ATLANTA - For those who are interested in celebrating the Elk Capital of Michigan, Atlanta is hosting their 28th Annual Elk Fest. This year's fest begins today and runs through Sunday on the streets and in the parks of Atlanta.
The chamber of commerce is putting on an event with a wide variety of different activities. Atlanta chamber president Phil LaMore said that the elk fest is an exciting time, where M-32 is completely closed off throughout town so that the streets of Atlanta can be filled with different craft vendors.
According to LaMore, the first elk festival happened 27 years ago, in celebration of the first elk hunt in Michigan.
"Atlanta quickly became known as the Elk Capital of Michigan because we have 3,000 elk in our herd, which is the largest herd east of the Rocky Mountains," said LaMore.
LaMore is expecting around 5,000-8,000 people to attend this year's event, which has been the typical crowd in the past.
"The weather seems to be cooperating this year, so I'm sure we will reach our goal and maybe more," said LaMore.
The Elk Fest Parade will be on Friday at 6 p.m. The beer tent will open shortly after the parade, and Knockin' Joe, a band that is growing in popularity and opens for big name bands, will be featured as live entertainment.
Other highlights of this year's event include a laser shooting hunt, pancake breakfast, greased pig contest, fishing contest, motorcycle rodeo, and much more.
"There are a lot of different events and prizes. There is something for everyone, kids through adults," said LaMore.
The elk fest will also have different raffles, contests and live entertainment throughout the weekend for guests to participate in, as well as an auction on Saturday at 12:30 p.m.
There will be a pie eating contest, children's fishing contest, bingo and a raffle. The big raffle will be drawn once every day of the event, and the winners will walk away with $500. Those interested in entering the raffle can purchase a $2 Elk Fest button at the chamber office or tent. The raffle drawing will take place at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and at 4 p.m. on Sunday.
Emily Siegmon can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5687.