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Culver Lakefest Is a Community Endeavor Through and Through

Writer / Jeff Kenney
Photography Provided

Culver LakefestTheres a lot of new news” surrounding this years Culver Lakefest, and event organizers are happy to report that all of it is good.

First, the nearly 40-year-old event will return to its longtime calendar slot of the third weekend in July (this year thats the 15th through the 17th), after a brief move last year to the Fourth of July weekend.

Second, the theme of the event this year is Art is in the Air,” which celebrates the natural beauty and cultural heritage of the unique Culver-Lake Maxinkuckee community by way of pop-up artists (festival organizers are seeking additional artists to add to the roster, for anyone interested), murals and more.

Third, event organizers are working to enhance and invigorate community involvement and collaboration – a return to earlier models as well as a vibrant new approach, according to Lakefest President Andrea Canacci. That involvement includes local nonprofits, community school organizations and teams, and more.

For example, the Culver Community Schools Bass Fishing Club is spearheading the return of the bass fishing tournament as part of the festival. The Culver Community High School (CCHS) football team is assisting in trash and waste management in exchange for a donation to its program. The CCHS basketball team is managing the basketball tournament, another fundraiser, and similarly, the schools volleyball team is helping to support its program via the golf cart Uber” program, which transports festival goers from various locations in town to the festival location at the Culver town park.

Canacci notes that such endeavors are part of a newly developed event mission statement and goals generated by the festival committee.

Culver LakefestThe statement reads: The Culver Lakefest team is an all-volunteer, nonprofit group committed to giving back to the Culver community by raising funds to plan and host a weekend of family-friendly activities and entertainment, and by offering opportunities for community groups, civic organizations and businesses to raise funds to help them achieve their goals.”

Those goals include:

• Engagement with more clubs, teams, organizations and businesses over Lakefest weekend;

• Expansion of youth-related programming, events and engagement;

• Offering of new activities like a pickleball tournament, street artists and a movie night;

• Continuation of favorites like family games, the Miss Max Pageant and of course fireworks;

• Bringing back old favorites like the bass fishing tournament, canoe, kayak and paddleboard race, and free-throw contest.

This years event will also bring the beloved fireworks show over Lake Maxinkuckee back to its original launch location near the center of the lake (Canacci notes the Culver Chamber of Commerce fireworks are a separate event from Lakefest, should there be any confusion).

Canacci also explains that more than half of the Lakefest funds help provide and expand family-friendly events and entertainment.

Culver LakefestIn addition to grants from organizations like the Marshall County Community Foundation and Visit Marshall County, the bulk of our fundraising comes from dedicated Culver residents, visitors and businesses,” she says.

Donations from individuals and organizations, she points out, will not only help support Culver Community Schools groups like those mentioned above, but also assist in providing proper security and safety requirements, bathrooms and other services. Not glamorous, but essential,” Canacci says.

Those wishing to donate may send cash or check to Culver Lake Fest, P.O. Box 146, Culver, IN 46511, or contribute via PayPal @culverlakefest2022. Messages may also be sent to the committee via the Lakefest Facebook page (facebook.com/culverlakefest), via email at culverlakefestival@gmail.com, or via phone at 216-280-5065.

The festival website at culverlakefestival.com also includes donor forms, the event schedule, and detailed information including how to sign up to participate in the car show, parade, fun run or Miss Maxinkuckee Pageant.

Besides sponsors and donations at all levels, the festival committee is seeking volunteers as well.

Whether you can lead and plan an event or two, or just help us for a few hours during the event, we welcome you,” Canacci says. Being a small-town festival, there are so many opportunities for each of us to truly uplift the community.”

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