The first ever Sand Creek Summer Daze festival will kick off on Friday, with plenty of activities in store and fun for all ages planned. Here are three highlights:

1) A parade of a different color

First up on Friday, Sand Creek Summer Daze will begin with the Floating Flotilla parade at 6 p.m. Festival mascot Sand Creek Charlie will lead the parade and anyone 14 or older (entering a float on a non-motorized craft, which must be inspected by festival organizers) is welcome to join or simply witness the unique, nautical parade from the banks of Sand Creek.

The parade will start at the Broadway Street bridge and conclude at the Fifth Street boat ramp, where Sand Creek Charlie will fire off the cannon to officially kick off the festival. The theme for the parade is "Back to the Future" (heavy on '80s style) and awards will be given out for best float business/organization, best float individual/family and best theme/craziest crew.

2) Embracing the atmosphere

Along with the parade, a number of other activities will be taking place on Sand Creek over the weekend, from the Paddle Palooza races to the Sand Creek Cardboard Regatta building contest (creating a "seaworthy vessel" out of cardboard, two pool noodles and a roll of duct tape). Additionally, there will be a host of events playing up the "summer" aspect of the festival as well —like the Great Brain Freeze Get Together ice cream-eating contest. While competitors have already been selected, those who attend will be offered a free frozen treat after the competition.

3) Party on, Wayne!

Entertainment will abound over the weekend, as a number of musical acts will be performing for Sand Creek Summer Daze, starting with a focus on local acts Friday including Sam Unruh, Amber Goldermann, The Sassanachs and the Adam Capps Band.

Saturday afternoon will be full of music as well, culminating in the "Hot Summerz' Night" concert featuring Paramount with special guests Bootleg Mercy — covering the hits of the '80s, '90s and '00s between the two acts. Dressing up is also encouraged, as winners of the '80s costume contest to be held Saturday night will earn $50 and a chance to dance on stage with Paramount.

Those seeking out a flavor party will not be let down, either, as the festival will close with a BBQ competition for backyard grilling enthusiasts. Public tasting (and voting) of the competitive entries will begin at 2 p.m. Sunday.

If you go:

When: Aug. 17-19.

Where: Sand Creek and Newton Athletic Park areas.

How Much: Festival buttons are $5, though there are additional admission costs for certain events. Check for more information.