids and Family'.

"Our celebration will be geared toward families and kids," LaVigne says.  "It will be geared toward Lansing residents.  Hopefully we'll have bounce houses, rides, and a youth pavilion.  Hopefully we'll have the floating classroom and the raptors again.  Similar things as we had at the Harbor Festival, but geared more toward a nice picnic-y kind of thing."

He adds that the signature vendor tents will be missing from the new event.  But he says that food vendors will still provide some variety throughout the day.  He hopes to entice the Fire Department, Lansing Historical Association and Sheriff's office to participate as well.  LaVigne hopes the morning will start with the 5K Run.  The official celebration will begin at 10am and end at 6pm with the last band starting around 4pm.

Celebrate Lansing

LaVigne says he hopes community members will volunteer to help throughout the day, saying that you do not have to be a Community Council member to participate.

"This is a continuation of various celebrations we've had," LaVigne says.  "In the past we had Lansing Day.  That evolved and the next group put their stamp on it and it was the Lansing Harbor Festival.  Now we have more members and this new group has its vision.  So this is a continuation with another vision of how we're going to celebrate Lansing."

The Lansing Community Council also hosts annual fireworks in Lansing.  This year they are scheduled for July 3rd at Myers Park, with the same schedule as last year.  Donors will be listed on the 'Boom Board' at the exit to Myers Park.  LaVigne says the Community council is reaching out to the School District and the Sheriff's Department for busses and traffic control.  A food pavilion and live music by 'Destination' will round out the event.  Fireworks will start at dark, and the band will play after the display to help spread out traffic leaving the park.

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