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      Upgraded Seafood Fest debuts this weekend

      The Marquette Rotary West Seafood Fest at Mattson Lower Harbor Park is being formatted a little different this year.

      Thursday night, there is a sold-out waterfront gala dinner.

      Friday night will feature the sounds of Pink Floyd. A Floyd tribute band named "Project Pink" will rock out Friday night along the shores of Lake Superior. The concert's production manager, Gale Lajoie, said bringing the group to Marquette is a big upgrade to the event that is being held for the 29th year.

      "The idea is that you get this music that is well produced and well performed, and it brings back the nostalgia of Pink Floyd," said Lajoie.

      The band will take advantage of the festival's state-of-the-art tent.

      "Their lighting with lasers, LEDs, intelligent lights will be able to reflect off the canvas," Lajoie said.

      The visual and audio spectacle is designed for all ages.

      "I thought it would be like bringing your kids down to see the music you used to listen to, but now I realized it's bringing your grandchildren down to listen to the music of Pink Floyd," Lajoie commented.

      There will be plenty of space near the stage for lawn chairs and blankets. The tent provides some cover from the sun and rain.

      Friday's concert starts at 7:30 p.m. Advanced tickets are available through NMU ticket outlets. Admission is $18 in advance, $20 at the park, and $10 for children 12 and under.

      The festival continues all day Saturday with free music from noon until 10 p.m.

      "We will have the traditional Seafood Fest, a lot of local bands, of course, all the seafood that everybody loves," said Seafood Fest co-chairman Christine Pesola.

      The festival has raised over $500,000 for Marquette County organizations in the past 28 years. Groups like Child and Family Services, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Salvation Army, Room at the Inn, and Harbor House have all benefited from past Seafood Fest funds.

      "Consider that when you're purchasing tickets," Lajoie said, "but it's also a great event, and I think it's the concert of the summer."

      More information on the entire weekend is available on the Seafood Fest web site.