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Island Park Festival promises to be community fun

The Island Park Festival is community fun. | Courtesy Island Park Festival
ISLAND PARK — There’s a party going on in Island Park this weekend.
“It’s going to be so fun,” Jean Philips, one of the event’s organizers, told
The Island Park Festival is the brainchild of Philips and Connie Funkhouser.
“We have a cabin (in Island Park), and one morning I went to Connie’s,” Philips said.
In front of Funkhouser’s eatery were “lots and lots” of people lined up to purchase items from some vendors. There were so many people, Philips remembered, that it was hard even to see what the vendors were selling.
“I went to Connie, and I told her she needs more vendors. She said she just enjoys her restaurant and that she wouldn’t even know how to get more vendors or where to even begin. Well,” said Philips, “I’ve been doing that — organizing events — for over 30 years.”
The number of vendors grew faster than either of the women expected, and the festival was moved to the Sawtell Lodge Resort. Now in its second year, the festival has over 150 vendors signed up for its July event, and the Labor Day event is almost full, too, said Philips.
“Our vendors went out and told all their friends, and now we’ve doubled in size,” Philips said, laughing. The secret to keeping vendors lining up, she said, is the community coming out to support them.
“We can get the vendors, but if people don’t come out and support it, we can’t get the vendors to come back,” Philips said.

Last year’s festival | Courtesy Island Park Festival
The Island Park Festival is free to the public, and Philips said there is bound to be something for everyone.
“Everything you could ever think of will be there,” she said. “People can eat and play and eat some more.”
There will be free horse-drawn carriage rides and a kids’ fishing pond. Also on the schedule is a chainsaw carving demonstration. A taxidermist is even bringing a (stuffed) moose and elk for people to sit on and take pictures. Live music will keep the party spirit alive.
The raffle prizes are plentiful this year, too. Among the prizes are a free night away at Sawtell Lodge Resort and another to the Black Swan, said Philips.
The Island Park Festival will be held July 21 and 22 (Friday and Saturday) at the Sawtell Lodge Resort in Island Park, 4130 Quakie Lane.
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