A few minutes with a Black Box favorite
By Marianne Boerigter
Singer/songwriter, Season 8 “The Voice” and 2021 "America's Got Talent" contestant Sarah Potenza returns to the Dogwood Center’s Black Box at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, October 8. Potenza wowed the Black Box crowd in 2015 and 2016 with her powerful voice and songwriting. Her scheduled return to the Dogwood in 2020 was put on hold due to Covid, and we are so pleased to now welcome Sarah back to Newaygo County! In anticipation of her return, we asked Potenza for her thoughts about music, performing – and playing at the Dogwood Center again.
We’re excited to welcome you back to the Dogwood’s Black Box. What do you remember about your last performances and your fans here?
I love the fans up there, they really listen to the music and appreciate the songs. I remember how fun and kind everyone was to me.
A lot of people dream of being a professional musician. What’s the best part of your job?
My favorite part of my job is creating new music, and of course the stage outfits!
Okay, now tell us about the unglamorous part …
I don’t love all the traveling, I mean I love the people and the shows but I always miss my cats.
On "America's Got Talent" this past summer you received 4 thumbs up and a standing "o"! Will the Dogwood audience get to hear the song "Worthy" that you performed on AGT, which is also on your album "Road to Rome"?
Oh of course!!!!! I cannot wait to play that song for you guys!
If you could host a dinner with four or five musicians or other artists, living or dead, who would you invite and why?
Oh wow! That’s a big question. Um….. Etta James, Whitney Houston, Bette Midler, Aretha….. they are such heroes to me.
What’s on your own playlist?
I love pop music, I listen to a lot of Lady GaGa, Chance the Rapper, Sia…..
You can purchase tickets to Sarah Potenza’s October 8 concert online at www.dogwoodcenter.com. For more information please contact Dogwood Box Office at 231.924.8885. Tickets are also available at NCCA-Artsplace in downtown Fremont.
Learn more about Sarah and her music at www.sarahpotenza.net.
Learn to Tell Your Life Story
Live @ the Library, a series of events including author visits and writing workshops is welcoming local author J.Q. Rose, aka Janet Glaser, to the Fremont Area District Library to teach a Life Storytelling Workshop.
Registration is required. Please call 231-928-0256 to register.
J.Q. Rose will teach you how to tell your life story, showing you a quick and easy way to begin recording your life experiences via writing or video. She will discuss how to ignite memories and write those memories to engage readers. By incorporating readings from her book, Arranging a Dream: A Memoir, Janet will use examples to illustrate her presentation. Be sure to bring paper and a pencil so you can get started!
J.Q. Rose is also known for offering readers chills, giggles, and quirky characters woven within the pages of her mystery novels. Her published mysteries are Deadly Undertaking, Terror on Sunshine Boulevard, and Dangerous Sanctuary. J.Q. taught elementary school for several years and never lost the love for teaching passed down from her teacher grandmother and mother. She satisfies that aspect of her character by presenting workshops on Life Storytelling.
Please call to register for this workshop and join us in the Fremont Area District Library’s Community Room on Tuesday, October 5th at 6:30 p.m.
Sarah Potenza will return to the Dogwood Center’s Black Box on Friday, October 8, at 7:30 p.m. Rolling Stone magazine has described this powerhouse singer as “if Janis Joplin has been reincarnated, it's as the bewitching Sarah Potenza, who mixes her rock edge with blues and a little Alabama Shakes-esque Southern soul.”
Potenza, who grew up in Smithfield, Rhode Island, and now lives in Nashville, Tennessee, recently wowed all four judges on "America's Got Talent", including Simon Cowell, during her July 14 audition. Although her run on the show was short, she said she is thrilled she got the chance to appear on the televised variety show.
In 2015, Potenza took the challenge of appearing on "The Voice" and managed to land a four chair turn and out of 50,000 contestants, she made it to the top twenty.
Potenza released her first album, "Monster," in 2016 and released her next album, "Road to Rome" in 2019. The album is described as the sound of a songwriter taking the wheel and driving toward her own destination.
Here is part of an N3 review from her last appearance at the Black Box.
The highlight of the night was when she took on the Leonard Cohen classic “Hallelujah”. Despite previous covers that are definitely listen-worthy the ballad took on a whole new meaning in the capable hands of this gifted performer. Reaching the depths of pure passion this time honored piece allows, Sarah absolutely drove this number home with a stunning performance that brought the crowd in the Box to their feet.
