Organizers are gearing up for the 31st annual Summerfest next month with plans for traditional favorites and a surprise.
“We’re going to have a great turnout again this year,” said Chris Hoofnagle, who is Summerfest co-director this year with his wife, Dianna. “A lot of our vendors that we’ve had in the past are coming back.”
A new attraction this year will be a performance by a Monster Energy BMX team, which is scheduled to give four 25-minute performances throughout the day on Saturday, Aug. 23, Hoofnagle said.
“We were looking for something different to do this year,” Hoofnagle said. “And they do a pretty good show.”
Dan Hubbard with Orange, Calif.-based, Creative Sports, which provides the team, said the team has four riders, and one of the riders also serves as an announcer.
“The guys will be doing back flips, spins and tricks, basically,” Hubbard said, adding that they perform on a mobile half-pike ramp.
The company has several BMX teams around the country, Hubbard said. The team that’s coming to York will be out of Greenville, N.C.
Hubbard said the traveling BMX shows have been popular attractions at many festivals. “Most people ride bikes and most people, adults and kids, have tried tricks and they realize how hard it is,” Hubbard said. “It’s highly entertaining.”
“When we have pro riders come in and do these tricks, it just takes it to a whole new level,” Hubbard said.
“They have thousands and thousands of practice hours that go into these sports. We get guys who are experienced professionals and remarkable athletes,” he said.
As in the past, the festival will open on Friday, Aug. 22, with a Downtown Live concert by beach, dance and show band group Flashback in the Whitesides parking lot.
It will wrap up Saturday night with a second concert in the same location by the four-member Pocketful of Strange, playing rhythm and blues, funk, soul and classic rock.
Children’s activities on Saturday, in the area near the Greater York Chamber of Commerce and the York Public Library, will include robotics demonstrations by York middle and high school students, a 4-H petting zoo, rides on the Little Blue Choo and water ball entertainment, where kids are zipped into a plastic ball and roll around on 24 inches of water.
Activities for the kids also include a football toss for prizes, book giveaways to encourage children to read and a coloring contest sponsored by Family Trust Federal Credit Union, with winners receiving a U.S. savings bond.
Other attractions that will be returning include the car show, 10K and 5K road races and other sporting activities, the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd antiques show, food and craft vendors and the Texaco Country Showdown at the Sylvia Theater.
Summerfest evolved in 1984 from two previous attractions that showcased the city. The York Colonial festival premiered in 1960. A few years later, the South Carolina Grape Festival debuted in 1965 and continued for 15 years.
After the demise of the grape festival, the Greater York Chamber of Commerce introduced Summerfest with the support of the city of York. The event has been recognized as a Top 20 event by the Southeast Tourism Society.