4-Day Festival Returns Sept. 12-15
The Michigan Irish Music Festival observes its 20th anniversary this year, and what better way to celebrate than by hosting more bands than ever in the history of the event?
The festival returns to Heritage Landing in downtown Muskegon Sept. 12-15 and features Irish and Celtic music on seven covered stages. The festival kicks off Thursday, Sept. 12 with its Pub Preview Party featuring food, beverages, and three bands in the pub tent only. The full festival begins Friday.
In addition to live music, the Celtic Kitchen and beverage stations serve authentic Irish food and drinks. The Tea Room has non-alcoholic choices and treats in a relaxed atmosphere. Other activities include the Irish Market and Irish Store, children’s activities, a cultural center, and a session tent. FEIS, an Irish dance competition, and the Highland Games are held on Saturday. Sunday, Catholic mass at 9 a.m. will be followed by a traditional Irish breakfast.
This year’s festival, expected to draw 40,000 patrons, will host a record 26 bands. Here’s a sneak peek at 10 of the bands on tap:
GAELIC STORM After two decades and more than 2,000 live shows, this multinational Celtic band returns to the festival for the first time in five years. Gaelic Storm attributes their continued success to a diversified fan base from several musical genres: country, bluegrass, Celtic, and rock. Gaelic Storm, which has gained a reputation as a genre-bending Irish rock band, has topped the Billboard World Chart six times, appearing at mainstream music festivals and headlining the largest Irish festivals across the country.
THE HIGH KINGS The band’s most recent release, “Decade-Best of The High Kings,” garnered rave reviews, and their recently completed U.S. tour sold out many of its venues. The High Kings’ unique contemporary style and arrangement to songs of yesteryear are sure to delight.
AOIFE SCOTT The singer and songwriter from Dublin was named the 2018 winner of the Best Irish Folk Act at the Irish Post Music Awards. Her music has a broad creative scope but is largely influenced by her own roots in folk and traditional Irish music.
ONE FOR THE FOXES This exciting and dynamic transatlantic trio presents a rousing blend of Irish and American folk music. They offer both traditional and newly composed music, presented in an energetic and engaging manner.
JIGJAM The award-winning quartet from Ireland blends the best of traditional Irish music with bluegrass and Americana in a new genre, which has been branded as “I-Grass” - Irish influenced bluegrass.
DOOLIN’ Doolin’ is one of the most innovative bands of the Irish music scene. Formed in Toulouse in 2005, the band comprises six accomplished and eclectic musicians. French in origin, this sextet brings a fresh approach to Irish music. Doolin’ combines instrumentals, vocals, and original compositions in a resolutely modern style. The arrangements at times taking their inspiration from pop-rock, folk, jazz, funk, and even rap.
PIGEON KINGS Pigeon Kings draws from Celtic and rock influences, but they’re not Celtic Rock. There are traditional elements, but they’re not a traditional band. With elements of Americana and Bluegrass, they have a sound and persona all their own. Pigeon Kings offers a high energy stage show backed by unique compositions, honest lyrics, and experienced showmanship.
THE DROWSY LADS Jack Baker of the Irish American News named The Drowsy Lads the “Best Irish American Band of 2018.” The Lads, out of Columbus, Ohio, have won over both casual music lovers and those steeped in hardcore traditional Irish music. They’re fond of creating their own spirited arrangements and offer occasional original compositions (even mixing in bluegrass and classical), but that never gets in the way of their obsession with the pure old Irish tunes, songs, wit, and friendship that has defined Irish music for centuries.
CONNLA After winning New Group of the Year (Chicago Irish American News) and Best New Group (Live Ireland Music Awards) in 2016, Connla has been quickly making an impact on the folk/traditional scene. More recently, Connla won Album of the Year for 2019 at both the ALSR Celtic Music Awards and the Livvies Awards. Songlines magazine named Connla their “must-see act” for their UK tour and proclaimed, “A band this young shouldn’t be this good.”
