Kairi visits Fremont
The 2019 Gerber Spokesbaby Kairi Yang will appear in this year’s National Baby Food Festival parade on Saturday, July 20, starting at 10:30am in downtown Fremont, MI.
She will be accompanied by her mother, Ying Vue, her aunt, Baohoua Vue, and Gerber employee representatives.
Kairi was chosen as the 2019 Gerber Spokesbaby out of more than 500,000 Gerber Photo Search 2018 contest entries, which is almost triple in size from previous years. She is from Hickory, NC.
During the Photo Search contest, which has run annually for nine years, Gerber judges set out to find children from birth to two-years-old, who best demonstrate visual appeal, expressiveness and consistency with Gerber’s heritage, which is grounded in recognizing that every baby is a Gerber baby.
It is hot, no doubt about it. But we are bipeninsular bipeds, toughened by the tenacity of winter and unwilling to hunker in because of a little heat.
Here’s a few options for the weekend...when you’re not cooling off with a splash in one of our lakes or a timely tube down the waterways, that is.
Pig Roast Today!
Might not even need the roaster on a day like today but if you want to grab a plate with some outstanding eats on it and not have to turn on the oven or light the grill check out the White Cloud Library’s annual event of porcine preparation. Side dishes galore, tasty desserts, games for kids and all for just 7 bucks and young folks 8 and under slide in for just $4. Tonight (Friday) 4-7pm.
Good cause since the proceeds support the Friends of the Library who support the library.
If you missed the Tuesday Sky Party at the Wessling Observatory another opportunity awaits because Saturday starting at 9pm the Dark Sky Astronomers will be taking a tour of the constellation featuring the arm of that ancient warrior Orion.
This is one of the true treasures our area offers to those who might be intrigued by the endless mysteries that inhabit the skies above us.
Check out their facebook page for more info
At the NCCA-Artsplace in downtown Fremont check out the Big Lake Exhibit.
Many artists in our region can’t help but be influenced by or inspired by the Great Lakes that surround us.The Big Lake exhibit features painting, printmaking, sculpture, and photography by Lee Ann Frame, Ken Foster, Roycine King, Cara O’Brien, Diane Zoellmer, Tracy Maike Kehr and Shelley Hale.
All are artists living in West Michigan, in whose work you may see a direct connection or at the very least see the connection of the power of water, wind and sand, of a magnificent force applied through time.
The exhibit runs from now through August 17th but tomorrow (Saturday) from 10am-2pm you cane peruse this intriguing exhibit in their wonderfully air conditioned setting. If you miss it this weekend daily hours are 9am-5;30pm except Thursdays when they are open until 8pm.
The Driftwood Deck will welcome Big Cadillac from 5-9pm Saturday and D.C.True hits the deck Sunday from 3-7pm.
And no better time to grab some good eats and a cold brew than a steaming Saturday afternoon so head to the Newaygo Brewing Co. where this pleasing combination of food and drink will be accompanied by the music of Ben Kolk who returns with more of his sweet mix of folk inspired tunes.
And do not forget about the Bitely Homecoming Celebration happening all weekend in one of the county’s most treasured northern towns.
Activities for kids include a giant bounce obstacle course, pony rides, barrel train rides and a “walk on water” feature.
Also on hand will be games for kids and adults, the car show, a flea market, fireworks (everyone’s fave), a craft show, mini & large horse pulls and, of course, the parade at 1pm Sunday.
Here’s their fb page for more info
Summer fun gets serious this week as the National Baby Food Festival (nee Old Fashioned Days) gets rolling in Fremont to start off the week then the Bitely Homecoming brings it with their unique brand of summertime celebration.
But to start of this week of merrymaking?
Tonight (Tuesday) under a full moon (the follow up to a breathtaking version rising out of the sky last night) the Dark Sky folks are having one of their sky parties up at Wessling Observatory.
Don’t give it another thought, just go. The events are always a good time and if you or someone you bring along is a novice to the pursuit of the wonders to behold in the night sky all the better.
Many are the number of current star gazers who began their journey with their first trip to an observatory.
Time? Well, they say they will ‘roll back the roof’ at 9 pm so plan accordingly.
Check it out here
Wednesday the NBFF kicks in with many activities throughout the week and of course, the traditional carnival taking up residence along the main drag to provide the backdrop for the other doings.