Tickets are $20.00 and are available through the Dogwood Center, 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.
Hay Art 2021! Be Part of this Community Fun!
The Fremont Harvest Festival Committee and Fremont Area Chamber invites you to enjoy the 2021 Hay Art creations that are now up for your enjoyment around our community
We need your help! We need you to vote for your favorite hay art design!! Voting is done by canned goodies and food for your favorite creation. Voting runs for two weeks starting on Monday, September 20th and staying open through Friday, October 10th. Bring your votes to the Chamber office during the hours of 9:00 am to 4:00 pm Monday thru Friday. Some of the participants will also collect your votes at their place of business or hay art display.
All the food is donated to the True North Food Pantry. This year more than ever, the food pantry at TrueNorth Community Services needs food to stock their shelves! Be sure to bring in your votes for your favorite hay art! At the end of the 2020 Harvest Festival, over 54,300 pounds of food was donated on behalf of the hay art competition. We would like to thank our community for all the donations for the previous hay art competitions!
Maps are available at the Fremont Area Chamber of Commerce office, 7 E. Main Street, downtown Fremont or visit our Facebook page, Fremont Area Chamber of Commerce to get a copy of these maps. You will want to see all of this year’s entries! They are fantastic!
Thank you to the 2021 Fremont Harvest Festival Hay Art Sponsor, Murphy Caris & Miller P.C.!
Hackley Hooley delivers some Celtic cheer on a stunning September Saturday
Story by Ken De Laat
Photos by Lil De Laat
“May you have the hindsight to know where you've been, the foresight to know where you are going, and the insight to know when you have gone too far”- Irish Blessing
No, it wasn’t the 4 day extravaganza known as the Michigan Irish Music Festival that has long been a favorite for the masses who stream into Heritage Landing each September for four days of fun, festivities and some seriously good music.
But at noon when the first performer, long time festival favorite Seamus Kennedy, took to the stage at Hackley Park he summed it up well.
“Hello Muskegon! It is so great to be back and to get this festival going again...well...baby steps, baby steps.
“So get your vax, wear your masks and don’t touch me,” he finished.
Kennedy’s opening line drew a chorus of laughs and cheers from the hundreds who gathered to take part in the Hackley Hooley, a mini fest of sorts aimed at whetting the appetite of the Hibernian enthusiasts who gathered on Saturday.
Then he launched into an audience participation version of ‘Whiskey in the Jar’, as he succeeded in charming an appreciative crowd and for a moment it was as if things were back to normal and all was right with the world.
Two years ago the MIMF celebrated the 20th year of providing this convention of captivating Celtic culture.
Then like so many other annual events the pandemic slammed the door in 2020 and with travel restrictions still in place and an uncertainty continuing to loom, organizers knew the time and effort necessary to put this huge event together for this fall could not risk the possibility of a late cancellation.
So sponsors stepped up, the sea of volunteers dusted off their badges and a one day version of the much loved original took place blessed by one of those gorgeous late summer Saturdays in this bipeninsular paradise.
The music was outstanding with bands speaking to their excitement at shaking off the rust from a lengthy pandemic produced sabbatical and the vendors on hand provided patrons with food, artisan goods and, of course, a bit of beer and whiskey.
Just like every other year.
Only a bit smaller.
Ok, maybe a lot smaller but still boatloads of fun.
Kudos to the MIMF folks for their perseverance, the sponsors for making it happen, and the people who attended and served notice that interest in this, perhaps the most beloved of all area doings, continues to soar.
And with a dash or two of hope and a substantial slice of Irish optimism MIMF 21 will be gathering at Heritage Landing next September.
See you there.
An Irish priest is driving along a country road when a policeman pulls him over. He immediately smells alcohol on the priest's breath and notices an empty wine bottle in the car.
He says: "Have you been drinking?"
"Just water," says the priest.
The cop replies: "Then why do I smell wine?"
The priest looks at the bottle and says: "Good Lord! He's done it again!"
By Terry Grabill
This is the second in a series chronicling the efforts by Terry Grabill to follow a dream kindled by a love for birding and the inspiration drawn from the book and movie The Big Year.
Here is a link to his first installment:
After the first 10 days of 2021, three things became apparent.