THE CONIFERS The five young musicians that make up The Conifers met while studying traditional music at the University of Limerick. They have since developed a lasting friendship, which is evident in their music. In 2018, The Conifers, whose music is energetic and lively with a wholesome sound, won first place in the prestigious Michigan Irish Music Initiative competition in Dundalk.
Advance tickets and passes for this year’s Michigan Irish Music Festival are available online (patrons save $5 per ticket online vs. the gate price). The festival offers an Early-In Free promotion on Friday only from 5 to 6 p.m., sponsored by Family Financial Credit Union. Other major sponsors of the festival include G&L, Van’s Car Wash and Budweiser. The Delta Hotels by Marriott and Shoreline Inn are host hotels for the festival. For complete festival information, and the announcement of additional bands, visit www.michiganirish.org.
By Sally Wagoner
The 21st annual Purple Heart Powwow will be held in White Cloud on Saturday and Sunday, August 3rd and 4th. Families are welcomed to this kid friendly, drug and alcohol free event which is sponsored by the Military Order of the Purple Heart, and supported by the City of White Cloud and the Fremont Area Community Foundation.
On Saturday, an 11 a.m. VFW Flag Raising Ceremony and Fly Over will take place to honor all Veterans. The public and all Veterans are urged to attend this special ceremony.
“Grand Entry” will open the Powwow at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Saturday, and at 12 noon on Sunday. The public is encouraged to be there for Grand Entry to experience the first sounds of the Drum, singing, honoring the many tribal staffs and military flags, and dancers in beautiful regalia. Vendors selling Native American foods, crafts and art will be present for the public to enjoy as well.
“The Powwow will bring people of many tribal nations from across the country and from Canada to share their cultures and have a good time,” said Gene Reid, a member of the Mohawk tribe and a Purple Heart VietNam Combat Veteran. “It is a celebration, not only of Native American heritage but a celebration for all people.” Mr. Reid has been the coordinator of the event for the past 21 years, and has the help of many friends, Veterans and the Native Circle of Newaygo County. “
“Everyone is welcome to learn and participate in the Powwow. You don’t have to be Native American to join in,” added Gene. “People in traditional regalia will be dancing around the circle to Drums. The M.C. will explain to people what the different kinds of dances mean. When he says, ‘Inter-Tribal Dance – everybody dance!’ that means anyone and everyone can enter the circle. In fact, we encourage everyone to participate.”
Today’s powwow may have been the outcome of several origins. The Algonquian term “pau-wau” or “pauau” referred to a gathering of medicine people or spiritual leaders, and may have been the source of today’s word “powwow.” What may have began as a warrior or healing ceremony among the southern Tribes spread north and east in the 1800’s during a time when traditional Indian dances were illegal under the Bureau of Indian Affairs. As U.S. expansion and colonization took place, Indigenous people’s ways of life were decimated as they were forced to live on isolated reservations. Any expression of traditional ceremony, prayer or gathering was punishable by law. In 1921 the Office of Indian Affairs issued a policy statement to its agents which stated: “….all other similar dances and so called religious ceremonies are considered ‘Indian offenses’ under existing regulations, and corrective penalties are provided. I regard such restrictions as applicable to any (religious) dance…..”
The need to dance, celebrate, pray and gather together among individual Tribes as well as among many Tribes together continued in spite of these laws. In the 1950s urbanization and the continued expansion of contact between and among Indian communities on and off reservations helped the growth of these gatherings, as it became a common meeting ground for Indians of all tribal affiliations (Iverson 1998:136, www.powwow-power.com/powwow-history/). Still outlawed, these gatherings became more “acceptable” in some areas as apparent social events by the dominant society, yet they secreted many of the spiritual aspects of the songs, dances, clothing and practices of the hundreds of Tribes that participated. It wasn’t until 1978 when the “American Indian Religious Freedom Act” was signed by President Carter that expression of religion and spiritual beliefs through any means by Native Americans, including dance, was made “lawful”. Today a powwow can occur for a social get together, for a contest dance or to honor a person, family or belief, such as an “Honoring Our Elders Powwow” or as the White Cloud Purple Heart Powwwow which honors all Veterans.
