MANISTIQUE, Mich. (WLUC) — On a beautiful Saturday by Lake Michigan, thousands of people gathered on Cedar Street in Manistique for the 33rd annual Folk Fest, which also featured this year’s hero presentation.
Event organizer Paul Walker says it’s Schoolcraft County’s biggest event as family, friends and all walks of life come together for summer fun.
“Everyone comes from all over the country to come visit us,” Walker said. “We live in a time of division, and now is the time for everyone to come together. There is no political affiliation or religious affiliation. We just come together as a community.
At least 80 vendors lined both sides of the road, selling clothes, handmade items and, of course, food. The audience also enjoyed the live music, and a tradition continued with the Folk Fest Hero Award, this time given to the Schoolcraft Medical Care Facility. Administrator Tonya Leik was one of those who accepted.
“We were surprised and upset – to tell you the truth – because we didn’t do anything that we wouldn’t normally do on a daily basis. That’s just our job: to protect the elders up there,” Leik said.
Walker said staff at the facility have been recognized for what they have done to keep their seniors safe during the pandemic.
“They’ve done an amazing job of keeping COVID out of the facility,” Walker said. “It’s amazing because our most vulnerable population is more susceptible to COVID than any other part of our population sector.”
Leik said she and her staff felt proud and humbled.
“It’s just another show of community support,” Leik said. “This community is amazing, [and] their level of support they provide to our facilities there and our elders mean the world to us.
Leik said his facility will continue to make sure its residents are safe as the country slowly returns to normal. As for the Folk Fest, it will be back for the 34th time next year.
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