River Country Festival highlights summer's first big weekend
This weekend it begins and it begins with a bang as The River Country Chamber tosses out the first ball in the glorious game known as summer with their traditional Memorial Weekend festivities in downtown Newaygo. As always, there a few new things on tap to pique the varied interests of visitors and Near Northians alike as well as the ever-popular annual activities.
Purveyors plying their products at the arts and crafts show will give Brooks Park an infusion of humanity as folks meander about the lanes filled with purchasing options while nearby the kids carnival will be providing some fun for the kiddos. Action begins at 11am Friday, 10am Saturday and 11am on Sunday
New this year is the Classic Car Showcase beginning at 5pm on Friday and giving auto aficionados a three hour window to admire some truly fine rides. These much vaunted vehicles will set up shop by the park at the corner of Wood and Justice.
We all need a little activity to shake loose some of that winter rust so from 5-6pm Friday get ready to experience a little Dance Fusion action as led from the Brooks Park stage by the folks from One Fit Life. This mixture of motion tosses in a smidge of Zumba a pinch of Pound and a dollop of Dance to create of a fun one hour group workout. Nothing like community calisthenics to boost our county’s health indicators so grab some workout duds and join in.
Saturday morning the obligatory and always tasty pancake breakfast that accompanies such events will be held at the United Methodist Church starting at 8am and at 10am just down the road from breakfast a special book signing event will be held at Flying Bear Books. See our page for details.
If you have not discovered the treasure that is the Newaygo County Museum and Heritage Center please do yourself a favor and give it a visit while you’re downtown this weekend. They will be hosting some fun (and free) activities Friday Saturday and Sunday with more info here:
They’re located across from the park and have developed some very cool exhibits and programming. A very worthy stop.
And yes, there will be sidewalks sales as the downtown merchants create opportunities for a little al fresco shopping..
While roaming the streets make sure to stop at one of the fine local eatatoriums located downtown.
And speaking of eats, as we so often do at N3 World Headquarters…..
Hit The Road Joe in Croton is doing one of their summertime rib dinners-to-go Friday night.
I should seriously not be doing this but while the risk for some to go ribless is a distinct one the desire to share good news about food often clouds my judgement so here it is.
From 5-7pm they will be packaging up some mighty fine BBQ smoked ribs. Tossed in for good measure are two sides from a selection of slaw, potato salad and baked beans. Topped off with a slice of really really good cornbread and Friday night dinner is a no brainer. Fourteen bucks out the door.
Up to you to find them, though. We’re willing to let you in on some of these hidden gems but in all fairness other folks had to find their way there so…..
Also on Saturday is the Fremont Fly In and Pancake Breakfast. Fly in is from 8AM-2PM and the pancake breakfast is from 8AM-11AM at , of course, the airport.. The cost of the pancake breakfast is $8. Kids 4 and under eat free. There will be airplane and helicopter rides starting at $35 for an Adult and $25 for Kids. There will also be a car show, RC cars, and RC planes.
A few years back Dan Booker graciously took me on my first aeronautic jaunt that involved less than a 727 during a visit to the Fly-In. It was that moment I discovered an overwhelming desire to obtain a pilot’s license , an aspiration arriving a few decades too late to truly embrace the notion.
There’s plenty going on in our parts and the true beauty of it all?
We’ve only just begun.
Cirque Amongus will provide “Circus Day” at the Dogwood Center on Friday, June 22 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The one-day Circus Camp will introduce children, ages 6-12 years old, to a range of circus skills. There will definitely be an abundance of fun as participants laugh and giggle while they ride unicycles and tiny bikes, walk a tightrope or with stilts, jump rope, do magic tricks, stay atop a rolling barrel, swing on a trapeze, or learn to juggle.
In the morning, students will learn each of the 10 different circus acts. After lunch, they chose their favorite and spend the afternoon perfecting it and putting together an act with other participants, assisted by Cirque Amongus instructors and volunteers. At the end of the day, when their families come back, the whole troupe puts on a show with their newly found skills.
The daylong program by Cirque Amongus, a Livonia company that brings all the equipment and instructors for “Circus Day”, will promote teamwork, self-esteem and fun throughout the day.
The program is funded in part by a grant from the Michigan Humanities Council and Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.
