COPPER HARBOR - Residents in Copper Harbor want to see the idea of a new playground come to fruition and made it a common theme Saturday and Sunday at Art in the Park in the Grant Township Park.
Several local entities donated the proceeds they raised to the Copper Harbor Playground Project, an ongoing initiative to raise money to replace the dilapidated equipment located at the school near the park.
Usually, Copper Harbor Fire and Rescue members work the grill to raise money for new hoses and fire equipment, but this year, it agreed to forego the fundraising for the department in favor of the playground.
Stacey Kukkonen/Daily Mining Gazette
Alex Ahonen, 8, peruses a table of handmade keychains at Art in the Park in Grant Township Park Saturday. Ahonen and her family are from Wakefield and spent the weekend camping at Fort Wilkins Historic State Park.
Dan Fosner, Marty Faason and Steve Peters were all working the grill Saturday, flipping hot dogs and dipping large ears of corn into melted butter.
"This year, we're donating our time and proceeds to the playground," Faason said.
Fosner said the crew typically raises a couple of thousand dollars to put toward equipment upgrades.
"I think last year it was $3,000," Fosner said.
Naomi Haycock, located in the visitors center, was also donating the money she raised to the playground project. Haycock was stationed inside the building, conveniently out of the rain that came and went Saturday, and kept busy making balloon animals for a small fee.
"The thing I make most of is dogs," she said twisting a balloon into a colorful flower shape. "I could probably do those in my sleep."
Haycock said she heard the committee has done a good job of raising money for the project but she still wanted to contribute as there is still fundraising to go.
"I thought this was one small way that I could help, so here I am, making balloons for kids," she said.
Haycock, a campground host at Fort Wilkins Historic State Park, said this was her first year participating in Art in the Park. She said it was fun seeing all of the people come out to enjoy the festival.
Dozens of vendors and artist booths lined the park where folk music filtered through from the nearby band shell. While eventgoers munched on ears of corn and bratwurst, they took shelter from the rain under the pavilion and listened to music. Nearby, children had their faces painted at the Keweenaw Krayons booth. Booths included jewelers, found art, basket weaving, photography, bead demonstrations, wood working, candles, fabric handbags, soaps, repurposed art, massage therapy, pottery, clothing, honey and wood carving, among others. Inside, the Copper Harbor Improvement Association hosted its popular bake sale.
Heather Lindquist's booth displaying hundreds of her jewelry pieces proved to be popular Saturday.
"I have Lake Superior beach glass jewelry," said Lindquist, of Marquette. "It's all found objects."
Lindquist said she has come to Art in the Park every year for 21 years and finds the trip to be successful.
Around the corner, Alex Ahonen, 8, and her mom Jennifer were perusing artists' tables.
"We're camping here at the state park," Jennifer Ahonen said.
The family made the trip from Wakefield and arrived Thursday.
"We've had fun walking around here," she said.
On the edge of the park, Lauryn Frank, 11, Mason Frank, 5 and Alex Frank, 4, chased large bubbles created by Stan Thomas, of Wood Den Toys & Crafts of Iron River.
"The kids love this," he said of the bubbles he creates for kids year after year.