The event, which got started four years ago to keep Amherst on the map with new ideas, events and entertainment, will shut down Amherst’s Main Street allowing food, craft, artisans and fundraising tents to be set up for the 12-hour festival.
“It’s a local event with local businesses and sponsors,” said Kris Krubaugh, a member of the Amherst Business Association and event organizer. “It is very well attended and a great time for people to come and wander around a small town.”
There will be demonstrations by the Amherst Fire Department and a cooking demonstration at 1 p.m. by Emy J’s manager, Shelly Patton showing how to cook a handful of meals with local produce. The Historical Society will have an antique fire engine on display.
Items including photography, pottery, stuffed animals, paintings, jewelry, purses, scarves, vintage furniture and products by Thirty-One Gifts and Pampered Chef will be available for sale by local vendors.
DivePoint Scuba will also be at this year’s festival, with kayak demonstrations, and the Wisconsin Lakes Association will provide riverside activities on the Tomorrow River. The Community Charter School will have activities for children as well.
Demonstrations and product sales will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Between 4 to 6 p.m. there will be time for people to eat and wander before MoJoe and FlipSide – previously Otis and the Alligators – take the stage at 6 p.m.
Alcoholic beverages will be provided by Central Waters Brewery for those 21 and over. Boy Scout Troop 296 will have a tent with BBQs and Girl Scout Troop 6246 will also sell food to raise money for the organization. Other food vendors will include King Cone, Sciortino’s Amherst Café, The Landmark and Ambrosia Pub and Grill.
“Local businesses that aren’t participating will also have extra sales throughout the city,” Krubaugh said. “It is a festive atmosphere and people have fun shopping; hopefully we will also have great weather.”
This year’s Celebrate Amherst has 25 diverse vendors participating in the block party including a Stevens Point family who will have a table with baked goods to help raise money for the purchase of the Portage County Sheriff’s Department second canine unit.
“We’re very excited to have this year’s vendors,” Krubaugh said. “There will be parking all over; people should park where they can find a spot.”
This year’s sponsors include the Amherst Telephone Company, International Bank of Amherst, Amherst Family Foods, HO Wolding, Katherine Jeffers, T&T Automotive, Magic Products, Kraze Trucking, Amherst Machining, Amherst Marine, Bob and Joan Johnson, Whitetail Lanes, Falcon One Stop, Tomorrow River Gallery, OK Hardware, Vision Arts, Amherst Inn, and Jackson and Louie’s Antiques.
For more information about the event, visit the ‘events’ tab on the Amherst Business Association’s Facebook page.