Jessica Mathews /

The Hamburg Family Fun Fest kicks off this week - featuring new attractions and returning favorites.

This year marks the 18th anniversary of the event put on by the Hamburg Enhanced Recreation Organization.

It starts Wednesday on a smaller scale, with everything kicking into full gear Thursday through Sunday at Manly Bennett Park off Merrill Road.

WHMI's Ellen Morgan will be out with The Box That Rocks on Friday night from 7 to 9pm.

Founder and HERO President Joanna Hardesty says “It’s where summer begins” and there’s something for all ages with shows, entertainment, and activities all offered free of charge.

Amusement rides are available with the purchase of a wristband, with discounted prices for wristbands available for pre-purchase online. When it comes to festival food, a variety of options will be available. It’s also been assured that there will be elephant ears this year - which was something said to have been really missed by visitors last year.

More than 50 vendors are set as part of an arts, crafts, and business expo on site.

Fireworks and a laser light show are set both Friday and Saturday nights at 10pm at Manly Bennett Park – West. The firework shows will be introduced with a 10-minute Laser Light Show. Prior to the shows, concerts will kick off at 8pm featuring Midnight Special, also at West Park.

Hardesty tells WHMI they offer the first firework shows in the county of the season and are also the only ones that open up with a laser light show. She said there are a lot of cool new attractions and they’ve definitely “upped their game this year”.

Hardesty noted that when they started out, their parking fee was $5 and now 19 years later, their parking fee is still $5. She stressed they’ve worked hard to do everything they can to keep the event affordable for families and all of the outside entertainment activities they bring in are offered free of charge – with the exception of the amusement rides.

Additionally, this will mark the 3rd year of a free bicycle giveaway for different age groups. Visitors can register either online or on-site at the event for the random drawing of ten bikes. A press release is attached.

A complete event schedule is available in the provided link.