FERRIS – For the 15th year, residents and merchants of the city of Ferris celebrated their heritage with the annual Brick Fest. 

Sponsored by Ferris Downtown Merchants Association and Ferris Main Street, the event brings a blend of history with a festival.

“We want to show off our Main Street area and let people know that we are one of 86 cities in the state that is a designated Main Street city,” said Chuck Dart, Main Street chairman and the economic development director for the city.

Held in the downtown square, one of the booths was the Main Street booth, which featured photographs and history of the city and Main Street program.

“I wanted to bring the Main Street awareness designation to the people,” Dart said.

To kick off the Main Street awareness, Dart offered a contest to high school students, with 120 of them drawing sketches of buildings and scenes in the city.

“We selected 12 pictures and have made a writing card collection we are going to sell as a fundraiser for another program,” he said.

Next to the Main Street tent was a life-sized sculpture of a mule complete with real rigging.

“Mules were an important part of the city. They moved the loads of bricks from the several brick plants that were in the city. There would be 40 to 50 mules at any one time ready to be put to service,” said Bob Adams, the sculptor and town historian.

The festival included various foods with a couple of  barbecue cooks with their smokers fired up. There were also a number of arts, crafts and clothing booths for visitors to shop. The festive day started early with a 5 K run, with vendors setting up by about 9 a.m. The festival was scheduled to run into the evening, when a street dance was slated.