The cost for the day is $30 per child. Children must be ages 6-12 years old to participate and the program will be limited to 50 participants. It will be a full day of activities between 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. and followed immediately with a performance for the families at pick-up time. Children will need to bring a sack lunch. Light snacks will be provided mid-morning and mid-afternoon. Advance registration is required. Register at www.dogwoodcenter.com, through the Dogwood Box Office, or downtown Fremont at NCCA-Artsplace.
The Dogwood Center Box Office is open Tuesday - Friday, 10:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. For information, phone 231.924.8885.
An exhibit at the Grand Rapids Public Museum with a new twist
By Alicia Jaimes
Photos by Alicia Jaimes
I had the opportunity to visit the Grand Rapids Public Museum’s new exhibit Zoo in You.
Kids were swarming as they jumped around on camera with the green screen in the background. Parents were interacting with their children in games and fun activities, all while learning about the trillions of microbes that our bodies host.
The Zoo in You exhibit was created by the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry and is currently on tour. Because of this, Director of Marketing Christie Bender is excited to have this educational exhibit in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
“The exhibit is filled with interactives from games, to puzzles, to digital screens and more. Great for the entire family, you will build viruses, race the clock to match DNA strands, become a newscaster to talk about your body’s inner workings and so much more,” Bender said.
From videos to puzzles, there were many opportunities to learn how to be healthier when it comes to personal hygiene. One activity showed how long is an appropriate time to wash your hands and how many bacteria are washed away with every second.....but are they ever truly all gone?
Along with this fun station is another where kids can run about trying to catch things falling from the sky, but with an interesting twist.
My favorite part of this museum was that it is bilingual for those who speak both English and Spanish--making it accessible to more community members and also gave me a chance to practice my own Spanish.
If you are someone looking for something fun to do with your younger kids, then check out this new exhibit. It's a great mixture of education and excitement.
The Zoo in You exhibit will be available through September 2, 2018.
“It is a great summer exhibit with all of the hands-on interactives that will engage families, including children of all ages,” Bender said. “The hands-on science is so much fun, you won’t realize how much you are learning.”
The exhibit is free with a general admission. Prices for non-members are: Adults - $8, Seniors - $7, Students - $3 and Children - $3. (Children 2 and under are FREE. Seniors ages 62 & older. Children ages 3-17. Students must show valid school ID).
For more information, visit grpm.org/zooinyou.
An Indigenous Peoples' History Of The United States Book Review
By Alexis Mercer
I started reading An Indigenous Peoples’ History Of The United States this past winter. It is one of the most painful books I have ever read. And not because it is poorly written, is boring, or is lacking in any way. It is a fascinating book with details that are astounding.
It is one of the most painful books I have ever read because it tells the tale of the utter devastation that was brought upon the Indigenous people of the land in order to found what we know as the United States of America.
Not only did it take me an exorbitant amount of time to read due to my wanting to soak in the terribly sad details on each page, but I have also put off writing the book review for as long as possible. It is the kind of book that settles in your brain and you want to keep those thoughts to yourself for awhile.
It seems that everything I started to write about the book was cliché and ignorant on my behalf. There is so much I didn’t know about the founding of this country. And I was a good student in American History in high school! Granted, it has been a while. But I have always loved reading. I did well in school. The details in this book are the details that aren’t included in textbooks.
My brother in law saw that I was reading this book when we were together over spring break. He attended a private school on the East Coast for high school. He told me that this book was one of the many books they read in lieu of a textbook. I found myself wishing that had been me. I feel as though I was lied to all those years ago.
There are details and facts in this book that every American should read and consider.
The author, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, takes the reader through eleven chapters of the founding of the United States of America as known by the indigenous people and those who studied it from this angle. Some of the topics include the “Culture of Conquest”, “The Last of the Mohicans and Andrew Jackson’s White Republic”, and “US Triumphalism and Peacetime Colonialism.”
Within the first few pages I picked up a highlighter and began to mark the lines I found most significant. My book is full of marks. And I can guarantee if I went back and read it again, I would find varying lines to highlight that are significant in other ways than my original read.
“Incapable of conquering true wilderness, the Europeans were highly competent in the skill of conquering other people, and that is what they did. They did not settle a virgin land. They invaded and displaced a resident population.” (Dunbar-Ortiz 47)
What is certain is that this book has changed the way I view the world. Not the people who are currently residing in the United States, or how they view our country. But I am thankful for this new perspective and ability to deliberate on my own thoughts of our country, government, and founding principles.