“The White Cloud Purple Heart Powwow welcomes all people, Veterans and families. It brings people of all walks of life together,” explained Gene Reid. “It is about unity. We hope to see hundreds of people and many new faces at this year’s celebration.”
Admission to the Pow Wow is $4.00 for adults, $3.00 for seniors and children ages 6 to 12, with kids 5 and under free. The address is 286 Baseline Road, White Cloud. From the center of White Cloud take Wilcox Avenue west past the school to Sycamore Avenue and turn right. Follow that to Baseline Road as it curves left. The Pow Wow grounds will be on the left with parking in a field on the right. No dogs except registered Service Dogs are allowed on the grounds and participants are encouraged to bring lawn chairs.
The Pow Wow is supported by the admission fees, donations and a generous gift from the Fremont Area Community Foundation. View “Event” information on the facebook page of Native Circle of Newaygo County, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
New courts put a shine on the tournament
Story and photos by Mark Pitzer
Note: The Pickleball mania that has swept through the country is no more apparent than here in Fremont where players from throughout the county and beyond have embraced the impressive, newly inaugurated courts on Maple St. N3 asked Mark (who previously shared his Electric Forest experience oin our pages) to give us the skinny on how the first event held at the new courts played out.
Fremont recently hosted a successful two day Pickleball Tournament at the new outdoor courts on Maple Street; close to downtown.
Over one hundred volunteers and players came together to participate in Newaygo County's biggest Pickleball competition Friday 7/18 and Saturday 7/19. Forty two, 2 person teams registered and played on six newly completed courts. Players competed in categories based on ability, age and gender, with some players competing in multiple categories with mixed doubles on Saturday.
Special recognition is earned by the players that travel the greatest distance to participate. The winning couple traveled 430 miles downstate from Marquette. Volunteers and competitors worked together to make this tournament a landmark event for Newaygo County players.
Baby Food Festival Pickleball Tournament Medal Winners
Friday, July 19, 2019
1st Place Roger Hershberger and Steven Hershberger
2nd Place John Sinicki and Tony Linn
3rd Place Aiden Fickle and Jeff Drudi
Men’s 3.5 50 years and above
1st Place Tom Schlaffer and John Durham
2nd Place Jim Walker and Matt Feldpaush
3rd Place Ben Bonk Sr. and Scott Bonk
Men’s 3.5. 49 years and younger
1st Place Richard Betz and Chris Christoffersen
2nd Place Lance Anderson and David Castillo
3rd Place Steve Coxon and Cole Hudson
1st Place Jaymie Riedel and Jen Stuppy
2nd Place Julia Henderson and Denise Fishell
3rd Place Betsy Jasper and Christine Christoffersen
1st Place Jonra Jacoby and April Rastoskey
2nd Place Kim Schoof and Tracey Holmberg
3rd Place Rayme Supernaw and Kristin Krim
1st Place Bev Leimback and Vicki Howard
2nd Place Pat Durham and Christie Pollock
3rd Place Lynn Brookhouse and Katie Harrington
Saturday, July 20, 2019
1st Place Jodie Kyes and Walker Christoffersen
2nd Place Christine Christoffersen and Lance Anderson
3rd Place Jen Stuppy and Jeff Stuppy
Mixed 3.5 50 and Above
1st Place Denise Fishnell and Tony LInn
2nd Place Mary Reese Pumford and Mike Pumford
3rd Place Marilyn Reichardt and James Kremer
Mixed 3.5 49 years and Under
1st Place Angie Patton and Matt Feldpausch
2nd Place Rayme Supernaw and Rich Betz
3rd Place Tracey Holmberg and Chris Christoffersen
1st Place Barb Jamros and Rob Jamros
2nd Place Tawnie Kane and David Castillo
3rd Place Amanda Danley and Mike Kane
The courts are open to the public from 7:30 AM through 9:00 PM. Newaygo County Pickleball Club host regular play for locals and visitors on M-W-F from 9:00 - 12:00 for mostly competitive players and T-Th-F from 9:00 - 12:00 for recreational and newcomers to this popular game.
