ELKHART — Elkhart’s annual Rhapsody in Green festival is well under way after it kicked off Friday with crowds of people gathering under blue skies.
Both open bridges into Island Park were packed with people Friday evening, finding their way to the island for food, music and vendors.
“The food, the music, it’s just fun. This is one of the first (festivals) of the year. It’s nice to finally get out,” said Jason Lutes, who was juggling three children with Angela Hawkins to get to the event, an annual tradition.
Hawkins pointed out the variety of people as one of the draws, too.
Derrick Burrington, there with Kristina Burrington and their children, Eli Burrington and Tyler Jones, said it’s an annual family tradition for them, too. “I’ve been out here every year since I was their age,” he said, pointing to the boys. “I come for the food, they come for the toys.”
The variety of things for sale and on display was plenty to keep people interested. From booths featuring deep-fried bubble gum to Democrats, from candles to cornhole to chain saw carvings, from toe rings to temporary tattoos to tiger lamps, there were tons of options.
Boy Scout moms even had jumbo jelly beans for sale in one spot and first-aid kits in another.
The kits benefit troops 794 and 117, whose Scouts are camping out on the island and helping clean up trash during Rhapsody.
It’s a “joint endeavor for our community service requirements,” said John Southern, Scout master for Troop 794.
“It’s great weather,” Southern said. “I think that we’ll have good crowds. Everyone will come out,” he said.
The weather’s going to be plenty warm for the last two days of the festival, according to the National Weather Service.
Today should be sunny and breezy with a high near 89. Sunday’s high should be near 92.
After 5 p.m. today there’s an admission fee of $1, a portion of which benefits Santa’s Pantry. There’s no fee Sunday.
Today Main Stage 1 p.m., New Horizons Band 2 p.m., The Stanman 3 p.m., Truth in Jazz 4:30 p.m., VibeNation 6:30 p.m., Peach Tree Otis 9 p.m., Aftermath
1 p.m., West Side Drumline and The Golden Beats 3:30 p.m., Magician Steve Vaught 4:15 p.m., Kid’s Spectacular with Becky
Sunday Main Stage 1 p.m., Fishers of Men 2 p.m., Elkhart Municipal Band 3:30 p.m., Jazz Assemblage 5 p.m., Duke Tumatoe and the Power Trio
East Stage 1 p.m., Ronald McDonald 2 p.m., B.A.D. Entertainment Dance Team 3:15 p.m., Bethany Pike 4 p.m., Juggler Yoder
Special Attractions Ÿ Community booths, along Information Row Ÿ Wood carver, Mark Harris Ÿ Tae kwon do demonstrations Ÿ Elkhart Art League’s Show, High Dive Park, 1 to 4 p.m. Ÿ Firehouse demonstrations, noon to 6 p.m. today, noon to 3 p.m. Sunday Ÿ Fish shocking on the west end of Island Park, 1, 3 and 4:30 p.m. today Ÿ Sweet Gypsy Rose, fortune teller, 1 to 6 p.m. Saturday, 2 to 7 p.m. Sunday Ÿ Vintage auto display, center of Island Park, noon to 4 p.m. Sunday