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DECENT 
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Hammond’s Festival of the Lakes opens Wednesday

HAMMOND – Reggae aficionados will be jammin’ Wednesday night as Hammond’s Festival of the Lakes kicks off its five-day extravaganza with Jimmy Cliff.

In its 11th year, the festival, held in the footprint of Michigan, Wolf and George Lakes, will feature musical acts such as ‘90s alternative favorite Sublime, country favorites Big and Rich and Under the Sun, a collaboration among popular ‘90s bands Uncle Cracker, Blues Traveler and Sugar Ray. Local bands to be featured include the Crawpuppies, Bunkertown and, opening for Cliff, the Kinsey Report.

Country night Thursday will feature Big and Rich, with The Jimmy Sarr band opening. Free pontoon boat rides will be provided by the Hammond Marina.

Seniors will get to party at the fest Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., while early morning golfers will take on Lost Marsh Golf Course for the Festival Scramble. Saturday, runners are encouraged to participate in the Kathleen Pucalik Memorial 5K, named after late Councilwoman Kathleen Pucalik if they’re not at the Fishing Derby; as well, disabled persons get to ride carnival rides free of charge from 10 a.m. to noon.

Folks can get their polka Sunday on with Tony Blazonyck’s New Phase and their fill of Polish delights from Cavalier Inn at the Hammond Marina, while others can peruse the Hot Rod, Bike and Custom Car show. If not too tired, they’re welcome to dance the night away during Latin Night, typically the most popular night of the fest.

“Our 2013 event was a huge success, as over 50,000 people participated in the activities highlighting Hammond’s three lakes,” Mayor Tom McDermott Jr. said on the fest’s Web site. “This year promises to surpass last year, providing our great community another five days of summer fun.”

The fest also brought back the Mega Pass, which allows people unlimited carnival rides from open to close. Those who purchased one will turn it in for a wristband that must be worn the entire festival.

The Festival of the Lakes opens at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, with an 11 a.m. opening Friday for senior citizens only; and at noon on Saturday and Sunday. Admission to the fest is free of charge, but parking is $25.



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