Drew Nelson, a Michigan native and Navy veteran, writes down-to-earth songs with a striking clarity and depth of feeling and will perform at the Dogwood Center Black Box on Friday, August 2 at 7:30 p.m.
Nelson is a storytelling songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. A fly fisherman and world traveler, he writes as a witness to the lives and journeys of those he has met along the way, mixing Americana and roots-rock with traditional folk styles.
Drew has toured across North America and Europe, performing solo and opening for popular rock artists like Melissa Etheridge and Edwin McCain as well as esteemed folk singers like Josh White Jr. and John Gorka. He has earned critical acclaim for albums such as “Tilt-A-Whirl,” “Dusty Road to Beulah Land” and “Immigrant Son.”
Tickets are $10.00 and are available through the Dogwood Center Box Office, NCCA-Artsplace in downtown Fremont, or on-line at www.dogwoodcenter.com. For information, phone 231.924.8885. The Dogwood Center is located one mile east of downtown Fremont.
Newaygo Athletes Speed Through Summer
By Alexis Mercer
Nothing screams summer like a day at the beach, relaxing with friends, followed by a pizza dinner and ice cream to top it off.
Maybe that’s how the 50 Newaygo athletes spend their summer days, but not until after their 8:00 am speed and agility workouts every Monday and Wednesday all summer long with Truss and Johnson Training.
Courtney Truss and Tyler Johnson are recent graduates from Aquinas College. Both were All-Americans in Track and Field. Tyler specialized in the 400 while Courtney ran short sprints, including 100, 200 and 400. They graduated with degrees in Exercise Science (with business and coaching as well) and started their own business together: Truss and Johnson Training.
Scott VanEssen, Newaygo’s Athletic Director and Varsity Football Coach, contacted and then worked with Truss and Johnson to have them come to Newaygo every Monday and Wednesday morning from 8-9 am to work with any Newaygo athletes who were interested in bettering their speed and agility.
Athletes from every sport at Newaygo and all grades at the high school, with some brave middle school students jumping in too, were represented the very first week. Participation only grew after the first session when those present spread the word about what they had done.
Each session Truss and Johnson would follow an outline beginning with warm-ups, move to mobility and dynamics, followed by a speed warmup, speed and agility workout, followed by plyometrics and then deep stretching to finish. Every workout varied in activities, keeping the days fresh and exciting for the athletes.
This opportunity to learn from experts in the field was not wasted by Newaygo athletes. While teenagers may have a reputation for staying up late and sleeping in past noon, these Newaygo athletes had nothing to do with living up to that lazy reputation. They showed up, worked hard, got better, and are stronger, faster and more agile for having done so.
The Song of Achilles Book Review
By Alexis Mercer
Madeline Miller earned her BA and MA in Classics. She has taught Shakespeare, Greek and Latin to high school students for 20 years. Additionally, she studied in the Dramaturgy department at Yale School of Drama, where she focused on adapting classical texts to modern forms. According to her biography information on her website, all of this and more led to her authoring her first book, The Song of Achilles, in 2012.
This extensive study of Classics, including Greek mythology, and the unique aspect of transforming the stories into contemporary forms works perfectly for her to author this book.
The story is of Achilles, one of the greatest warriors in Greek mythology. Born of a human father and Goddess mother, the traditional tales are of his part in the Trojan war and his warrior strength that is unequaled.
Miller’s tale holds true to the traditional aspects of his story, but weaves intricate details of imagination and intrigue to his life not found elsewhere.
