LAKE STEVENS — The fun of Aquafest is the same, though the annual waterfront shindig has a new look.
The renovated North Cove Park is ready for the crush of 30,000 people who come to the three-day festival that’s been a summer tradition for 59 years. Aquafest runs through Sunday.
“They are going to be totally blown away by the park,” said Kim Daughtry, past president of the festival.
There’s a big lawn and a new stage, he said.
New this year, a public beach is open for swimming. “It’s not part of the festival, it’s part of the city,” he said.
You might want to bring earplugs, though.
“It’s really close to the music,” Daughtry said.
The street parade is 1 p.m. Saturday. The grand marshals are Christine and Greg Egelstad, owners of Lake Stevens Ace Hardware.
The couple was chosen for “everything they do for the community,” Daughtry said. “They have been stalwart members for years and years and always been a major sponsor.”
There’s lots of action on the water. The boat parade is 7 p.m. Saturday at Davies Boat Launch.
The festival has a circus, carnival, horse-drawn wagon rides, movie night, teen dance, pet show, water sports, car show and Miss Aquafest Royalty Court.
“Parking is horrendous,” Daughtry said.
Shuttles run every 15 minutes.
Human foosball has been cancelled due to lack of participants. It had plenty of spectators, but not enough people willing to take positions like figurines on a foosball table and move in rows side-to-side, kicking the ball through the rows of opponents.
“It was hilarious to watch,” Daughtry said.
That’s OK, there are plenty of other funny things to see — or be part of. Shake your booty with a costumed T.Rex on the dancing Dino Crew making the rounds.
At Sunday’s Family Fun Fest, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., everything is free. It starts with a Pennies in the Hay scramble for kids. The event has inflatables, face painting, cupcake decorating, bingo and bookmark making.
A pizza eating contest is 1 p.m. Sunday.
If you’re the type who’d rather read a book than take a turn on the Tilt-A-Whirl carnival ride, no problem.
There’s a book sale by the Friends of the Library.
Parking: Space at the festival site is limited. Find some additional parking at school district administration building.
There is a free shuttle at Ebenezer Lutheran Church and Highland Elementary that runs every 15 minutes between school and the corner of North Lakeshore Drive and 123rd Avenue NE.
Handicapped parking is available.
Horse Drawn Wagon Rides: 3 to 9 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, from the City Hall parking lot to Mitchell Road on Lakeshore Drive and back.
Friends of the Library Book Sale: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Firefighters Breakfast: 6 a.m. to noon, Saturday and Sunday at the downtown fire station.