1. Day 1 would be a poor indicator of the later days. The easy ones, the local feeder birds, came fast. Days 1-10 pretty much used up the fast and furious totals.
2. I'd better get ready to chase rarities and winter specialty birds.
3. I'd better step up my gull game. Full disclosure, I've never been a fan of gulls and have done a fine job ignoring anything that wasn't an obvious adult ring-billed, herring, or Bonaparte's. And...I'm still not a fan, but with my "need reports" coming in from ebird, I'd better get to where I can ID great and lesser black-backed gulls.
Did I mention that I'm still a full-time educator? This means that as I'm teaching 8th grade, other Ebirders are busy birding. I made the mistake of checking the top 100 ebirders in Michigan on January 11. In 2021, there are 25,800 ebirders in my state. I was in the top 50. I had no intention of making this a contest...but, alas, I am male. the challenge was on. How would I make a couple hours after school in Newaygo County and my weekends competitive?
January 15, I set off for Sault Ste. Marie for some northern specialties that I had better get before winter was done. Picked up a couple new species on the drive north.
64. Belted Kingfisher
65. Common Raven
January 16th. I set out at daybreak from the hotel battling the stomach flu. Long story short, the stomach flu is NOT what the Dr. ordered when you're birding the back roads of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. I found some good birds around the city of Sault Ste. Marie, adding three to my total.
66. White-winged scoter
67. Ring-necked duck
68. Golden eagle
I met a nice guy from Midland (I need to find his name) at the Dafter post office where I added
69. Pine grosbeak (life bird)
70. Bohemian waxwing (life bird)
My new friend told me about the Dafter dump, where dozens of eagles could be found. The landfill did not disappoint! I could have done a workshop on age classes of bald eagles as there were 24 of them of various ages! I nearly had a very bad experience there. As I was following a very undeveloped trail in an effort to see all sides of the waste-pile habitat, I came very close to getting stuck beyond hope. I shudder to think of the towing bill to get me out of a VERY narrow trail a half-mile in.
71. Glaucous Gull (life bird)
In case I hadn't mentioned this before, I've never been much of a lister and certainly never a chaser. So, at 58 years old, I found that this Big Year was going to grow my life list!
Pere Marquette Park in Muskegon always boasts winter sea ducks so,
January 17 found Andrea and me in Muskegon counting long-tailed ducks on the pier along with some surprises
72. Purple sandpiper (life bird)
73. Cedar waxwing (about time!)
January 18. MLK Day. We visited our oldest son and his partner, meeting them at Wolf Lake Fish Hatchery, just west of Kalamazoo. There had been reports (6 days old) of snow goose of both color phases there. We had a wide variety of waterfowl with hundreds of Canada goose, but no snow goose!
74. Great blue heron
75. Pied-billed grebe
76. Northern pintail
We parted ways with Trevor and Merkel and, on our way north, thought we'd swing by Lake Allegan where there'd been consistent sightings of a smew. Smew are native to Eurasia and the sighting of one in Michigan was a big deal. There had been a lot of debate and discussion on social media about whether this bird was really a wild bird FAR out of its range...or, maybe it was an escapee from a private collection. Several birders with photography skills got good images of the bird's leg and found that it was indeed banded. The debate then turned to whether it was banded by a collector or, maybe, by Russian biologists. I think the debate will only be settled by getting the bird in-hand to see if its rear toe of the left foot was removed. Apparently, that's a common practice (or required?) among collectors to differentiate them from wild stock. In any case:
77. Smew (life bird)
January 21, Brennan and I set out for Muskegon Wastewater to practice gull ID and look for a cackling goose. No good on the goose. I looked at upwards of 1000 canadas and couldn't make any of them cackling. I did, however, find a gull amongst the millions of herring and ring-billed that I am convinced was:
78. Iceland gull (life bird)
January 24 I was invited to our county health department to have the first of my COVID19 vaccines. I birded around White Cloud and saw literally no birds.
I'd watched my standing on the ebird Michigan top 100 move up into the mid 30s and then drop into the low 40s while I taught for the week. Once again, time to get outta Dodge and chase rarities. I drove north west to northern Manistee County where a homeowner had a varied thrush in their yard for several days. I met up with Tori Martel there and, along with an absurd number of feeder birds found:
79. Varied thrush (life bird)
80. red-shouldered hawk
Tori and I went our separate ways but encountered one-another in Manistee where she showed me a picture of a snow goose she'd just seen. I promptly turned back north and:
81. Snow goose
I birded my way south through Ludington and Pentwater seeing some beautiful habitat and great birds, but nothing to add to the year list.
