Rockford’s National Night Out Tuesday, August 4, couldn’t have been any better. The weather was perfect, the turnout was teriffic and everyone had a good time. This year for the first time, Rockford closed off Bridge Street and allowed local merchants and restaurants to put up booths offering free samples. Attendees enjoyed a delicious cupcake display with the National Night Out logo rendered beautifully by Denise Bradley. Rockford Department of Public Safety officers interacted with the public in a variety of ways, kids played in the Rockford Fire Truck mister, always a huge favorite, especially on hot nights. National Night Out is a community gathering in celebration of a safe environment. Law enforcement includes the Michigan State Police, including the drug dog, members of the Kent County Sheriff Department, including a marine patrol boat, and Rockford police and firefighters. Booths from Rockford Neighborhood Watch Association all offered crime prevention tips and giveaways, Rockford Lions offered free vision screening tests. Herman’s Boy offered delicious cookies and free iced coffee. Plainfield Township was present with a fire truck and firefighters. Cannon Township brought their amazing hovercraft and a newer rescue off road vehicle. Courtland Township brought a fire truck and the Smoke House which simulates the limited vision of a smoke-filled building and provides training in how to escape a home fire. The Rockford Chamber of Commerce made hundreds of snowcones, which were also very popular and had children lining up for a second or third. There was a bounce house and balloons from ReMax. Kudos to the City of Rockford and everyone else who contributed to such a special, family-friendly day of celebration.
Arts & Entertainment
Rockford’s very own long-time resident and aspiring author, Kathryn Moore, signed a deal recently with Lighthouse Publishers of the Carolinas to publish her first novel. Three years ago, frustrated by the lack of family-friendly movies, Moore decided to try her hand at writing in hopes that one day her work could become wholesome fodder for the moving-making industry. Her first novel, Angel Beneath My Wheels, is an inspiring love story about a young race car driver who lacks direction, a father who shows him the way and a remarkable young woman’s unfaltering faith that just may help him win the race of his life. In preparation for the launch of her debut novel early next year, she’s engaging with readers via her website, KathrynSueMoore.com, where once a month she posts an inspiring short story about real people who touch the lives of others. See her latest post in the editorial section on page x. It Takes a Village By K.S. Moore They say it takes a village to raise a child. Now that my youngest has turned eighteen, I would like to take this opportunity to thank my village. To my kindhearted neighbors who stopped to buy lemonade or hired my children to mow a lawn, shovel snow, baby-sit, or dogwatch, thank you for teaching my children responsibility, the benefits of hard work and the immeasurable rewards that come from helping others. To the generous parents of my children’s classmates who read with my children, planned parties, donated, or otherwise helped in the classroom or with sports, thank you for showing my children the value of community service. To the trustworthy parents of my children’s friends who hosted playdates and sleepovers, helped carpool and chaperone, thank you for demonstrating to my children the diversity of family. To the selfless volunteers in youth ministry who contributed their time and patience to teach my children about God, thank you. It’s because of you my children are well grounded in their faith, eager and prepared to embark on their life journey to impact their world for Christ. To my steadfast friends and neighbors who engaged my children in friendly conversations, even when, as shy pre-teens, their body language clearly said, “I’d rather not”, thank you for preparing my children to speak with confidence. […]
The Rockford Chamber of Commerce could change the name of the bi-monthly After Hours events to Talk and Eat, which would be an apt description. Maybe talk and eat and enjoy an adult beverage. Anyway, the events are held every-other month at a Chamber member location, varied throughout the year to let members show off their facilities and products. Reds on the River has been a popular venue with the beautiful Rogue River as the setting for outdoor seating and plenty of beverage choices to enjoy. The food was, of course, fantastic. After Hours are casual events, so people pretty much hang out and talk, sample some great appetizers or hors douvres and catch up on what is going on in each other’s lives. Each event ends with a drawing and announcements. Membership to the Rockford Chamber of Commerce includes countless opportunities to network, such as the After Hours events, luncheons, Network Circle meetings, many committee options and annual events such as the Community EXPO.
Grab your earplugs for a ground shaking, adrenalizing good time at the Dirt Diggin’ Danes Truck and Tractor Pull. The event returns for its 7th year at the Montcalm County fairgrounds for the 51st Annual celebration of the Danish Festival. The event entails six different classes of machine drivers competing to see who has the most amount of power under their hood, whether in a truck or tractor. The tractor classes are the 6,500-pound superstock class and the 12,000-pound field farm class. The truck classes this year are Stock Diesel, Pro Street Diesel, Hot Diesel and Modified gas trucks. Gates will open at 5 p.m on Friday, August 21st. 101.3 FM The Brew will be broadcasting a live radio remote starting at 6pm. And the excitement begins at 7pm. Tickets cost $10 for adults, $5 for children 6 to 12 years old and children 5 and under are free. There also will be $15 pit passes for sale. Event organizer Tim Rydahl say’s “It’s a lot of fun. It’s a lot of horsepower.” There should be 25 to 30 entries in both the tractor and the truck categories, with five to 12 competing drivers per class Rydahl said. The event will run 2 ½ to 3 hours. The 51st Annual Danish Festival is scheduled for August 21-23 and the theme is “The Little Match Seller”. For more information on the Danish Festival and a complete schedule of events call (616) 754-6369 or visit danishfestival.org. Danish Festival, Inc.’s mission is to host a festival that celebrates the homecoming of family and friends and our area’s Danish heritage. Please join us on this year on August 20-23, 2015 with the theme “The Little Match Seller”. For more information, visit the website atwww.danishfestival.org or contact the Danish Festival office at (616) 754-6369.
By BETH ALTENA A viral pandemic destroyed the world and wiped out half the population of the Earth. Technology is not only devastated, but actually outlawed. The remaining population survives by scavenging, struggling to make do, get by and fight rampant corruption. And some of it happens in Rosie’s Diner. Land of the Outlaws producer Phil Sieb grew up half in Grand Rapids and half in Detroit and is a graduate of Grand Valley State University. He spent ten years in Los Angles, working on the production Ancient Aliens and on the History Channel, Food Network and Women’s Entertainment. He worked on feature films and multiple independent productions before returning to Michigan. Now he is filming in various locations in West Michigan creating the vision of the future written by co-producer Michael Dault, who wrote Land of the Outlaws and co-stars in it. On Tuesday, August 4, the film crew worked in and around Rosie’s, the first day of a nine day shoot that include sites in Greenville, Rockford and Sparta. Filming also took place at the abandoned 101-year old West Cannon Baptist Church on the corner of Pettis and Five Mile (now possibly demolished, according to plans outline in an article by the Grand Rapids Press). “It’s very Mad Max and spaghetti western,” Sieb said of the story line. Inside Rosie’s the set evokes the landscape of a possible future with no technology. Chairs are made from wood pallets and rubber strips from tires. Vehicles are pared-down old, old models before the fancy bells and whistles of more recent makes and models. No GPS, no electric windows, no cell chargers. The cast and crew declined to allow photography on the set and didn’t want to be spoilers for the show, which may end up on television or be viewable in other multimedia. He said the success of the project could mean a bright future with eventual comic books and games. “But the tv series is the main thing.” He said the future of the project might well end up as a webseries or something online. Production is expected to be complete for the pilot in 2015.