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      Annual Bridgefest event unifies two cities

      The Houghton Waterfront will be lined with vendors for Bridgefest.

      The annual event celebrating the completion of the Portage Lift Bridge in 1959 always draws a crowd, but this year the rain has slowed things down.

      â??Some years, itâ??s really good,â?? said co-owner of Baxter Heavenly Hotdogs, Blake Panasiewicz. â??Sometimes when it rains, it can be a little bit slower, and itâ??s scary.â??

      Local purveyors have the opportunity to sell their specialty wares and greet the community as well.

      â??When I tell them itâ??s hornet nest that I cover the pieces with, theyâ??re in shock,â?? said vendor and creator of Buzz Art, Kim Froese. â??Thatâ??s what I like.â??

      â??Iâ??m looking forward to meeting all the different people here,â?? Panasiewicz said. â??Thatâ??s kind of one of my favorite things to do. I love to socialize.â??

      Bridgefest always offers a variety of activities for young and old including helicopter rides, music, and a fireworks show.

      â??I have a son, a five year old, so itâ??s always fun to do new stuff with him, and I know set up near the beach, they always have fun kid stuff to do,â?? said Keweenaw National Historical Park Ranger, Nick Clark.

      But for now, the thing on everyoneâ??s minds is whether the weather will clear up over the weekend.

      â??I hope it doesnâ??t rain and we donâ??t get blown away because my pieces canâ??t get wet, and I hope everybody has fun,â?? Froese said.

      â??Itâ??s going to stop raining,â?? Panasiewicz said. â??So, as soon as it stops raining, Iâ??m going to be doing good.â??