Rhapsody Arts and Music Festival returns

June 9—ELKHART — A time-honored event returns Friday and Saturday at Island Park in Elkhart.

The 44th Rhapsody Art and Music Festival was held on these two days. The festival, which has always been held in the park and was originally called Rhapsody on the Green, was designed to showcase the arts and music community—not just Elkhart, but all of Michigan and as far away as the Chicago area.

“This is a great opportunity for local businesses to show off what they have to offer, especially considering it’s a free event,” said Madi, interim events coordinator for the city’s Parks and Recreation Department, who is coordinating the event. Gordon said.

The event’s main stage is set roughly in the center of the park, with performers starting at 5 p.m. on Friday, and will be headlined by Chicago cover band Beyond the Blonde at 8 p.m. on Saturday, performing covers of songs by Pink, Lady Gaga and Gwen Stephen Ni.

Gordon said the special focus this year is on music from the 1990s and 2000s, but it goes beyond that.

“Each of our bands represents a different area of ​​the music world,” she said.

Overall, as of late morning, Gordon said the festival had not seen any issues, adding that her department has a good overall working relationship with the Elkhart Police Department, which has Police patrol at the music festival. The Elkhart Fire Department, Potawatomi Zoo and the South Bend Civic Theater also participate in the festival.

“We had a lot of people early Saturday morning and we expected the numbers to increase around noon,” she said, adding that the festival is Elkhart Parks and Recreation’s largest annual event.

Courtney Jenkins is partnering with Chubby Trout, Smokin Fattys BBQ and Flippin Cow, one of many Elkhart restaurants setting up booths during the festival.

“It’s a beautiful day,” she noted.

In addition to numerous food trucks, vendors display children’s books, Native American artifacts, hats, clothing, paintings and more.

Zachery Manges of Elkhart was on hand to hear The Together Band perform at noon.

“It’s a little smaller than in previous years, but it’s still fun,” he said of the festival. “Plenty of food.”

Catherine Witham of Elkhart demonstrates crystal sound bowls that, if touched in a certain way, can provide sound baths or sound healing.

“Crystal sound bowls target the ‘chakras’ in your body and energy system, helping your body’s cellular functions return to a healthy state,” she says.

Local wildlife also takes part in the festival. Elkhart Aquatics has a display of native fish and hosts several “electrofishing” events in the afternoon. Project members collected native fish from the Elkhart and St. Joseph rivers and brought them back to the demonstration.

“There are people out fishing now,” said Daragh Deegan, who runs the program, adding that there are 87 different species of fish in local waters.

To learn more, visit elkhartindiana.org/rhapsody.

Steve Wilson is news editor for The Goshen News. You can contact him at steve.wilson@goshennews.com.

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