I couldn’t more highly recommend a book to anyone. Just give yourself plenty of time to read and process. Don’t be afraid to set it down for a while, read a piece of fiction that requires little thought, and come back to it after you have given your brain a break from the thoroughly explained devastation of the Indigenous people.
For those of you who are in or near Newaygo County, copies are available for purchase at Flying Bear Books in Newaygo.
Little Free Library at Newaygo Elementary
With only weeks left until summer vacation, 4th graders Anayaslin Alvarez, Jesus Ceja, Joseline Sanchez, Allen Chen, Phoebe Brockway, Jennifer Guevara, and Anthony Barajas built a Little Free Library on the new playground at Velma Matson Elementary. The idea came when these 4th graders wanted to provide their community with more books to read. Their teacher, Mrs. Ratliff, helped them to make a plan and wrote a grant through the Fremont Area Community Foundation to help fund the idea. The 4th graders had to research facts on illiteracy, take surveys on favorite books, ask community members for help, present their idea to the NPS Board of Education and even plan a Grand Opening for the Free Little Library. The Little Free Library provides students and community members access to books when school is closed. It is perfect timing with summer vacation just around the corner! This mini library provides students a place for books that can be taken, returned, or donated for others to read. Community members can donate their gently used books by placing them in the Little Free Library. It’s that easy! The library is always open! Come take a book, or leave a book today!
A huge thank you to the following community members for their help and support:
-Fremont Area Community Foundation
-Matt Walker, Christman Construction
-Brad Erikson, Sherwin Williams
-Derek Ratliff, DSR Painting
-Bud Gould, NPS maintenance department
-Kimberly Harstad, Little Free Library
There is nothing like a Friday night filled with some really good live music while kissing the work week goodbye with an adult beverage or two, right?
Well then tonight’s concert at the club-like atmosphere of the Dogwood Center’s Black Box is right up your alley with a pair of performers who each possess pipes of distinction.
Sarah Potenza and Meghan Linsey will have the crowd energized as they pound out some serious soulful sound.
Great date night fun. Check out the article and call for a couple tickets. https://www.nearnorthnow.com/features-and-fun/sarah-potenza-and-meghan-linsey-at-the-dogwood-center-on-may-18
This is actually for next weekend since we’re all just kind of in practice for Memorial Day anyway, but the River Country Chamber folks are looking for volunteers who would be willing to help out for a few hours at the upcoming event in Brooks Park. It’s a chance to meet some cool folks and be a part of one of the signature festivals of our area. Not a huge time commitment an outstanding people watching perspective and hanging out with folks who tend to be on the fun and friendly side of things. Besides maybe they need help at the car show right?
How do you grab hold of this golden opportunity?
Call the Chamber office and tell them you were sent by N3. They might pretend to not know who we are but they will still find you a spot and from past experience you might find yourself pitching in at future fetes.
Don’t forget the free family fun event with a focus on safety Saturday at Tamarac. Here’s some info
Saturday night take a drive to GR for some comedy with a little local connection as N3 columnist, domestic goddess, and soon to be swimming pool matron Megan Wirts will be performing at the Lass Laugh Comedy Festival at the Dog Story Theater located downtown at 7 S. Jefferson (near One Trick Pony)
This two hour event will be a showcase of Standup, Improv, and Sketch Comedy acts from all over Michigan and Chicago. Comedy by women, for everyone.
Lass Laugh Comedy Festival Lass Laugh Comedy Festival: Saturday Night.
Now go grab some fun Near Northians and get prepared because regardless of what the calendar says, summer starts next weekend.
And you’re going to need to be ready.
Fire trucks and family fun headline free Gerber Memorial health & safety festival
Fremont – Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial will feature fire trucks, crash scene demonstrations, free screenings and family fun activities such as children’s bounce houses and an inflatable kids’ slide – at its Health and Safety Day at Tamarac, 1401 West Main Street, Fremont on May 19.
