Hot temperatures, Best Week Ever events make for busy day in South Bend

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - The sun is shining bright and South Bend is buzzing with activity. The Best Week Ever is wrapping up with its ‘Best Weekend Ever.’

The fun-filled and jam-packed week comes to an end on Sunday and folks are taking full advantage.

Friday, the Riverlights Music Festival began with bands taking the stage to kick the evening off…

Transforming South Bend into a musical experience; something that's been in the works for months now.

Planning for the festival started about two weeks after last year's ended. With each passing year, it's gotten bigger and better.

This year, 80 bands are being showcased from around the region.

The goal is to create a space for artists, community leaders and local businesses to come together and celebrate the City of South Bend as a destination for music.

“We just hope to see great support, the point of Riverlights Music Festival is to get some bigger regional bands and a lot of local bands so that the fans from the regional bands show up and support all the local musicians performing on the very stages we have going on,” said Dave Matthews, staff member, Riverlights Music Festival

“That’s what this is all about, the purpose of this is for us to celebrate our city, celebrate the culture, celebrate diversity, and so when people are out getting connected it really makes South Bend feel like that big city we know it is,” said Jonathan Jones, project manager, South Bend Venues, Parks & Arts.

The Riverlights Music Festival ends at 11 p.m. Friday. The festival will continue on Saturday. For details and ticket information, click here.


'Meet me on the Island' was also underway Friday evening at Island Park near the South Bend Museum of Art.

It featured music from Billy Stix Nicks and The Motown Machine.

That’s not all. Three local painters and two ceramic artists were at the venue showcasing their talents.

“We like the experience to be not only an experience for the eyes, but the ears and we'll have food too so there will be some experiences for the taste buds as well,” said Cathy Dietz, marketing director, South Bend Museum of Art. “When we see these events every year packed with people, it is wonderful… just to see everyone in the community coming out to support the arts in downtown South Bend.”


Best Week Ever events were scheduled back to back Friday, including something you don't see every day.

It was called the ‘Best ATM Ever.’

The giant machine on Michigan Street took 20,000 legos and one week to build.

Friday afternoon, it sat outside of the Notre Dame Federal Credit Union, where folks lined up to test it out. After inserting their card, the machine had something for them in return.

From gift certificates to water bottles and toys it was a hit for all ages.

“We were just thinking that as far as the Best Week Ever, what would make something the ‘Best ATM Ever’ and it would be that if you got something free out of an ATM. So we decided to make something that would give out prizes to everybody,” said Arielle Schmitt, ‘Best ATM Ever’ designer. “A lot of area businesses participated by giving cards, so there's some big prizes and smaller prizes and it’s all just the luck of the draw.”


Folks who stick around until sundown Friday are in for the ‘Best Fireworks Show Ever.’ They'll be shot off the Jefferson Street Bridge AT 9:45 p.m. and can be seen around the city.

For a full schedule of Best Week Ever events, click here.