Sep. 3—Decorated in a patriotic fashion, golf carts in the Red, White and Blue Patriotic Golf Cart Parade served as the prelude to the 2022 Fairport Harbor Village Fest.
In addition to police and fire, baton twirlers and local veterans, roughly 21 or 22 golf carts made their way down Third to Vine Street, Vine to Seventh Street and Seventh to Eagle Street on Sept. 3. Participants vied for the honor of Most Patriotic Golf Cart, with prizes being awarded for first, second and third place.
"About a year ago, when we didn't have Mardi Gras, we had a golf cart parade to fill the void," said Amy Cossick, village administrator. "We had Mardi Gras back this year, so we didn't need the big golf cart parade, but with Village Fest happening Labor Day weekend, we decided to put one together."
Some of the golf cart participants planned ahead to decorate their carts while others decorated closer to the event, Cossick said.
"I put a little sheet in their packets to show them ideas of how to decorate red, white and blue, so that kind of helps spur it," she said. "We're a golf cart friendly community. A lot of our folks have golf carts, so they're more than excited to participate."
Among the participants were Ryan and Catherine Wank, of Grand River, and their kids. This was their first year participating.
"I came up and registered for the kids to have fun," Ryan said. "We had a great time and we're already looking forward to next year."
Ryan said it took them a few hours to decorate their golf cart.
"It was a family activity we did together," Catherine said. "It was fun."
The participants saw many people they knew and their kids were able to see their friends from school.
"It's nice to have the community together," Catherine said.
The event draws more than 1,000 people every year.
"With good weather, who knows what we could get," Cossick said. "They really enjoy it. This parade is much smaller than our Mardi Gras parade. It's more of a hometown feel and I think they enjoy seeing all the local folks in the parade together."
Village Fest, incepted in 2019, features family-friendly entertainment and activities; food; the opportunity to visit shops and boutiques in downtown Fairport Harbor, and the chance to check out the community's two museums. The festival is based on High Street, from Fourth to Second Street; and on Third Street. No admission is charged for the event; and parking is free, as well.
"We close our streets for this event and they (spectators) love being able to shop, eat, visit the beach and have fun," Cossick said. "Downtown is a pleasure."