The event is free and the public is invited to join in the fun and informative event from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial is thrilled to host our Health and Safety Day to showcase information that can keep families safe, and offer fun activities for the whole family,” said Josh Gustafson, director of community health. “Gerber Memorial is grateful to our community partners for taking part in Health and Safety Day, and for helping promote safety and wellness in Newaygo County. This event really is for our community so they can learn about the great work our first responders and health professionals do, and have a fun day out with the family.”
In addition to checking out fire trucks and other emergency vehicles from the Fremont Fire Department, visitors to the event can also see what it’s like to drive while distracted through a simulator provided by the Newaygo County Sheriff’s office and the Michigan State Police.
Fun activities for the whole family include:
Viking Bice heading for CMU
By Alicia Jaimes
Tri-County senior Julia Bice eagerly awaits her high school graduation after signing with Central Michigan University (CMU) to play on their women’s golf team next year.
Only days away from having to walk across the stage to receive her diploma, she is reminded of her high school accomplishments and events that made her who she is today.
“It definitely was an emotional rollercoaster,”she said, recalling the day she thought her life as an athlete was on the line.
On Friday, Dec. 16, 2016, while playing in the Big Rapids vs. Tri-County basketball game an in-game injury left her with a torn ACL, MCL and Meniscus. Occurring early in their season, Julia underwent surgery but remained on the sidelines, cheering on her teammates and helping in any way she could.
She remembered feeling scared after realizing how much muscle mass was being lost and how difficult it was to walk or put pressure on her leg. As if the situation wasn’t stressful enough, it was learned that the initial surgery didn’t go as planned and that a second surgery was required--putting her in a full hip-to-ankle cast.
This didn’t stop her though.
Chad Bice describes his daughter Julia as “dedicated,” “compassionate” and “loyal.”
“Perseverance,” he added to the list. “When you stick to something, you get rewarded; and that quality begets other qualities. If you don’t give up on your studies, you get good grades. If you don’t give up on your beliefs, you create character. If you don’t give up on people, you make friends. This is Julia--she doesn’t give up,”
His words rang true as recovery began and with the help of a supportive family Julia was able to rejoin the sports she loved.
Coming from a household where she was told she was ‘a student athlete, not an athletic student’ Bice believes that academics come before anything else. It seems only right that she would decide to pursue a career as a music teacher.
“I want to impact the lives of kids,” she said and credited her band director Ryan Schultz as the biggest influence in her desire to pursue this field.
Playing drums since the age of three, Bice originally wanted to play the trumpet like her father, but her natural talent fell to percussion. This talent blossomed in eighth grade when she was recruited by the high school marching band and from there became center snare and section leader of both the concert and marching band. These opportunities played a key component as she auditioned for and was later accepted into the CMU music program.
Julia Bice is a passionate individual who throws herself into any obstacle or opportunity that comes her way; however, this doesn’t mean that she hasn’t had moments of doubt.
After being accepted into the music program at CMU she was interested in joining the women’s golf team but was unsure about getting in--coming from a small school where womens golf wasn’t well-known.
Encouraged by her father to ‘reach out and see what happens’ Bice agreed and e-mailed the coach, offering to help in any way she could to just be a part of the golf program.
To her surprise, word came back from the CMU women’s golf coach who agreed to take a look. She sent in a video and later received the response hoped for--she was in.
On Monday, April 30, Bice signed with CMU.
While anticipating her freshman year at CMU brings feelings of excitement and expectancy Julia also thinks about her 14-year-old sister, Sinclaire who will begin her first year of high school. Sinclaire will be following in her sister’s footsteps pursuing a mutual love for both sports and music. The siblings consider themselves more like best friends than anything else and Julia hopes to visit home on weekends and in between what looks to be an already full, but promising, schedule next year.
The natural talent and determined attitude that helped her flourish at Tri-County will without a doubt help immensely as Julia begins her first year at CMU and an exciting new chapter in her life.
By Ken DeLaat
With Sarah Potenza (along with Meghan Linsey...BONUS) making a return trip to the Dogwood Center Black Box this Friday we thought it appropriate to resurrect this review done during her last appearance two years ago.
May, 2016- Sarah Potenza didn’t just make a return visit to The Dogwood’s Black Box Saturday she took the place by storm capturing a grateful audience with her hard driving vocals and commanding stage presence.
Ms. Potenza doesn’t just deliver her songs she transcends them into musical monologues as she takes hold of the stories within the songs and wrings every ounce of emotion out of them.
