Warm weather is on the way, which means students will soon be out of school and parents will be looking for fun ways to keep their kids busy.
Let's face it, some summer festivals just aren't kid-friendly, but Hammond's 12th annual Festival of the Lakes - scheduled for July 15 through July 19, 2015 at Wolf Lake Pavilion - is just the place to provide budget-friendly fun and entertainment for the whole family.
This year's festival will feature the ever-popular Modern Midway carnival, which provides games, rides and prizes for festival-goers. Those seeking a thrill can check out the Fire Ball, Scrambler or the always popular Ring of Fire. The younger crowd can check out the Merry-Go-Round or the Flying Elephants, and the entire family can enjoy a spin on the spectacular Century Wheel, which features a high tech LED show.
After enjoying the rides, stop by one of the more than 20 food vendors available to pick up festival favorites such as elephant ears, cheese fries or an ice cream cone.
To save money, don't forget to plan ahead and take advantage of our $50 five-day Mega Pass, a wristband good for rides throughout the entire event. Mega Passes are on sale at the Hammond Civic Center, 5825 S. Sohl Avenue, until 4 p.m. on July 15.
Active families can participate in the Kathleen Pucalik Memorial 5K on Saturday, July 18 starting at 7 a.m. on the festival grounds. Awards are presented to men's and women's age groups ranging from 8 and under to 70 and over. Early registration is $20, same day registration is $25. To secure a spot, call (219) 853-6378.
For families looking for activities on the shores of Wolf Lake, try the Festival of the Lakes Fishing Derby on Saturday, July 18 from 8 a.m. to noon on the festival grounds. This derby gives participants a chance to compete for awesome prizes in two divisions by landing the largest bass, walleye, perch and pan fish. Entry is $1 and all proceeds support the Wolf Lake stocking program. There will also be a free kids fishing seminar at 10 a.m. - live bait and fishing poles will be available for sale.
And of course, as with any summer festival, it's always a great idea to beat the heat by wearing sunscreen and drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Festival of the Lakes always features air-conditioned trailers that act as cooling stations for anyone who may get overheated, along with a first aid station. A misting tent between the carnival and concert stage area will also be available for a quick cool down.
Finally, for families looking to enjoy one or more of the concerts during the festival, grab your blankets and lawn chairs, come early and nab a spot! Headliners for this year include Alien Ant Farm, Hoobastank and P.O.D. on Wednesday, July 15; The Charlie Daniels Band on Thursday, July 16; and BOSTON on Friday, July 18. Saturday and Sunday are still yet to be announced, so check out our Facebook page: Facebook.com/festivalofthelakes to get updates. All concerts are held in the Pavilion at Wolf Lake and admission is free. There is a $25 per car parking fee.
Festival of the Lakes is the perfect place to stop if you want a stress-free family outing on a hot summer day. With all the excitement available July 15 through July 19, don't forget to just enjoy making memories with family!