ELKHART — Dozens of vendors, artists and musicians are preparing for Elkhart’s Rhapsody Arts and Music Festival this weekend.

Located at Island Park and running from Friday through Sunday, Rhapsody will be packed with entertainment for all ages, organizers said. 

“We’re adding some better entertainment,” Sherry Krask, the city’s event coordinator, said. “There’s definitely going to be some upgrades.”

Celebrating 40 years, this year’s festival will offer a wider selection of art and fewer commercial items, totaling 23 food vendors and about 75 artists and other vendors.

Favorites returning this year include electrofishing demonstrations by the city’s aquatic biologist and a vintage car show, courtesy of Michiana Classic Car Club. Due to recent rain and elevated water levels, Bobbing with the Blues will not take place as previously scheduled.

Musical acts begin at 6 p.m. Friday with pop jazz group Ginger and Her Baked Goods, followed by progressive rock band Starlord at 8 p.m.

The music returns at noon on Saturday with Heartland rock ‘n’ roll artist Paul Erdman, followed by ’60s, ’70s and ’80s music cover band JT Buffet. At 4 p.m., rock Latino group Lalo Cura will perform. At 6 p.m. rock ‘n’ roll band Kansas Bible Company will open for the evening’s headliner, The Eaglemaniacs, a popular Eagles tribute band from Nashville, Tennessee, which takes the stage at 8 p.m.

Sunday’s concert lineup will feature favorites from Rhapsody celebrations past, particularly from the 1980s and 1990s. At noon, the ’30s, ’40s and modern music big band Jazz Assemblage will take the stage. The Sweet Adelines a capella group will perform at 1 p.m., and at 1:30 p.m. the Heartland Country Cloggers will perform. Multi-instrumentalist Don Savoie will perform at 2:30 p.m. and blues artist Duke Tumatoe will close out the musical series at 4 p.m.

Entertainment acts for the weekend will be on the Lippert Stage, beginning at noon Saturday with Robin’s School of Dance. Magician Steve Vaught will perform at 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m., and Bad Entertainment will take the stage at 2:30 p.m. Clark the Juggler will close out the Lippert Stage performances on Saturday at 5 p.m.

There will also be giveaways of vintage Rhapsody T-shirts, and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. the Michiana Classic Car Club will be on site.

The Rhapsody Arts and Music Festival begins with food vendors at noon Friday and other activities from 5 to 10 p.m. Entry is $2 per person after 5 p.m. On Saturday, the festival begins at 10 a.m., with $2 admission charged at noon through 10 p.m. On Sunday, activities are scheduled from noon to 6 p.m. and admission is free all day.

More information about the Rhapsody Arts and Music Festival is available from Elkhart Parks and Recreation on Facebook or the parks office at 574-295-7275.

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