by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL This New Year’s Day morning, plan on joining hundreds of Fred Meijer White Pine Trail users as they step into 2011 for a brisk four-mile walk. Hosted by the Friends of the White Pine Trail, this popular New Year’s Day tradition will mark its 10th year. The annual Resolution Walk is not just for Friends members but rather is open to everyone of all ages along with their four-footed friends as well. Bring the whole family and join with the Friends as they celebrate the many Trail improvements of the past year. One accomplishment that stands out is the paving of the Trail between Cadillac and LeRoy to the south, a distance of 8.6 miles. Funding for the project came from the Fred Meijer Foundation and a Federal High Priority Transportation Enhancement Grant. This was another major milestone in the Friends’ goal to have the Trail entirely paved from Grand Rapids to Cadillac. Another achievement was the installation trailside of a beautiful new covered picnic table located south of Cedar Springs between Indian Lakes Road and 16 Mile Road. Funding for this table and one previously installed just south of Rockford was generously provided by donations from Wolverine World Wide. As in past years, weather will be no obstacle to the hearty outdoor enthusiasts who have yearly stepped off in fellowship with nature and one another. Participants are asked to assemble at the Rotary Pavilion in downtown Rockford prior to the 10:00 a.m. start of the leisurely, noncompetitive round-trip walk from Rockford north to 12 Mile Road and back. As usual the Friends, in the cozy confines of the heated Pavilion, will provide refreshments. Look forward to hot coffee and cocoa along with cookies. Also, for the third year in a row, “Coney Girl” Jennifer Idema will be on hand serving up great hot dogs and brats with all the trimmings—all provided compliments of the Friends (donations gratefully accepted). Plan on stepping into 2011 on the right foot in anticipation of better things ahead for Michigan.
December 30 2010
by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL With Rockford-area businesses reporting strong sales during the Christmas shopping season, one local business stands out. Herman’s Boy is pleased to report yet another year of successive year-over-year increases. Boasting “one location worldwide,” Herman’s Boy is a distinctive destination in Rockford. One segment of the flourishing business is The Coffee Ranch that roasts and blends premium gourmet coffee. Established in 1901, the craft roaster is the oldest specialty roaster in the Midwest. Leading up to Christmas Day, the staff at Herman’s Boy worked 29 days in a row without a day off. During that period, the two beautiful stainless steel and enameled metal coffee roasters in the store’s roasting room hardly had time to cool off between batches. Who doesn’t love coffee? It is the beverage of choice at Christmas gatherings as well as a great gift item during the holiday season. Depending on the direction of the wind, we here in Rockford have the added plus of breathing the intoxicating aroma of coffee beans being freshly roasted on a daily basis. “Our two coffee roasters have roasted up to 800 pounds of coffee on many days leading up to Christmas,” said Andy Havemeier. “During the six days just prior to Christmas, we roasted 4,100 pounds of coffee.” This is all the more amazing when you consider the fact that the roastery only roasts in small batches of no more than 30 pounds of beans. They do this to ensure freshness by striving to only roast that which will be sold within 48 hours. “Pound for pound in retail sales, no one comes close to Herman’s Boy in West Michigan for freshness and quality of product,” added Havemeier. When one thinks of coffee, one thinks of Herman’s Boy. Over the years The Coffee Ranch has become famous for its distinctively blended coffees such as the iconic Pantlind Blend, Red’s Blend, and the Cherie Inn Blend, to name a few of dozens. Not to be forgotten are over 40 flavored coffee selections. Roasting only the finest varietal coffee beans from around the world, Herman’s Boy air-cools rather than water-cools their roasted beans. Thus, when you order a pound of coffee at The Coffee Ranch, you get a full pound measure of […]
What happens when chainsaw-wielding craftsmen meet giant blocks of ice? Simply magic. And you can get in on the action, Saturday, Jan. 8, from noon to 4 p.m. downtown Rockford. The 2010 festival drew over 6,000 guests, and event planners are working hard to make the second annual bigger, better and packed with free family fun. The festival is being sponsored by area businesses in partnership with the City of Rockford. Grand Rapids-based Ice Sculptures LTD will be providing the ice-carving talent. Festival activities will include: a giant show-stopping sculpture sponsored by the City and placed in front of the Welcome Center on Squires Street Square; carving demonstrations on the deck of Reds on the River and in front of the Corner Bar; nine holes of miniature golf with each ice hole sponsored by an area business, expanded from three holes last year—and the Food Network will be at the festival filming! New this year: a scavenger hunt throughout downtown encourages participants to find all the ice sculptures and a win prizes. Other new activities this year include: voting for best sculpture and golf hole in the heated pavilion; a best photo contest with uploads to Facebook; an ice sports wall for interactive games; and free hot cocoa in the Pavilion, provided by the Wolverine World Wide Family YMCA. Music and entertainment at the dam will be provided by the Rockford Area Arts Council. Area businesses will be offering festival fun and shopping and dining deals. And there will be contests and enter-to-win prizes for Guess the Melt Date and number of objects hidden in ice sculptures. What better way to enjoy the Michigan winter than to meander along the Rogue River in downtown Rockford and check out the ice-carving demonstrations, try your hand at a little miniature golf, and let your imagination run wild? Plus, the sculptures will remain on exhibit until Mother Nature does away with them—and if you can predict the date, you may just win some fabulous prizes! For additional information on the Ice Festival, check out www.reds-live.com. The Ice Festival is free, compliments of many sponsors, including: • Show Stopper Sculptures—Welcome Center: @The City of Rockford (www.rockford.mi.us), Promenade: Trendwell Energy (www.trendwell.com) • Four-hour carving demonstration (12-4 p.m./Reds deck): Reds on […]
by BETH ALTENA When Darleene Crysler (nee Carlson) was born 64 years ago, the event made the newspapers and netted her father a passel of prizes. She was the first baby born in Montcalm County in the year 1947, six pounds, fourteen ounces and greeting the world at 5:40 p.m. Sixteen local merchants contributed prizes for the contest and at first it looked like twin boys would take the honors, until Kelsey Memorial Hospital announced Darlene’s arrival. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime birthday,” said Crysler, who appreciates the January 1, 2011 date of her 64th. Crysler found the newspaper clippings of her father receiving an award and prizes among his things. Among the advertisements in the paper are a grocery ad with hamburger at 44 cents a pound. Another advertises Camels as the cigarette more doctors smoke. It hasn’t been tough having a January 1 birthday, Crysler stated. She said it was like having two Christmases and there is no excuse for forgetting the date. Recently a Rockford family made world news by having their three children on significant dates 8-8-08, 9-9-09 and 10-10-2010. With Crysler’s interesting birthday date this year, 1-1-2011, we can only speculate what other significant numbers the new year will bring us. If you were born November 11, be sure to call The Squire this year, we want to hear from you.
The Rockford Police Department’s Volunteer Services Unit still have a few 2011 calendars left for sale. The calendars feature beautiful photos of different areas and points of interest in Rockford, such as the dam, Rockford parks and areas of the Rogue River. The calendars are $10 each; checks can be made payable to Rockford VSU. The calendars can be purchased at the Welcome Center and the Rockford Police Department/City Hall offices. There are also a few downtown businesses that are selling the calendars. The proceeds earned from these calendars go to local charities and needy families in the Rockford area. For more information, please contact Rhonda at (616) 866-9557.