For the pickleball folks the ever growing legion of participants at all levels who play with a passion that would cause even the most avid golfer or committed kegler to pale in comparison, there is a tournament on Friday and Saturday at the new (and extremely impressive) Rec Center outdoor courts
Action begins at 8:30am and in case you have not yet caught pickleball fever we suggest you take in a match or two if only to witness the elevated level of competitiveness among the more seasoned p-ballers.
There’s something about people who experience The Bitely Homecoming for the first time.
They generally stumble onto the doings or have been invited for years and never took up the offer until finally deciding to go. Or maybe had heard about it and decided to give it a spur of the moment go, or because they knew someone in the parade that year or even perhaps felt they still hadn’t seen and heard enough fireworks this summer (yeah,some people are seriously into ‘works’).
Whatever the reason people find themselves at the Bitely Homecoming they often come back a bit amazed at the amount of sheer unabashed revelry that cranks up in one of our county’s most intriguing little burgs.
Luellen DeWall contacted us about this annual get together
“We are a very small community, but big on our annual celebration which brings friends and relatives to the area for a fun filled weekend!”
Bitely Homecoming is a seriously good time. There are events Friday Saturday and Sunday and they have a facebook page with details.
But Sunday at 1pm is the parade.
Don’t miss the parade.
The Dogwood Summer Youth Theater will present "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" on July 26 and 27 at 7:30 p.m. both evenings. The Dogwood Summer Youth Theater is directed this summer by Chelsea and Casey Webb and involves area youth in all facets of the production.
This version of the classic story is adapted by Doug Goheen from the novel by Mark Twain. All the wit, charm, and humor of the novel is preserved in this enchanting comedy that is suitable for all ages.
The main theme of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is the joys of childhood when the world is full of wonders and children are free of the heavy responsibilities of adulthood. Mark Twain was writing about his own boyhood, growing up in the small town of Hannibal, Missouri, right on the edge of the great Mississippi River.
With its hilarious accounts of boyish pranks and its shrewd assessments of human nature, "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" has captivated generations of all ages. This classic story offers a not-to-be-missed opportunity to savor a witty and action-packed account of small-town boyhood in a bygone era.
The production has 28 Newaygo County youth participating in the show. This program is funded in part by the Fremont Area Community Foundation.
Free admission with donations accepted at the door to support Dogwood programs. The production is on the Dogwood Main Stage with general admission seating.
For more information please contact the Dogwood Center at 231.924.8885. The Dogwood Center is located one mile east of downtown Fremont.
Weekend Doings From The Suggestion Box: Motocross & Market; Pinball & Park Art; Gardens & Great Tunes
What is it about summer in this peninsula paradise we call home? Man, you slog through a really lousy few months of winter only to see it hang on with an unappealing April followed by a miserable May.
However, never fear because June is on deck and June is always...always…
Well not always I guess. It was wet and windy and woefully under warm throughout]
July, on the other hand, has been a Godsend.
Even the recent humidity-driven scorchers, when weather folks got all cranked up on being able to pull out the old ‘heat index’ from their ever expanding meteorological vocabulary, were welcomed. Sure it was a tad toasty but hang on, remember not so long ago we were wondering whether or not it was ever going to stop raining and inch its way into the 60’s?
And now there is this, the current stretch of the most appealing and engaging weather one can possibly imagine. Warm sunny days with just enough of a chill to make the morning a tad crisp.
These are north country gems and worthy of a deep and abiding regard.
So revel, fellow citizens, revel.
Bluegrass band, the Black Box, a little adult beverage to help set the mood perhaps...sounds like a nearly perfect formula for some serious fun.
If you’re in the mood for some of that summertime revelry we just spoke of, Mark Lavengood and his collection of well known purveyors of outstanding musicianship will deliver the goods. The club-like setting provided by the Black Box always reminds me of the opening days of the Intersection in Eastown (circa 1972) where local and regional artists made their name in its cozy confines.
Friday 7:30pm, Dogwood Center Black Box
Friday from 7-10pm at the Brew Works in Fremont you can hear the ever evolving music of Lynn Thompson who will take listeners on a journey with a blending of blues. bluegrass, and country with a dash of rock and a dollop of roots.
Also Friday the welcoming atmosphere of the RiverStop Saloon will see the return of Catfish and the Man so if you’re in need of a little rock and roll get yourself to the Saloon and get ready to boogie down a bit starting about 7ish.
Food's good too.
