By Terry Duffy
Come next Saturday, stop by Porter on the Lake for a day of family fun as the Town of Porter presents the 2018 edition of Summerfest at the town park located on the shores of Lake Ontario.
From 1-10 p.m., the all-day fest will offer an array of food vendors, craft vendors, a beer and wine tent, entertaining performances by three bands, plus activities with appeal to all ages.
Town of Porter Supervisor John "Duffy" Johnston invites residents from throughout the River Region to experience Summerfest - a happening Porter is proud to call its own.
A Bird's-eye View of Porter on the Lake by K&D Action Photo and Aerial Imaging
In past years, the town festival took place on Labor Day weekend - as a part II of community celebrations if you will - following the Village of Youngstown's legendary Labor Day Parade.
"The event used to be on Labor Day weekend, but we wanted an identity of our own," Johnston said of the date change. "Summerfest will be the third Saturday of July from now on. This year we really tried to focus on the local community. The bands are from the area and our food vendors are very local."
And what of the food? With such familiar local names as Sanger Farms, The Spicey Pickle, The Great Foodini, the Stone Jug, and Mug and Musket, plus The Nut Hut and Festival Cater Co. among this year's fare, Summerfest attendees will have plenty of eats to choose from.
"Sanger Farms will have their award-winning pizza and kettle corn. The Mug and Musket plan on bringing their famous rice balls and cooking sausage. The Spicey Pickle will have all types of Mexican cuisine," Johnston said. "Festival Cater Co. plans on having different kinds of loaded fries. The Great Foodini has his quesadillas and delicious wraps. Besides nuts, The Nut Hut will serve slushies and sno-cones also. (And) The Stone Jug will do beef on wecks and their new hot item: the Buffalo chicken log."
But that's not all. He said the Town of Porter will complement the fare with steamed clams plus some early, freshly grown local corn. Johnston said the steamers will be available throughout Summerfest at $7 per dozen.
And the nearby beer and wine tent is expected to be fully stocked.
Activity-wise, there will be a bounce house, pony rides, balloon art and face painting for the kids from 3-6 p.m. on the park grounds. Look for the Ransomville Free Library staffers selling cotton candy and chances for a bicycle raffle.
The older set is invited to partake in an all-new corn hole tournament presented by the town.
"The corn hole tournament is new this year and will consist of a two-person team," Johnston said. Teams, limited to those age 18 and older, will need to be at the park by 3:30 p.m., with the games to begin at 4 p.m. There is a $20 entry fee to join in, with cash prizes and tickets to Niagara Jet Adventures awarded to the winners.
Entry forms for the corn hole tourney are now available at Porter Town Hall, 3265 Creek Road, Youngstown. "Spots are limited, so please fill out your forms soon," Johnston said.
At the lakeside pavilion, the all-day concerts will get underway at 1 p.m. with singer/musician Dave Stayner on stage. The Jamie Holka Band follows at 3 p.m. and JJ Swing takes the stage at 7 p.m.
Wrapping it up will be a spectacular fireworks display by Skylighters at dusk over the lakeshore.
Cost to join in the Summerfest fun is $5 per person at the park gate, with children under 12 admitted at no charge. Guests are welcome to bring lawn chairs and blankets; however, no coolers or alcoholic beverages will be permitted.
All proceeds will benefit the town's ongoing beautification efforts at Porter on the Lake Park.
"This event would not happen if it was not for the volunteers that take tickets, park cars and man the beer tent. When visitors get a look at this gorgeous Porter on the Lake Park, they will understand the cost of the maintenance. All proceeds benefit the park," Johnston said.
Summerfest is presented to the community with sponsorship by Sevenson Environmental Services Inc., Mark Cerrone Inc., Park Place Wealth Management Inc., Waste Management, Mawhiney Trucking, Frey Electric, Fox Fence, Robert MacVie Inc., Just Signs, Niagara Jet Adventures, Porter Empty Return Center, Main Street Gas and Grill, Hardison Funeral Home, Northeast Landscape and Baker Farms, with graphic design and printing by BeauDesigns.
"This fantastic summer event would not be possible without our great sponsors and volunteers. Hope to see you there!" Johnston said.