2017-12-31 / Insight

Imlay City Chamber bucks tradition, goes ‘Busker’

BY NICHOLAS PUGLIESE

IMLAY CITY – The Imlay City Chamber of Commerce made waves earlier this year with the announcement that the organization’s Blueberry Festival, a summer community event that had been running for more than 30 years, would be reimagined as The Michigan Busker Festival.

The decision to move away from the Blueberry Festival was the result of several months of discussions and deliberation, culminating in a unanimous vote during a Chamber Board of Directors meeting in October to adopt a new name and theme of next year’s summer festival.

The original festival was so named to reflect the many blueberry farms that dotted the landscape around Imlay City several decades ago, but now that the town is no longer home to blueberry farming, the Chamber felt it was time to shake things up.

As defined during the October board meeting, a busker is “basically a street performer, anyone who performs in public, musicians, magicians, jugglers, sword swallowers, fire breathing, anything like that.” The concept for next year’s Michigan Busker Festival aims to bring these street performers together for a centralized event in Imlay City the Chamber hopes will attract a unique atmosphere for their yearly festival.

The Chamber Board voted in September to move next year’s date of the event, then still referred to as The Blueberry Festival, to Father’s Day weekend, which in 2018 will land on June 15-16. Because of the change in concept moving away from the Blueberry Festival, it will be the only festival of its kind in Michigan, and the Chamber opted to label next summer’s event The Michigan Busker Festival.

Since the time of the announcements of the date, name and concept changes, the Board formed a committee to plan the new festival, comprised of board members and members of the public. The results of the efforts made by the planning committee throughout the winter will soon be revealed. The Chamber plans to unveil these details regarding the upcoming first Michigan Busker Festival during the Imlay City Chamber of Commerce Gala, held at Countryside Banquet Center at 596 S Cedar St on Jan. 20. The official announcement, including details and layout of the festival, will be made at the Gala.

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