Saturday as a little pre party for the looming Baby Food Festival the White Agency Kick Off Craft Show will bring a bevy of browsers to Vet’s Park in downtown Fremont from 10am-4pm.
Also Saturday is the annual UMC Garden Tour & Luncheon from 9am-3pm. Here’s the skinny on it.
“I thought I was
The body table king
But I just handed my
Pinball crown to him.”
Yeah we can’t hear anything about pinball without a chorus of the Who hit blasting in our ears.
Phil and Zoe Harmon are sponsoring a Qualifying Pinball Tournament for the Meijer State Games and open to all wizard wannabees of any age and skill level.
Play begins at 2pm Saturday at the Special When Lit Clubhouse at 5863 Warner.
Check out the Special When Lit Amusements facebook page for more details
It’s race weekend at Big Air the track located between Newaygo and Fremont just off M-82, but if you’re into MX you’re likely already headed there.
If you’ve never been and find your curiosity piqued?
Here’s their website
And bring some ear plugs.
The Muskegon Farmers Market on Saturday mornings provides one of those easy and enticing strolls along with some interesting goings on and a cornucopia of fine delectables on hand for purchase. Opens at 8am.
Where Are The Works?
Wednesday Night: Fremont Lake
Thursday Night: Downtown Hesperia
Saturday Night: Croton Causeway
Saturday Night: Pickerel/Kimble
Nearly every night: Hess/Brooks Lake (personal experience)
Oh and the Ring of Fire on Hess is Thursday.
Road Trip or Hang Close?
Tons going on here and beyond. A couple of fests with Hesperia’s Fun Fest and Freedom Fest in Croton and people swarming to the lakes and rivers to frolic on the 4th and onward through the weekend.
There are some very cool things going on a bit further out with Big Rapids hosting Blues Brews and BBQ’s, The Lakeshore Art Festival in Muskegon and the Sand Lake Rodeo among them.
But we’re here. We live in one of those places where lots of people come to from other places. They arrive in cars, trucks, campers, travel trailers, motorcycles and more. And they come here because it’s the kind of place where the opportunities for fun, relaxation and a little taste of the great outdoors know no bounds.
So travel if you will, our preference is to keep it close to home this weekend.
Check out our story on the doings in Hesperia
And if the weatherfolks are correct the best looking night for fireworks will be Saturday when the Freedom Fest finale takes place at the Croton Causeway.
And listen up fellow year-rounders... if it takes a little longer to get into your favorite place to grab some eats or more time to get your food and beverage once you’re in?
All good. Many of your fellow diners are visitors to this watery and wooded wonderland.
Where we get to live.
All the time.
Friday Mustang 8-midnight
Saturday DJ (and dancin' ?) 8-midnight.
Saturday Thirsty Perch Blues 5-9pm
Sunday Outlaw Express 3-7pm
Spanky's, Newaygo Brewing top vote getters
While our area boasts a bevy of pizza offerings the latest totally unscientific, rather random, and oftentimes confusing poll compiled by the staff at N3 World Headquarters and Institute for the Mathematically Challenged reveals two places that outshine the rest among the readers who took part in this initiative.
The first was the Fremont icon known as Spanky’s,
Maybe it’s the bread sticks (to die for) or the enticing array in their sumptuous buffet but when the votes were tallied Spanky’s hit the #1 spot.
“Not just the best in NC but the best in West Michigan.”
“The sauce is sweet and the crust is perfection
Like we said maybe it’s the sticks.
Close in voting to the top spot and about 12 miles apart geographically Newaygo Brewing Co. posted strong numbers with their own BBQ chicken pizza receiving call outs from fans.
The downtown Newaygo destination spot with some truly righteous brews also took in a collection of kudos for their sauce.
The best of the rest?
Depends a lot on where you live.
Our friends in the north swear by the wood-fired fat boy pizza at Woody’s and speaking of fat boys (not the Harleys), Hesperians favor Fat Boy Pizza (“Cut in squares with toppings under the cheese”) in their parts.
Around Grant Andrea’s received the most tallies but head a bit east and Shorty’s in Ensley garnished their fair share of support.
Croton area? The Trading Post and the Hilltop were singled out for their savory slices and in White Cloud What A’ Pizza wooed some readers.
Season’s in Fremont and Galaxy in Newaygo were also mentioned in the poll.
As for River City Pizza?
Gone, but apparently not forgotten.
