Allegan County News & Union Enterprise News

Island City Festival offers more, bigger carnival rides

Carnival goers enjoy the activities at last year’s Island City Festival. The festival begins on Friday, May 31. (File photo)

By Jason Wesseldyk
Sports Editor

The people spoke. And the organizers of the Island City Festival in Plainwell listened.
“Based on feedback from last year, people were expecting more adult-sized activities (at the festival),” Island City Festival president Larry Gonzalez said. “So, one of the big differences people will notice this year is a much larger carnival.
“We will have not only larger rides this year, but also twice as many rides compared to last year.”
To secure more and bigger rides, the festival has been moved up a week. It will begin on Friday, May 31, and run through Sunday, June 2.
“After talking with our friends at Family Fun Tyme, they ensured that we would not only have larger rides this year, but twice as many if we could move dates,” Gonzalez said. “So that’s what we decided to do.”
Gonzalez believes the earlier time frame will also have a positive impact on the car show, which is slated for Saturday, June 1, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Main Street.
“Not nearly as many local events are taking place on the new dates and obviously that helps us drive the numbers for both the general public and our car show attendees,” Gonzalez said.
Other changes to the festival include double the food trucks as compared to last year and vendors being moved back to Hicks Park. Vendors will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
A daily bingo session has also been added and live music makes its return with Dueling Pianos on Saturday from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Main Street.
And with downtown Plainwell recently starting a social district that allows for the people to enjoy adult beverages in the designated area, the festival no longer saw a need for a beer tent.
“We are very excited to help share (the social district) experience with attendees and move away from a beer tent to a much more flexible experience for those wishing to partake in those activities,” Gonzalez said.
The festivities kick off on Friday, May 31, with the carnival beginning at 3 p.m. and running until 11 p.m.
In addition to the car show, vendor and live music, Saturday will feature the DC Strong Power Challenge at 9 a.m. at the bandshell.
The carnival opens at 12 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday. Wristbands for the carnival rides are available for $20 and can be purchased online at
“We also have close to double the number of nonprofits planning to attend this year versus last and have added even more of them to our list for the parking lot fundraiser,” Gonzalez said. “We are hoping to double the amount raised from last year for all of the amazing groups participating.”
For anyone who would like to volunteer to help at the festival, opportunities are still available, particularly on Saturday.
“We would love some more volunteers,” Gonzalez said. “This can be done by simply visiting our website, choosing the ‘Get Involved’ tab and then scrolling down a touch to the volunteer registration form.”
Additional questions can be sent to the festival’s Facebook page or emailed to the email address listed on the website.

One Reply to “Island City Festival offers more, bigger carnival rides

  1. While I’m glad they have more than just toddler rides, I’m not sure getting rid of the beer tent was such a good idea.

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