At 81 birds, ebird had me at # 32 in the state. So far, that's the highest placing I've been in!
82. Northern Flicker
Andrea and I set off for Muskegon to search the channel where a surf scoter and a horned grebe have been seen. Once there, we met a couple that told us of an ebird report of harlequin duck that morning at Pere Marquette park. We scoured the channel, found some great long-tailed ducks and mallards and moved south toward the pier. Before the pier, we stopped where a group of birders were scoping the lee of the pier for the harlequin. We spotted a white-winged scoter, some greater scaup, mallards, and red-breasted mergansers. Much to Andrea's chagrin, I stopped at the pier, put the crampons on, and set out to brave the spray. I really had hoped to see the surf scoter or, did I dare hope... the harlequin relatively close to shore because the farther out I went on the pier, the higher the spray on the birder! I got to within 100 yards of the lighthouse at the end of the pier when I saw a black form bobbing with a flock of long-tailed ducks just out from the light. With the spotting scope I was able to see the distinctive markings of :
83. Harlequin duck
Follow Terry and Adrea Grabill on their website www.birdgoober.com.
Post Labor Day Happenings Near & Far
Calling all proficient pursuers of Trivia.
Thursday you can get your shot at being the group (or individual) whose grasp of even the most infinitesimal items of interest from a variety of categories reigns supreme.
RiverStop Saloon starts the action at 7pm
Trivia not your thing? Check out the music at Cedar Springs Brewery who are bringing in Seth & Sara, a pair of traveling troubadours who possess an intriguing sound and an enjoyable stage presence. 6:30pm Thursday.
Besides they have some seriously good brews at CSB and the food has that old Schnitzelbank touch.
If you get a sandwich, opt for the hot potato salad as your side. You won't be sorry.
Guinness Brothers bring their strong local following back to the deck at the Driftwood Saturday and Sunday.
They'll be back next week.
Love those vocals Annette Powell.
Back in my youth during the late 60’s and early 70’s if someone told me one day I’d be posting a story about an event called the West Michigan Cannabis Expo...well, let’s just say I’d have been doubtful.
And yet here we are.
All we know is there was one in 2019 and now it’s coming back.
DeltaPlex September 10th: 10AM-5PM & September 11th: 10AM-4PM
Tickets are $15 for a day pass and $20 for a 2 day pass but if you don;t get them in advance they will be $20 per day and $25 for 2 dayers. You must be 21 and over to attend.
There will be guest speakers,CBD booths and educational seminars.
And, in case you were wondering… no, there will not be any THC products available at the event.
We love the Scottville Clown Band and this Saturday they will be featured at the Scottville Celebration from 10am-5pm. If you have never had the experience that is the SCB, you truly need to hit this early fall festival.
Want to grab a little local history?
Sunday at 2pm is the Big Prairie Cemetery Walk where one can learn about some of the people buried there. Nine different stations will have presenters telling a short story about their subject's life, including the first person buried in the cemetery, a local doctor/historian, a civil war veteran, and more.
If you know of an upcoming event and want it included send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Library Doings In September
Water Wonderland, Children’s Events, & More
NOTICE: Due to unknown factors surrounding Covid, the information in this article is subject to change. Please keep an eye on the library’s website and Facebook page for the most up-to-date info.
The Fremont Area District Library is planning to host several fun and educational programs in September for the whole family.
Dr. Wayne Premo will be at the library on Tuesday, September 28th at 7:00 p.m. in the Community Room. You may know him as a dentist in Fremont, but he’s also known as “The Waterfall Guy.” In this program, you’ll see slides of his beautiful photography featuring old and new images of waterfalls in the Central Western Upper Peninsula, along with commentary on the history of the stunning images.
We’re planning to bring back in-person Storytimes from September 15th-December 2nd. Toddler Storytime, for babies and toddlers up to age 3, will be held on Wednesdays at 10:00 a.m., and Family Storytime for children up to age 5 will be held on Thursdays at 10:00 a.m. Lego Saturday returns on September 10th from 10:00-4:00 p.m. Use some of the library’s new Lego sets, including Minecraft, or bring your own! Creations will be displayed in the Children’s Department. We’ll also be showing a family-friendly afternoon movie (title to be determined) on Thursday, September 23rd at 3:30 p.m. Check with the library for movie details. Snacks will be served, and all are welcome. Saturday Storytime, for children up to age 5 will be on September 18th at 11:00 a.m in the Community Room.