Many Greek characters appear in the story, all fitting perfectly into Miller’s dream of what Achilles would have been while remaining loyal to their historically known characteristics.
While I enjoyed Circe, by Miller, more (see the book review I did in June of N3), this was an entertaining, utterly unique novel I am glad to have read. It’s certainly not for everyone - as Greek mythology goes - there are scenes that aren’t for the faint of heart. So long as you know what you’re getting into - and that the novel shies away from nothing present in classical mythology, the story is fascinating and enjoyable.
By Ken DeLaat
It’s Friday night and no one feels like cooking after a week of battling not only the daily grind but the orange menace taking over our roadways with their barrels, cones, and sign twirlers creating a general aura of agitation among the caravans of commuters.
Ah but it is Rib Night at Hit The Road Joe where for a mere 14 bucks one can nab a to-go serving with the aforementioned ribs, a choice of two scrumptious sides and a hefty slab of cornbread. Friday 5-7pm. And when they are out, they are out so call 231-652-6020 to reserve your rack.
Knocked down the ribs and into some serious tunage? RiverStop Saloon will welcome in Whiskey Bizzness Friday evening.
If you took in the music of Kaitlyn Zittel during her last visit you need to know she is returning to the Newaygo Brewing Co Saturday for their Acoustic lunch from 12-3pm. If you missed her last time make it a point to catch the performance of this gifted songstress.
Want to see a really well done play featuring some of our area’s talented young people in the production of an old favorite story?
You’re in luck.
The Dogwood Summer Youth Theater is performing the classic tale of Tom Sawyer Friday and Saturday at 7:30pm and as an added bonus admission is free, nada, nil, nothing.
Of course one would expect under such bargain conditions a donation might not be out of the question so…
Ok we know the last couple of times we mentioned the Star Parties over at Wessling Observatory that the viewing prospects proved to be less than stellar (pun intended) due to our beloved Bipeninsular meteorological nuances.
This Saturday (July 27) at 9pm looks to be different as the forecast calls for clear skies.
Should this prove to be the case (it is, after all, Michigan) you would do well to take advantage of this astronomical gem we have in these parts. Bring the family or a young person intrigued by the stars and check out a meteor shower (think shooting stars so there will likely be wish opportunities) Jupiter and its moons and everyone’s favorite, Saturn the ringed wonder.
The SF Wessling Observatory is located 7 miles north of Fremont at 6523 W. Baseline Road. Turn left (west) at the corner of Baseline and Stone Road.
I recall stopping at the Hilltop Bakery in downtown Bailey as a child (yes it was in a car) and being taken in by the same aromas I experience today.
They’re having a Summer Celebration Saturday from 11am-6pm with giveaways, a bounce house, a free (love that word) hot dog with some chips and more. It’s their 85th summer and no I wasn’t at the first one but thanks for asking.
Holton Days starts tonight (Thursday) and runs through Sunday. Steak fry and silent auction on Thursday, Christian Music with hot dogs and ice cream on Friday, full day of fun and events on Saturday, ending with community worship service and picnic Sunday. Arts/crafts, food, kids games, book sales and more. And who doesn’t love a parade(?) so one is scheduled for 1pm Saturday. Downtown Holton.
Dogwood Summer Youth Theater 2019
By Katie Clark
Photos by Chelsea Webb
Walking backstage of Dogwood Center for the Performing Arts, props for the upcoming Summer Youth Theater presentation are scattered around. As I look them over, Marianne Boegeter, Dogwood’s Executive Director, laughs as I point out the plastic hotdogs among the old fashioned fake food items. “I don’t know what hotdogs have to do with Tom Sawyer,” she states. “You’ll have to ask Chelsea and Casey Webb about that!”
The Dogwood is located just outside of Fremont proper, off of West 48th street (which really is a continuation of West Main street in downtown Fremont). It is beautiful, easily accessible facility that rivals any of those found in larger cities.Every May finds this facility buzzing with preparation for the upcoming summer’s performance.