Despite their departure from the pizza scene they still received votes as fans indicated how much they will miss the creations from the RC kitchen.
Fortunately there's a few places listed above to help fill the void.
“Anyone who says money can't buy happiness has clearly never spent their money on pizza.”- Andrew W.K.
N3 Best Of Newaygo County Survey-Pizza
Thus far in our Best of Newaygo County articles we have explored the burger preferences among the populace, then followed up with looking at your bias toward breakfast.
Our third effort at rooting out the skinny on local offerings has to do with perhaps one of the all time vital food groups of all.
Of course, we’re talking pizza.
The departure of River City Pizza in Newaygo unfortunately leaves us with one less option (and a lingering hunger for their innovative selections) but there are numerous other choices in these parts of the peninsula so we want to hear from you.
Where does your pizza partiality lie?
Circe Book Review
By Alexis Mercer
The text conversation went like this…
Mollie: Ok. Book club assemble. We need a meeting.
Stephanie: I need to read the books we assign instead of the books I want to read. Even though I picked the last book.
Alexis: Soooooooo I am really lame. I can do tomorrow night. Or August. But tomorrow or August I am SO IN!
Mollie: I’m in tomorrow.
Stephanie: I will be there.
Erin: What’s the plan? In.
So Monday it was. And it happened to be my turn to choose a book. I had just finished reading Circe by Madaline Miller. I was so obsessed with that I knew I needed book club to read it or something by the same author. I wanted to discuss it!
Circe is a tale of the Greek goddess told in first person. An epic story of the atypical goddess - one who does not revel in control, power or fame.
The reader learns of her being shunned by her father, Helios, all but disowned by her mother, ridiculed by her siblings. And finally banished to a remote island after she used her unique witchcraft skills to transform a foe into a monster.
It is on this island over the course of thousands of years that Circe learns who she really is, her strengths and abilities, her desire to protect herself and the world she has built.
Through the final page, this story kept me guessing and enchanted: a truly unforgettable tale that will stay with me.
I didn’t need to be well versed in the Greek gods’ stories to enjoy this book - though thinking back to my limited experience in middle school hearing of the Greek characters during “exploratory class” was a fun jog down memory lane. (A list of Greek gods and goddesses and their most famous characteristics is at the end of the book for those who desire to read up.)
Because of this obsession for what I had just finished reading, I chose Madeline Miller’s The Song of Achilles for this next month. And I couldn’t help but add Circe as an optional, additional story. It has been too long since our last book - why not make the next month really count?
The morning meal that can be a quick bite on the way to work or a leisurely repast shared with congenial company or perhaps enjoyed with a little alone time to read, check email or simply sip some coffee or tea and contemplate the day.
Our non scientific random poll of readers revealed not only a wealth of options in our fair climes competing for the best breakfast spot but some rather decided favoritism when folks dished on the dining delectables each offers.
Both places reside on M-37 and one is a Newaygo staple while the other is a reboot, a recent (and obviously very popular) entry at a well known and loved locale.
Top Vote Getters;
City Limits (Newaygo)
“Love the Country Boy omelet and the homemade whole wheat toast.”
“Great food, great prices, you won’t leave here hungry”
North Star Cafe (Between WC and Newaygo)
“Amazing food and amazing new owners.”
Hit The Road Joe (Croton)
“Very fresh ingredients that don't have the same "from a box" feel as many diners here. Breakfast comes with a piece of fresh fruit and jam. Gluten free bread available. Interesting and creative new home-made specials appear often. Charming setting with views of nature.”
The Jetty (Croton)
“Their biscuits and gravy are fabulous. They actually use seasonings when cooking and the staff is very friendly and informative about the ingredients they use.”
Lumberjak Shak (Fremont)
No comments but obviously a Fremont fave.
Moon Dance Cafe “Hash Brown Omelet-delicious” (Fremont)
Brew Works -”Excellent food and the biggest biscuits I know of in the area.” (Fremont)
Diner Between the Dams- “Can’t go wrong with the breakfast buffet” (Croton... I mean Hardy...well,...it’s like they say, between the dams).
Cronk’s “Best place for family breakfast.”(Newaygo)
Others receiving votes:
Kickstart Cafe (Grant)
The Eagles (WC)
Grant Depot (yup, Grant)
“Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”-Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
Look for our next survey and cast your vote for Newsygo County's Best Pizza
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