The crowd at the Waterfront Festival reacts to the band Ask Your Mother Aug. 2 at the bandshell at Menominee’s Great Lakes Memorial Marina Park. Planners said this was one of the best attended festivals in recent years. EagleHerald/Rick Gebhard
The crowd at the Waterfront Festival reacts to the band Ask Your Mother Aug. 2 at the bandshell at Menominee’s Great Lakes Memorial Marina Park. Planners said this was one of the best attended festivals in recent years. EagleHerald/Rick Gebhard
MENOMINEE - The dust has finally settled from the biggest party of the year in Menominee and it looks like another notch will be added to the success column for the annual Waterfront Festival.

"I can tell you, we had beautiful weather and I think our attendance is the greatest it's ever been," said festival chairwoman Nancy Douglas. "We're very hopeful the financials come out well, but on all other counts I think it was the best festival ever."

Douglas said there are many reasons for the five-star performance this year ranging from the festival's long-standing reputation for family fun and entertainment to its continued attraction as an event tied around class and family reunions.

Getting the festival off on the right foot is always important and Douglas said no one walked away disappointed from Thursday night's musical line up.

"I do think Thursday night, which had a really high attendance, had a lot to do with Sam Steffke and The Dynamic Duo and Thunder Mountain being there," she said. "That was our best Thursday in a long time."

Going into its 32nd year, there aren't many changes made from one festival to the next. According to Douglas, there is a basic formula the committee sticks with and it seems to work. There are tweaks here and there, but overall, it's four days of fun at Great Lakes Memorial Marina Park. Live music, games for kids, an assortment of food booths sponsored by local non-profit organizations, fireworks and a big parade.

One of the tweaks this year was inviting more marching bands to take part in Sunday's parade.

"I think the addition of more music to our parade with the Small Drum & Bugle Corps Association and the band concert on Sunday has certainly added to the festival," Douglas said.

As for the fireworks, the Saturday night display is something folks talk about all year. The pyrotechnical display is the local benchmark for all others.

"I can never say enough about the great fireworks team we have and the choreography they do each year that delights and surprises."

The fireworks budget this year was comparable to years past but Douglas said the experience of the crew has enabled them to put on a better and better show each year.

Will there be a 32nd annual Waterfront Festival? The answer is more than likely, yes. Douglas and the committee will meet in September once all the bills come in and books are in order and then discuss plans for the summer of 2014.