Save the date and mark your calendar!
Saturday, August 7, 2021
All day. All free.
Raising public awareness of water quality issues in the Iowa Great Lakes and beyond.
Hope growing for 2021 festival
With the news that the first COVID-19 vaccines are being administered to health care workers around the country, hope heightens that the reserved date of August 7, 2021 will become a reality for the Okoboji Blue Water Festival. “We are proceeding with cautious optimism that the fifth annual event will unfold as planned,” said festival chair Greg Drees. “Of course, nothing can be officially confirmed at this point, but looking at the science and the vaccine timetable gives us hope.”
Drees said plans for many of the festival’s events remain in place. “We retain a contract to bring Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. to the stage to present the keynote address,” Drees said, “and that should be a huge draw.” Kennedy is the president and chief counsel of the non-profit Waterkeeper Alliance, a worldwide network of environmental organizations focused exclusively on clean water.
Still secure also are musical contracts with JD McPherson and Boz Scaggs to appear in concert the evening of the festival. “Boz headlined our first event in 2016 and set the bar high for the quality of entertainment we looked for to culminate the festival,” Drees said. “He is coming back by popular demand.”
The theme of the festival is clean water, and events throughout the day in Preservation Plaza at the Arnolds Park Amusement Park help deliver that message. “Dozens of exhibitors will line the sidewalk to speak to the public about water quality and natural resource protection,” Drees said. “The festival also resonates with youngsters, as they learn about watershed guardianship through our interactive family activities.”
Festival goers can stay tuned for regular updates, including an official confirmation. “Bigger and better next year has been our mantra since last year’s postponement,” Drees said. “We are planning an event that will entertain, educate and inspire.”
The Okoboji Blue Water Festival was created by the Okoboji Protective Association (OPA) in 2016 to raise public awareness of water quality issues in the Iowa Great Lakes. The OPA, founded in 1905, is a 501(c)-3 non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and enhancement of West Lake Okoboji and the Iowa Great Lakes watershed.