Forget high-tech, old-fashioned food and games are best What did kids and adults used to do to have fun? Find out during the three weekends of Harvest Festival in Rockford, starting this Friday with Family Fun Weekend. This year, what is new is what is old as students from the Rockford High School Youth Initiative offer old-fashioned games in Garden Club Park (by the dam). The games are free, although the club is accepting donations. The group has set a high goal this year of building a Habitat Home, hopefully somewhere in Rockford. The games will be noon to 4 p.m. Saturdays all three weekends and 1 to 4 p.m. each Sunday. The three weekends of fun begin Friday, September 25 as Rockford Rotary repeats their popular chicken dinner sale at the Rotary Pavilion from noon to 8 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Drive-up service is available for to-go orders. All three weekends enjoy hayrides, scarecrow making, and activities and demonstrations around town. Returning with a new twist is the chili cook-off, formerly a Jaycee event, now organized by the Rockford Chamber. Chefs should hone their recipes now for that event, held Saturday, October 3 during Heritage Weekend. Judges will be local firemen, traditional experts in the field. Set up will be in the Rotary Pavilion at 10 a.m. Also returning that weekend is the classic car show and fiddle competition. Kids will enjoy a chance to challenge their skills in a coloring contest (see page 11) with entries to be displayed at D&W. Winners will be announced the second weekend of Harvest Festival. “There are lots of new things, and also returning favorites,” said Brenda Davis, Rockford Chamber Director. Davis said merchants are joining the fun more this year by offering in-store demonstrations. Harvest Fest is in its 33rd year and is a celebration of old-fashioned activities and of hometown enjoyment. Rockford is the perfect setting for such an event, and is often compared to a Norman Rockwell painting come to life. Not all events take place in downtown proper. D&W will be selling hotdogs to benefit the North Kent Service Center this Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. Rockford Hardware will host an […]
Youngsters learned what it was like to prepare to charge into battle (above), and what sort of items a Native American was likely to have for daily use. The 23rd annual Grand Rogue Living History Encampment was Saturday and Sunday, September 19 and 20. Reenactor Mike DeJonge said participants are very dedicated, and rules about period dress and behavior are very strict. To the public, it is like walking back in time from the French and Indian War on up to WWII, showing both military and civilian living. To learn more visit grandrogueencampment.com.
The YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids is very pleased to announce that Meijer has made a very generous donation to the residents of northern Kent County by contributing $100,000 to the Wolverine World Wide Family YMCA located in Belmont. The six figure amount is allocated to the 2007 expansion of 14,000 square feet which was needed just two years after the Wolverine World Wide Family YMCA opened in 2005. “Meijer understands the value that a strong YMCA brings to the community it serves by providing a solid foundation based on positive activities and programs. Meijer also appreciates the fact that a strong, healthy and vibrant community benefits all area residents and the YMCA’s mission is a critical part of a positive community equation,” said Stacie Behler, vice president, corporate communications and public affairs at Meijer. Wolverine World Wide Family YMCA serves 7,700 members and provides the northern Kent County residents with more than 200 wide-ranging programs. Originally built in 2005, it became quickly apparent that an additional 14,000 square foot expansion was needed to fill the high demand for a health, wellness and fitness facility that would meet the need of the growing northern Kent County corridor. “We are thrilled to receive such a generous gift from a West Michigan original retailer like Meijer. The money will help in many ways now the expansion is complete. This gift will enable thousands of kids and families to reach their potential in spirit, mind and body in our newly expanded Wolverine World Wide Family YMCA,” said Bev Thiel, Executive Director of the facility.
Cancer-stricken artist vows ‘If it’s the last thing I do’ Rockford artist Mark Heckman refuses to be down in the mouth about his health when winning ArtPrize could give him another shot at realizing his dream of creating a lasting monument to Grand Rapids. Heckman, who is battling stage III non-Hodgkins lymphoma, is unveiling a series of artistic billboards to draw attention to his renewed effort to erect a giant tooth sculpture to honor the city as the first in the nation to fluoridate its water. “I don’t want sympathy – I want votes,” said Heckman, who has adopted the persona of The Tooth Fairy for his artistic campaign. “I’m going to keep fighting tooth and nail for this project—if it’s the last thing I do.” His ArtPrize entry centers around a number of CBS outdoor billboards in downtown Grand Rapids, including the tongue-in-cheek “First In Fluoride” which depicts George Washington and the Tooth Fairy crossing the city’s Grand River with a mammoth molar. “It’s a fact that the father of our country had terrible dentures,” Heckman said, noting that Washington had lost all but one of his teeth by the time of his inauguration. “He probably should have spent more time brushing and less time cutting down cherry trees.” Heckman, who has garnered worldwide attention with his billboards about AIDS, racism and various environmental issues, has also painted a pair of side-by-side billboards that promote Grand Rapids Tap Water with the advertising slogan, “Tastes Great. Less Fillings.” “I feel the art world has a giant cavity that is waiting to be filled with my project,” he said. “There is no question that a giant tooth would draw attention to Grand Rapids’ place in dental history.” ArtPrize, which has drawn artists from around the world to the biggest competition of its kind, will be decided by a public vote between Sept. 23 and Oct. 7.