Sitting down with the sisters in the Green Room about a half hour before the cast and crew would arrive they shared a bit about the program.
“We make sure to choose plays that can support a lot of character parts as well is fun for our actors and recognizable to our community audience,” stated Chelsea Webb, long-time co-director. “We don’t like to turn away any young person who wants to be a part of our production.”
Last summer they had their largest cast at 60 actors and created little vignettes that fit with the play during set changes to make sure everyone had a part.
According to the sisters the program has been generally a one family show when it comes to the behind the scenes work.
“Our mom and dad were big fans of the theater and when a family friend who had started the summer program had to focus on his college classes, our family jumped in and has been swimming with it ever sense.”
Chelsea, just 19 at the time, became the director along with her mom as assistant. Casey, 15 years old or so at that point, acted in the productions but has now taken on the main director role from her sister. Their dad’s handywork has been in the set design and prop building right from the start, and he continues to love the work. The three brothers have acted, directed, and worked backstage on and off for the past 15 years.
We finished our interview just as practice was about to start. The backstage was already bustling with actors (ages 12-18), Webb family members, and volunteers who help make the show a possibility.
The Webb family have been in this for so long that they know just what needs doing. This is a really high-quality production that is free for the audience to attend.
Each year a grant request is submitted for the upcoming play. The grant from the Fremont Area Community Foundation covers the cost of the production (costumes, props, setting, and part-time pay for the director) as well as a DVD copy of one of the formal performances given to each cast member as a memento.
“We have really supportive families, so many help out however they can; many cast members return again and again until they hit the age limit.”
I had to ask one last question before I left; what about the hotdogs? Chelsea and Casey give a sly look to each other. Casey smirks, “That started out with our brother who would secretly add in a mannequin head-you know, the kind cosmetologist use to practice-somewhere on set during a performance. It was something that only we cast members knew about-an inside joke.
“Our family has a lot of fun while we do this every summer together, and we’ve kept this tradition alive, although we’ve ditched the head.”
So, come to this summer’s production of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer on either Friday, July 26th or Saturday, July 27th at 7:30pm. Admission is totally free.
You can keep your eyes open for the fake hotdogs and get a little giggle right along with the cast.
Donations are welcomed the night of the play. Concessions are offered for purchase during the intermission.
For more info:
Newaygo County Museum and Heritage Center Speaker Series continues Wednesday
The Newaygo County Museum will continue our speaker series with Ken DeLaat, publisher of Near North Now, who has prepared an interesting talk entitled Local News: To Enlighten, Entertain, Educate and Encourage Dialogue. Please join us at the Museum on Wednesday, July 24th at 6:30 pm.
The presentation highlights his time in the local news business. As Ken puts it, “I will likely ramble on a bit about how I fell into this, share a few anecdotal stories, make a few observations, talk about some cool interviews over the years and endeavor to be somewhat interesting.”
He will also be speaking about a lengthy personal obsession with those lone abandoned shoes (always just one) found alongside highways across America, which he has chronicled through the years via columns, stories, travel pieces, and assorted articles.
Ken worked as a counselor/therapist for a few decades before transitioning over to writing, which led to the journalistic endeavors. Ken has lived in Newaygo County for 20+ years and has been married for 47 years to his “Lifetime Spousal Companion” Lil, and he has “almost given up on my dream of being a relief pitcher for the Tigers”.
Please join us at the Museum on Wednesday, July 24thth at 6:30 pm for this forty-minute presentation, the second of this year’s Heritage Speaker series, which will be followed by a time of questions and answers. The Newaygo County Museum and Heritage Center is at 12 Quarterline in downtown Newaygo. Doors are scheduled to open at 6:00 p.m. Admission is free.
Donations are matched at 50 percent by the Fremont Area Community Foundation, which provides core operational support for the organization.
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.
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