Weekend of Festivals on the West Shore

By Beacon Staff

Have you ever wanted a day that started with pancakes and a 5k run, followed closely by sailboat rides and ending with Cajun music and a huge street dance?

Look no further than the summer-loving communities of Lakeside and Somers, where the Lakeside Community Fair, the Sailing into the Future VIII Regatta and the Cajun Street Dance all take place on July 16.

Each event raises money for important local organizations, including the Somers Volunteer Fire Department, the Lakeside Quick Response Unit and the Discovery Developmental Center.

Lakeside Community Fair

The 22nd annual Lakeside Community Fair is an all-day, family fun oriented event that raises money for myriad nonprofits supported by the Lakeside Community Club (LCC).

The day begins at 7 a.m. with a pancake breakfast at the Lakeside Chapel, followed by a 5k walk and run at Volunteer Park located at Adams Street and U.S. Highway 93 beginning at 9 a.m. Registration for the 5k begins at 7:45 a.m.

The silent auction and the Attic Treasures sale, which includes pre-priced items, begin at 9 a.m. at the Lakeside Elementary gym. The silent auction is the biggest moneymaker at the fair, LCC president Kay Hopkins noted, and includes antiques, gift cards, art, collectibles and more.

Two special items at this year’s auction include a classic Norwegian peanut-class sailing dinghy and a quilt made by several talented Washington quilters in honor of Lakeside.

The arts and crafts vendors are open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and food is available beginning at 11 a.m.

This year’s theme is “Treasure our Volunteers,” which should bring out the pirate or beach bum in any attendee, Hopkins said. The theme will be well reflected in the parade, which everyone is welcome to participate in.

“We are pretty excited because we didn’t have a parade last year and actually had a lot of people complain,” Hopkins said.

Line-up is at 10 a.m. at Bierney Creek Road, with the parade at 11 a.m.

The kids’ treasure hunt begins at 11:30 a.m. and runs until 1:30 p.m. The kids’ watermelon-eating contest starts at 1 p.m. As always, all events for children are free, Hopkins said.

The silent auction closes at 2 p.m., and Attic Treasures closes at 3 p.m. There is a split-the-pot drawing at 2:30 p.m. and the day ends with duck races at Tamarack Brewing Company at 4 p.m.

Money raised during the fair goes toward multiple organizations, including the Lakeside QRU, the Rollins Volunteer Fire Department and ALERT emergency helicopter services, among others.

“It is our one and only major fundraiser for the Lakeside Community Club,” Hopkins said. Last year’s event raised roughly $30,000.

Volunteers and community support are key for the fair’s success, she said.

“All of this is done through donations and volunteers,” Hopkins said. “Everything is done by people donating to us and by our volunteers who go out and work hard to get those donations.”

For more information on the fair and the LCC, visit www.lakeside-community-mt.com.

Sailing into the Future VIII Regatta

Be sure to bring your island shirts over to Somers for the Sailing into the Future VIII Regatta, where this year’s theme is “Gilligan’s Island.”

The annual regatta, sponsored by the North Flathead Yacht Club, raises money for the Discovery Developmental Center, which strives to provide a quality early childhood environment for young children and families in the Flathead Valley.

Boat rides begin at 10 a.m. and the kids’ games run from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. A silent auction also runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and an “island lunch” begins at noon.

There will also be live music, beginning at 1 p.m. and going until 4 p.m. Also, be sure to watch the event’s famous Duck Regatta.

The regatta takes place at the south end of Lesley Avenue in Somers. For more information on the North Flathead Yacht Club, visit the club’s website at www.nfyc.org.

Cajun Street Dance

After a day of community fairs and sailboat races, cap it all off with what organizers call the biggest party of the summer in the Flathead Valley: the Somers Cajun Street Dance.

This year’s 14th annual event will feature Dikki Du and the Zydeco Krewe, a Cajun band from Louisiana fronted by Troy Carrier, as the headliners. Carrier’s appearance brings the event full-circle, organizer Steve Kelley said, because his brother Chubby Carrier played the first street dance in 1997.

“It’s always a good time, it’s the best party of the summer,” Kelley said. “There’s nothing like it in the valley at all.”

Gates open at 6 p.m. and the show begins at 7 p.m. with the Smokehouse Blues Band in downtown Somers. Tickets cost $20, and children under 12 are free.

The street dance raises money for the Somers Volunteer Fire Department, Kelley said, and serves as a way to show off the community. The event typically draws a crowd of around 2,000 people, but everyone is polite, he added.

There will be food and beverages available. The street dance is a family-oriented event and runs through midnight.

“It’s just great fun,” Kelley said.

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