The Wednesday Readers Book Group will meet on Monday, September 13th at 7:00 p.m. to discuss Sworn to Silence by Linda Castillo, and the Daytime Book Group will meet on Thursday, September 23rd at 11:30 a.m. to discuss Louisiana’s Way Home by Kate DiCamillo. Anyone is welcome to join these book groups. Books for these groups are available at the library’s front desk ahead of the meeting if you’d like to check out a copy and join the group.
For more information about any of these events, please contact the library at 231-924-3480 or visit www.fremontlibrary.net.
A New Locale
It’s Labor Day weekend and that means the annual Arts & Crafts exhibitionary endeavor will hit downtown Newaygo like every other year right?
Close but no cigar.
In case you haven’t driven through our River Town the past few months there is a bit of construction going on near the usual site of the Labor Day gathering.
But never fear because crafters and artisans are nothing if not resilient so when organizers decided to shift the action to Shaw Park participants got on board and one will find their favorite vendors primed and pumped to do business in the alternate locale.
Action begins TODAY and runs through Sunday and you can save yourself from any parking issues by hopping on one of the free shuttles.
And if you stop in to check out the enticing offerings from Little Mitten Soaps be sure to tell them Ken sent you.
They will likely say “Ken who?” but tell them anyway.
A Good Start
The annual Pancake Breakfast at the Newaygo Fire Department runs from 7-11am Saturday and you are guaranteed to not leave disappointed nor hungry.
177 Cooperative Center Drive.
Breakfast items will include pancakes, sausage, eggs, and tater tots and includes coffee, milk, apple juice, and orange juice.
The cost is merely a donation but hey, open up that wallet and be a little generous. Funds raised at this event will go toward the purchase of new battery-powered tools and we all want our fire folks to have the tools they need right?
N3 Food Truck Survey Top 3 vendor Sweet Racks & Smokin’ Butts BBQ will be settling in Saturday from 11am-6pm at Hess Lake. If you’re one of their regular customers you already have it penciled in but if you are still a neophyte to the food truck scene the BBQ delectables at SR&SB will make you an adherent.
Last big summer weekend so if you haven’t hit the deck at the Driftwood this weekend promises some tickles and tunes with Comedy night Friday (TONIGHT) starting at 7pm, and a huge local favorite the Denise Anderson Band getting it on Saturday from 4-8pm and Sunday from 3-7pm.
There you go fellow bipeninsularians. Last weekend of the summer so revel, citizens, revel.
The Rough and Tumble, an Americana-folk duo, will bring their harmonies and versatile instrumentation to the Dogwood Black Box on Thursday, September 2 at 7:30 p.m.
The Rough and Tumble used to say they were from Nashville, Tennessee. That was before April 2015 when members Mallory Graham and Scott Tyler sold everything, paid their last month's rent, bought a camper, and took to the road full time.
The duo, along with their large dogs, have been touring the country for more than four years. The folk-Americana, close-harmony pair have been known to vary their instruments from classic acoustic guitar and harmonica to melodicas and homemade shakers made from wine bottles, all set to their original songwriting that has been described as "quirky, haunting, and deliberate."
Early in 2021, The Rough and Tumble dug into the severed branch of their family tree, bringing their newest work, We’re Only Family If You Say So, a full length record about what it takes to be family. This new record follows on the 2019 release Howling Back at the Wounded Dog, a 10-song album wherein response was audible, with audiences literally howling back at performances coast-to-coast. The opening track “The Hardest Part” won the Independent Music Award’s Best Americana Song of 2019.
You can find The Rough and Tumble at www.theroughandtumble.com, with their music also available on iTunes and Spotify.
Tickets are $15.00 and are available through the Dogwood Center Box Office, NCCA-Artsplace in downtown Fremont, or on-line at www.dogwoodcenter.com or just click here. For information, phone 231.924.8885 or 231.924.4022. The Dogwood Center is located one mile east of downtown Fremont.
Features and Fun
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“We don’t have a choice on whether we do social media, the question is how well we do it.”
- Eric Qualman