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BAYFEST - Memorial Weekend - Vet's Park, Bay City

BAYFEST scheduled for Memorial Weekend In Bay City's Vet's Park

Fishing & Outdoor Festival hosted by Bay Area Convention & Visitors Bureau

May 15, 2009       Leave a Comment
By: Julie McCallum, Entertainment Editor

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The Bay Area Convention & Visitors Bureau is hosting the debuts of BAYFEST, a new Fishing & Outdoor Festival. It will be Memorial Day Weekend, May 22 through the 24th, 2009 in Bay City's Vets Park.

BayFest promoters are throwing around a word that's become really important to people in the Great Lakes Bay Region - FREE. The region's first celebration of outdoor recreation has no admission fee but lots of great reasons to hang out with family and friends during the first big warm weather holiday of the summer.

BayFest will kick off on Friday, Friday, May 22nd in Veterans Memorial Park along the Saginaw River in Bay City. Over the next three days, until Sunday, May 24th, Vets Park will be alive with hands-on craft activities for kids, a sport and outdoor show, free boat test rides, fishing tournaments, a fresh fish market, fish dinners and more.

There are events happening all day revolving around the Professional Walleye Festival Tournament going on all day.

Outdoor Activities & Crafts for Youth Staff from the Bay City State Recreation Area will lead a number of outdoor activities for youth including those designed to teach and entertain. On Saturday & Sunday, young anglers can test their skills at competitions like Minnow races, - Name that Fish,- a Kid's Casting Tournament and more. Artistic skills will be explored while they make their own fishing lure and fish windsock and decorate a fishing hat. The first 250 children each day on Saturday & Sunday who successfully complete these activities are eligible to receive a free rod & reel combination courtesy of Covenant Health Care.

New Angler's Insight Marketing Tournament brings fishing action to the park.

The first annual BayFest event will play host to the inaugural professional walleye fishing tournament of the new Angler's Insight Marketing organization. AIM was developed after the demise of the prestigious In-Fisherman Professional Walleye Trail. It is owned by the professional anglers who, along with amateur co-anglers, fish its unique "catch, record and release" tournaments. All fish caught are measured, photographed and immediately released back into the water. Images are captured on the Bay and fed live to video monitors in the park. Tournament enthusiasts will never be closer to the action.

BayFest Shoot Out We love the pro's but no one knows these waters like local fishermen. For only four hours on Sunday, May 24th, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., local anglers will have a chance to fish with a pro and split a $1,000 cash prize for the biggest fish. (The AIM field will be cut 50% after the Saturday evening weigh-in. Up to 20 pro's will be invited to fish the Shoot Out.)

Fishing will be limited to the Saginaw River between Veterans Memorial and Liberty Bridges. Registration forms are available only on Saturday, May 23rd at the office in Vets Park (near the boat launch). Registration is free and must be done in person. Names will be drawn Saturday evening at approximately 5:00 p.m. and those chosen to fish in the Shoot Out will be required to pay a $25 fee.

Bay Port Fish Company Celebrity Chowder Challenge.
Seven of the region's most popular media stars will partner with local restaurants for a chance to win the first annual Celebrity Chowder Challenge, sponsored by the Bay Port Fish Company. On Sunday, May 24 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m., each celebrity team will prepare their own version of a fish or seafood chowder which will be evaluated by a panel of local judges. Samples will be sold to the public for a nominal fee to support local charities and to determine the winner of the People's Choice Award and bragging rights for the year.

Live Entertainment

The Miller Lite tent will be open daily at noon and will offer the best view of the daily drive-through weigh-in ceremonies. Come rain or shine, with both indoor and outdoor seating areas, the Miller Lite tent will be entertainment central.

Local favorites will fill the evenings at BayFest with "The Sinclair's" rocking the stage on Friday, May 22nd and "Steel Wheels" kickin' it up on Saturday, May 23rd.

Local radio personality Bob Hughes will spin tunes on Sunday, May 24th.
Admission to the beer tent is FREE.


Friday, May 22nd

6:00-7:30 a.m. - AIM tournament boats launch at Vets Park
12:00-5:00 p.m. - BayFest begins:
  • Sport & Outdoor Show
  • Boat Test Rides

  • 12:00-11:00 p.m. - Miller Lite Tent open
    5:00 p.m. - AIM tournament drive-through weigh-in begins
    7:30-11:00 p.m. - The Sinclairs live in the Miller Lite tent

    Saturday, May 23rd
    6:00-7:30 a.m. - AIM tournament boats launch at Vets Park
    12:00-5:00 p.m. - BayFest begins:
  • Sport & Outdoor Show
  • Boat Test Rides
  • 12:00-4:00 p.m. Youth activities & crafts
    12:00-11:00 p.m. - Miller Lite Tent open
    5:00 p.m. - AIM tournament drive-through weigh-in begins
    7:30-11:00 p.m. - Steel Wheels live in the Miller Lite tent

    Sunday, May 24th

    6:00-7:30 a.m. - AIM tournament boats launch at Vets Park
    10:00 a.m. - BayFest Shoot-Out boats launch
    12:00-5:00 p.m. - BayFest begins:
  • Sport & Outdoor Show
  • Boat Test Rides
  • Bay Port Fish Company Fresh Fish Market

  • 12:00-10:00 p.m. - Miller Lite Tent open

    12:00-4:00 p.m. - Youth activities & crafts
    2:00-4:00 p.m. - Bay Port Fish Company Celebrity Chowder Challenge*
    2:30 p.m. - BayFest Shoot-Out weigh-in begins
    5:00 p.m. - AIM tournament drive-through weigh-in begins
    7:30-10:00 p.m. - Bob Hughes live in the Miller Lite tent

    *Bay Port Fish Company Celebrity Chowder Challenge Competitors:

  • Tri City Buzz TV & Hooters to benefit Friends of the Bay City State Park
  • Bob Hughes, WHNN & Lumber Barons to benefit (TBA)
  • Patti LaLonde, The Bay City Times & The Waterfront Market to benefit the Literacy Council
  • Art Lewis, WSGW & The Timbers to benefit Hidden Harvest
  • Barb
  • Sheltraw, WKCQ & (TBA) to benefit (TBA)
  • Mike Avery, MI Great Outdoors & The Junction to benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of Bay County
  • Eric Jyhla, TV5/News Radio 1250 & Bay Regional Medical Center to benefit the Bay County Historical Museum

  • BayFest is supported by The Dow Chemical Company and produced by the Bay City Convention & Visitors Bureau and Area Family Charities, Inc. Additional support has been received from Covenant Health Care, Franks Great Outdoors, J. E. Johnson Mechanical Contractors, Renew Systems and Berkley.

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