2017-10-05 / Outdoors

Can’t hold back best UnCaged street fair yet

CO-CHAIR TRISH VANDUSEN is all smiles at the bigger-than-ever Leelanau UnCaged festival.CO-CHAIR TRISH VANDUSEN is all smiles at the bigger-than-ever Leelanau UnCaged festival.
What do you get when you mix 100 volunteers, 79 artists, five stages and 12 food vendors?

The best and biggest Leelanau UnCaged street fair yet.

“Right from the start of today, we had a great turnout,” said event organizer and co-chair Trish VanDusen. “Usually, it doesn’t get incredibly busy until a couple hours in. That wasn’t the case this year.”

Organizers were surprised when 1,500 people showed up for the first UnCaged event five years ago. Thye Leelanau Township Fire Department estimated that crowds hit 6,000 on Saturday below blue skies and temperatures in the 60s

Artist Dani Knoph had a booth in the fair.

“This has to be the best festival I’ve every been a part of,” Knoph said. “It’s very well organized, it’s free, the people are great and there’s wonderful music all day.”


ARTIST DANI KNOPH enjoys a moment with a patron of the Leelanau Uncaged event held Saturday in Northport under perfect fall weather. ARTIST DANI KNOPH enjoys a moment with a patron of the Leelanau Uncaged event held Saturday in Northport under perfect fall weather. Suttons Bay resident Gary Devol brought his family.

“It’s our first time attending, and I give it two thumbs up. We saw an ad for it in the paper. The weather’s great today, and this is the first street fair in Leelanau County that we’ve heard about.”

Andy Thomas is an event organizer and founder. He credited the Northport community itself for the success of UnCaged.

“It’s at the end of the world that you find the best people, and I think that sums up this town. The people here are the real treasures,” he said.

— Photos and story
by Kelsey Pease

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