Rockford Harvest Fest

Don’t talk to strangers, just look

October 1, 2009 // 0 Comments

Kevin Tomasunas, 19 months, doesn’t know what to make of OPUS Mime (Michael Lee). Keeping a safe distance, he must surely be thinking, “Are you for real?” On the first Saturday of Harvest Fest, Kevin stood transfixed for 20 minutes while deciding to come a little closer to the mime extraordinaire or turn and run away as fast as his little legs would carry him. As it turned out, he never moved. More Harvest Festival fun is coming, see inside. photo by CLIFF HILL

Harvest Fest’s heritage weekend offers food, music, classic cars

October 1, 2009 // 0 Comments

The classic cars roll into Rockford Saturday, October 3, one of a town-full of attractions for this weekend’s Harvest Fest. Returning is an annual chili cook off, now organized by the Rockford Chamber of Commerce, along with the festival itself. For the second year, enjoy a Fiddle Fest on the banks of the Rogue River. Rockford’s heritage is the highlight of this weekend’s entertainment and the Chamber invited all to step back in time. The days of events begins with a bake and rummage sale starting at 8 a.m. at the Towers parking lot. At 10 a.m. set-up begins for the chili contest in the Rotary pavilion on the corners of Courtland and Squire streets. Chefs are invited to prove their prowess in chili with the cook-off. Organizer Lori Vorpi of Vorpi Chiropractic has reinvented the contest this year, and for the first time five chilis will be chosen for recognition. Judging will begin at 3 p.m. for first through fifth place, and judging by the public will begin at 3:15 for people’s choice and best booth. A $25 donation is required by participants, and each team (limit of three people per team) must cook a minimum of two gallons of chili. According to the Michigan Department of Health rules, all meats must be purchased from a store, so no wild game may be used. No homemade, home canned or home processed ingredients are allowed and no porcelain or enamel-coated containers are allowed. In the past, chili winners have revealed their secrets to the Squire, and they have included blends of heat from different peppers, white sauce ingredients for chicken chilis, and other ingenious or family secret ingredients. For more information about the cook off, call Lori at (616) 866-1081 or email While waiting to taste the cook off results, enjoy the beauty of some classics in the City of Rockford parking lot. The classic car show is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with no registration required. Last year’s show included plenty of gems, many lovingly restored. For the second year, enjoy live music from musicians from all over with the Fiddle Fest from noon to 1:30 p.m. These events are just a few of many happening in Rockford during the remaining two […]

Rotary chicken sale over, plenty more to eat, do at Harvest Fest

October 1, 2009 // 0 Comments

  Don’t miss the used book (and more) sale at Krause Memorial Library on Saturday, October 3, from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. During the last hour, items are a buck a bag. Other events happen througout the day. Animals on the Go are back at Garden Club Park Saturday and Sunday from 2 to 6 p.m., and hayrides throughout the day are free and fun with really big horses. Rockford merchants work hard to make the festival a special treat. Each year Start of Summer dazzles with bling and rides, but Harvest Fest is designed to bring back that old-fashioned hometown feel for which Rockford is so well suited. Take the time to visit in some of our local shops, where you are likely to meet the owner, who will chat and ring up your sale. Try to find service and experience like that in a big-box store.

Harvest Fest—the way real life should be

September 25, 2009 // 0 Comments

Take a break from the sun and have a hand-drawn caricature done. Enjoy simple, succulent steamed corn or admire the many talents of the local Rogue River Arts Association artists. These are just a few of the old-fashioned, real-life things to do at Rockford’s three weekends of Harvest Festival.        

Harvest Fest—Week one is family fun

September 24, 2009 // 0 Comments

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 […]

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