The Fish Rodeo is a first-time event designed to highlight the water-based activities that can be done on and in the Grand River. The river stretches from south of Jackson to Grand Haven where it dumps into Lake Michigan, but the Fish Rodeo will focus on the one-mile stretch through downtown Lansing. The rodeo comprises contests, concerts and a variety of free events.
While most of the events are along the shore of the river, some will take place in the river. On Friday and Saturday, Partners for Fish and Wildlife will host a fishing tournament on the banks of the Grand River. Anglers will compete in four categories: Cool Creel (most fish), the Big Haul (total overall weight), the Big Kahuna (biggest fish) and the Spice of Life (most diverse species). There will be a first, second and third place in each category, giving competitors 12 chances to take home a prize.
Landlubbers can party along with the country music-heavy lineup of several Michigan-based and nationally touring acts. On Thursday, Dial Dixie and Kris Hitchcock & Small Town Son play; the Friday concert features North Country Flyers and Annabelle Road; and on Saturday, Bittercreek, Midnight Cattle Callers and Clare Dunn take the stage. Among the local performers who will play during the day are jazz guitarist Elden Kelly and Wisaal. With the purchase of a $20 music pass, revelers can enjoy all three nights of country music and access to the Watering Hole beverage tent.
On Saturday, there will be a Fish Tattoo Contest, which shows off the best of the Lansing-area ink that matches the theme of the festival. The contest will hold five categories that will showcase the local tattoos, with winners receiving up to $100 gift cards to Preuss Pets in Old Town.
The Decked Out fashion show on Thursday gives a chance for creative minds to incorporate fish netting into their fashion designs. The contest offers a $500 cash award and a twohour consultation with Robere Lett of Haute is Magazine and Nadia Sellers, founder of Okemos Modeling and a chance to present a line at a fashion show in September.
Probably the most distinctive feature will be the giant bucking bass, the Fish Rodeo’s version of a mechanical bull. It’s called a rodeo for a reason.
The Grand American Fish Rodeo
June 12-14 Lou Adado Riverfront Park, downtown Lansing Most events free/$20 wristband for concerts grandamericanfishrodeo.com