As many of you know, Rockford’s Harvest Festival, which has traditionally run for three weekends—the last weekend in September and the first two weekends in October—has been cut back to two weekends, starting on October 6 for 2012. But that doesn’t mean that there will be no activity in town on the last weekend in September. In fact the excitement may be greater than usual because of activities planned by the Rockford Area Historical Society (RAHS) and the new Rockford Area Museum (RAM). As in the past, scarecrow building will be taking place on Saturday and Sunday, September 29 and 30 at the current museum on Bridge Street. This popular fundraiser is a community favorite. All funds raised benefit the RAHS and North Kent Community Services. In addition, the former courthouse next to City Hall, the future home of the new museum, will be the site of an exciting auction on Friday and Saturday, September 28 and 29. Actually, this will be a three-way auction—an online auction will begin well before “Museum Weekend.” An announcement will be made when items are posted there and available for bidding. The events downtown will include a silent auction, which will be available for viewing and bidding at the former courthouse on Friday evening and on Saturday, as well as an exciting live auction outdoors. Plans are to have food and beverages and entertainment available at the auction site on both dates. Put this weekend on your calendar. Bring the whole family downtown for a truly enjoyable time. There will be something for everyone. Both events are being run entirely by volunteers including the services of two area auction professionals, who have generously offered to help. Jack Robillard Auctioneers of Rockford and OAS International, part of the Miedema Auctioneering group of companies, are joining forces to provide RAHS with professional assistance in planning and conducting this major fundraiser. If you would like to help, you can call (616) 866-2235 to offer small-size clothing items, which are always needed for the scarecrow project. If it is necessary to leave a message, please do so. Someone will contact you about your donation. The auction is seeking auction items and volunteers to help with this large undertaking. Item donations could include household […]
Rockford Harvest Festival
First weekend of annual festival features family fun As the crazy heat-filled days of summer wind down, Rockford is preparing for yet another Harvest Fest. The 2011 festival will be celebrating its 35th year of gathering a bountiful harvest. The three weekends will be packed with plenty of activities, entertainment, music and contests—all designed with the family in mind. The festival is scheduled for the last weekend of September and the first two weekends in October. For a full schedule of events and times, check out The Rockford Squire each week or visit www.rockfordmichamber.com. Two favorite activities—the hayrides, hosted by Dufort Farms, and the Make It and Take It Scarecrow building—are back all three weekends due to popular demand. The Visiting Nurses Association will also be on hand from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. all three Saturdays at the Welcome Center to give flu shots. The first weekend, Family Fun Weekend, will feature the ever-popular Rotary Chicken Dinners and Aaron Zainea of Grill One Eleven will be raising a tent in his back parking lot with plenty of entertainment and activities. On Friday, the tent will feature live entertainment from 4 to 11 p.m. featuring Dave Hardin, Jack Leaver and the Lazy Blue Tunas. The Rotary Club will be serving up their famous chicken dinners from noon until 8 p.m. at the pavilion. Cost of the dinner is $9, with proceeds funding various Rotary programs. Saturday’s events under the tent will feature children’s activities from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., along with the entertaining Jeff Schroeder. There will also be a Cornhole Tournament from 2 to 7 p.m. Sam Kenny will take the stage from 4 to 8 p.m., followed by Nobody’s Business from 8 to 11 p.m. Herman’s Boy will feature coffee-roasting demonstrations, informational coffee and tea seminars and samples from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Chicken Dinners will be served in the Rotary Pavilion from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. and at the Grill One Eleven tent until 11 p.m. Rockford Hardware also has plenty of fun planned with an Antique Tractor Show from 9 a.m. until 12 and live music by Heaven’s Sake from 10 a.m. until noon. An Antique Tractor Parade will wind through downtown Rockford at 12:30 p.m. Back at the […]
Zelda is one of only two in the world by BETH ALTENA Be prepared to see a very rare animal during children’s weekend of Harvest Fest, October 7-9, 2011. This year, Zelda the Zorse will be in town as a main attraction and will likely be the only chance many of us will have to see the cross between an endangered Grevy’s zebra dam and a Belgian draft horse sire. Zelda was discovered by her current owners, Jerry and Cheryl Johnson, at a fundraiser held at the estate of a wealthy Michigan philanthropist, who had purchased her from breeders in Kentucky. The man was a collector of exotic animals and also had a miniature stallion, zebras and a camel. The Johnsons, horse people, were fascinated by the zebra-horse cross and researched extensively. They found there was only one other such animal known in existence and, when the philanthropist passed away, they were contacted by the animal keeper of the estate to see if they were interested in taking Zelda. They became Zelda’s owners on April 17, 2004. Zelda, now age 14, is 16.2 hands high and described as a “gentle giant.” As a hybrid, she cannot have foals of her own, although occasionally hybrids are able to conceive. The remarkable animal is known to be caring of the horses and mules she shares living quarters with. She tends to be shy, so act calmly and quietly when visiting with her this fall.
Aunt Candy of Aunt Candy’s Toy Company was thrilled with the turnout during the last weekend of Harvest Festival, especially the tons of kids in the annual costume contest. Cars lined the streets of Rockford right up past the business district for Saturday’s events, which included free horse-drawn hayrides, a petting zoo, mascots and more. The Heart of Rockford Business Association organized the third weekend of Harvest Festival, which was a great success. A petting zoo at Garden Club park with pony rides drew children. Mascots, such as Roo Bucks from the Rockford Community Federal Credit Union, spread cheer among the crowd.
‘The Rams are a permanent part of the community’ “We are thrilled by the response from our community, this is exactly what we hoped would happen,” said Jamie Hosford, director of Human Resources at Rockford Public Schools. Hosford has spent much of his summer preparing Year of the Ram, an art event for Rockford that will leave a lasting legacy and add interest to our community. Nearly life-sized Rams made from PVC plastic were sold to businesses, groups and individuals, decorated, and “released” Thursday, September 30 at the Rockford dam. Originally the plan was for the Rams to stay through the weekend, but the excitement and interest they have created convinced city and school leaders to leave them through the third weekend of Harvest Festival, October 9 and 10, Children’s Weekend. The Rams have a schedule ahead, including a visit to the homecoming game, participation in Santa Parade and visits throughout the community. The several dozen colorful beasts are all unique, many decorated by students at Rockford and representing creativity and hundreds of hours of work. Hosford said he believes the durable statues will be a permanent part of the community and another way we show our Ram Pride. He hinted the public’s help will be needed in the future for a contest requiring people to vote on their favorite Ram. “This shows our Ram Pride—Go Rams!”