IRONWOOD - The major event of the year for the city of Ironwood is coming back once again, and it's bringing a few new attractions with it.
Festival Ironwood will run from July 16-20, and chief organizers Will Corcoran and Keith Johnson said there will be a couple of new items, but the old favorites are still on the schedule.
"We've added a few more activities on kids day," Johnson said. "We're doing the fish pond and a few more things, but the base has been there and we've tried to add a few more highlights to it."
One old favorite, the "World's Largest Duck Pick," consists of 2,500 little rubber ducks with numbers on their bottoms. The pick has about $5,000 worth of prizes to win, including 14 grand-prize bicycles, which is all provided by a variety of local organizations and individuals.
In fact, nearly the whole festival is put on by people volunteering their resources and time.
"It's from Hurley all the way to Bessemer and Wakefield," Johnson said. "We have folks that work with us or help us out from the entire community, the entire Range. The activities seem to expand every year. There's more and more things going on, more groups getting involved and it's fun to see."
The festival will host an all day volleyball tournament for the second year in a row.
"They're looking for more and more teams," Corcoran said. "They wanted four last year and they ended up with nine."
The tournament will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday. Interested parties are asked to contact Bob Zell at 906-364-3258.
The addition of a trout pond for kids is something new, which will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, as is a sandcastle building competition at the volleyball courts at 2 p.m. on Friday.
Kids and adults will also have the option of karate demonstrations by the Karate Institute at 11 a.m ., the same day.
"We've added some new things, we've got some new committee members that have come in that have been very helpful to us," Corcoran said.
Since the festival runs for the better half of a week, there is a possibility of problematic weather.
"Sooner or later we're going to get some bad weather," Corcoran said. "That's why we have the tent, the pavilion, the depot. People need not be afraid to come down if it's raining. There's plenty of cover."
The festival will include a wide variety of music, a classic car show, different activities and events, and of course some food.
"One of our stipulations on the concessionaire is if you want to come in you have to have a completely different menu," Corcoran said. "We don't want everybody selling burgers and brats."
This year's vendors include the Ironwood American Legion, the Knights of Columbus, the Ironwood Area Youth Softball Organization and Polar Bear Hockey.
"By far, for four days it is the biggest event that we have in this community," Johnson said. And the festival's organizers are always looking for more help.
"We always need strong backs and weak minds," Johnson said. "We never say no to volunteers."
For information, contact any of the following numbers: Ironwood Chamber of Commerce, 906-932-1122; Will Corcoran, 906-364-5672; Keith Johnson, 906-364-4316; Bert & Edna Tatham, 906-364-1100.