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City Offers New Details On Revamped Mentor Festival

The city is looking to anchor the new event with a big concert

What do you think about Huey Lewis and the News performing in Mentor? How about Peter Frampton?

The city of Mentor wants to have a big concert at Jerome T. Osborne Stadium on the second day of its revamped It's Better In Mentor Festival and those are just two names the city is giving serious consideration.

The festival, which will almost certainly be renamed, is scheduled for Aug. 23 and 24, 2013, (a Friday and Saturday) with some events, including a revamped Taste Of Mentor, scheduled for the following day.

The festival is also intended as a celebration of the 50th anniversary of Mentor's incorporation as a city, City Manager Kenneth Filipiak said during a work session with City Council Tuesday afternoon.

As per the concert, Filipiak said that nothing has been finalized. However, the city wants to bring in a marquee act that is still family friendly.

"We need to find a headline act that's going to have a generational appeal," Filipiak.

The concert would close with a fireworks show, he added.

Filipiak and Bob Martin, the city's director of parks and recreation, shared many ideas for the revamped festival. They include:

  • emphasizing Mentor food purveyors and restaurateurs, while still providing traditional fair foods.
  • using the nearby Mentor Ice Arena to host events like a battle of the bands, laser tag games and hockey and ice skating demonstrations.
  • having a small car cruise in that feature automobiles specifically from 1963 (to coincide with the city's anniversary.)
  • offering aquatic activities and events at the Civic Center Pool. Martin specifically suggested a recycling regatta.
  • hosting an Old Village Market, on Friday only, at the festival grounds.
  • having a more varied alcohol selection in the beer and wine tents.
  • emphasizing Mentor businesses in the business tent.
  • replacing carnival rides with inflatables, community-sponsored games and other forms of entertainment. Martin specifically suggested a trapeze ride that mirrors the feeling of being on a trapeze.

Filipiak noted that the specifics on a lot of these plans have not been finalized.

"I'm hesitant to say, 'we're going to do this,' almost a year out because things are going to change," Filipiak said.

Martin added, however, that some things would not change. For example, despite the change from September to August, the parade will still have the same route and participants.

The city of Mentor is looking for both sponsors and volunteers to help with the revamped festival.

Anyone that would like to join a festival committee can call the Mentor Parks & Recreation Department at 440-974-5720.

Matt October 17, 2012 at 12:51 PM
@Don you're thinkin of 'Hootie and the Blowfish', who Darius Rucker was lead singer of. As far as I know Huey lewis and the news is still around
Anne October 17, 2012 at 01:29 PM
Well, now it's time to get excited about the festival -- it's changing!
Greg Miller October 17, 2012 at 01:58 PM
Don, I don't know where you get your information, but Huey Lewis & The News still exist and they are playing Playhouse Square this month. Huey Lewis himself is still going strong with rock and is not a country singer, thank God!
Emma October 17, 2012 at 08:25 PM
I wonder how expensive it will be now for families to go??
Rick Kohl October 17, 2012 at 09:08 PM
How about a "Octoberfest" type festival.......with Polka dancing one night?
tim October 22, 2012 at 07:10 PM
really, polka dancing! sorry rick!!!!!

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