Festival Ironwood was started back in 1992 as a mid-summer festival, something for Gogebic County and Wisconsin residents to attend to after the Fourth of July, but before school starts up again.
“Pretty much all the local people in all the local towns come in and celebrate,” Festival Ironwood chairperson Will Corcoran said. “Everybody from the young kids right up to the senior citizens. It’s nice seeing everybody together for one weekend in the middle of the summer.”
The four-day festival started Wednesday, and each day is filled with food, dancing, and games.
“We try to provide activities, things for all ages and all forms of people and we have a good time doing it,” Festival Ironwood chairperson Keith Johnson said. “It’s good to see the people come out, it’s good to see the community come out and support the event.”
One of the most popular activities at the festival is the World’s Largest Duck Pick. For $1, anyone can pick from over 5,000 rubber ducks to win a number of prizes.
“Right behind us there’s thirteen different bikes, all kinds of prizes that we give away,” Corcoran said. “And everybody gets involved, every different age gets involved in it.”
“The best part about the duck pick and the prizes,” nine-year-old Cordelia from Ashland, Wisconsin said. “I’ve won the mascot duck once and I’ve also won a bike.”
“There’s some great prizes, fourteen kids are going to walk away with beautiful bikes,” Johnson said. “We had some people make some nice donations to buy the bikes, and there’s fourteen kids that are going to be very happy about having a new bike.”
Most of the event for the festival take place at or near the historic Ironwood Depot right downtown. Festival Ironwood ends Saturday, with a number of kids activities, music by a popular local band, the Lowell Street Band, and a classic car show.
Ironwood’s Chamber of Commerce is hosting a historical presentation and small reception to commemorate the 50th birthday of the city’s statue of Chief Hiawatha Saturday at 11 a.m. in Hiawatha Park.
For a full list of Festival Ironwood events, click here.