Between songs Ms. Potenza engages her audience with a freshness that comes from the nature of her delivery. Nothing is canned or rehearsed as she allows herself to wander from topic to topic always dispensing the anecdotes she shares with humor, candor and a level of self acceptance that is refreshing.
There were stories about 7th grade gym class, her signature big white glasses (best $78 I ever spent) her first concert (Bonnie Raitt-age 14), life of the road, and her time on The Voice. She expressed her love for Bernie Sanders, spoke of her fondness for fellow Voice contestant (and local favorite) Josh Davis, and her longing for the pre-cell phone and pre caller i.d. days when “every call was like a mystery”.
Then coming out of a story she would cut loose with those distinctive vocals and take command of the room. With Ian scoring on some nasty lead licks Sarah belted out a series of songs with each lingering with the listener until being absorbed by her next offering.
The highlight of the night was when she took on the Leonard Cohen classic “Hallelujah”. Despite previous covers that are definitely listen-worthy this 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. In this listeners mind you can deed this song over to Ms. Potenza because after her masterful rendition she certainly deserves to own it.
Anyone who was there would agree that a return visit by this talented lady would be a most welcome event indeed.
And if you have yet to experience this highly entertaining artist, make sure you climb on board if she visits again.
It is so worth the trip.
By Ken DeLaat
This will be the 20th Mothers Day since my own Mom followed my Dad’s footsteps into ‘“the undiscovered country from whose bourne no traveler returns” as Shakespeare so eloquently described.
And during each of these annual tributes to those who have starred in this all consuming role my thoughts wander back to her and the ways she expressed her love for her children.
Like many parents she likely found raising little kids easier than teenagers. Those years when both parent and child redefine themselves and their relationship can be conflictual at times but other than a few rough patches she and my much older brothers survived and she honed her skills at mothering teens for use with my sister and I.
Being the youngest of four...
(and her and dad’s favorite but I’m not supposed to tell my much older siblings this so I hope they continue to refrain from reading my columns)
...it felt like there wasn’t much one could get by her. Almost like she knew what you were going to do or say before you did.
“About last night...the only thing that ran out of gas was that excuse years ago when your brothers tried to use it and no, you didn’t fall asleep at a friends house so, where were you and what were you doing?”
I credit her with having helped me develop a more active imagination.
She had her hands pretty full raising a daughter, my beloved sis who is just 14 months closer to being 100 years old than I. Being Mom to a daughter is not just a different role but a completely different script. They tangled more than we did which was great when due to my own behavior I needed to fly a bit under the radar, however they also had a rather special kind of closeness that came to fruition toward the end of adolescence.
These days my big sister has raised her children and shares with me the pleasure of having a quartet of grandkids. Our way, way, older brothers also have grandchildren and great grandchildren to boot given their advanced ages.
We don’t see each other much, just an annual reunion and maybe a rare dinner here and there. Our lives have transitioned many times since we all lived in the same household and each of us has gone in a variety of directions over the decades.
And though Mom has been gone from this earth these 20 years, she remains with us in many ways.
I once said her departure left us orphans but truth be told she comes alive each time I see one of my sibs. Regardless of what paths our lives have taken and no matter how different we might be from who we were then, we share a common bond.
There’s a bit of Mom in each of us.
And on those ever so rare occasions when we see each other it’s that first smile of recognition that seals that bond and forever solidifies who we are and from whence we came.
Some chosen words on Motherhood.
“Mother — that was the bank where we deposited all our hurts and worries.” ~T. DeWitt Talmage
“Being a mother is learning about strengths you didn’t know you had, and dealing with fears you didn’t know existed.” ~Linda Wooten
“Biology is the least of what makes someone a mother.” ~Oprah Winfrey
“It’s not easy being a mother. If it were easy, fathers would do it.” ~From the television show The Golden Girls
“The precursor of the mirror is the mother’s face.” ~D.W. Winnicott
“Mother’s love is peace. It need not be acquired, it need not be deserved.” ~Erich Fromm
“Any mother could perform the jobs of several air traffic controllers with ease.”~Lisa Alther
‘Grown don’t mean nothing to a mother. A child is a child. They get bigger, older, but grown? What’s that suppose to mean? In my heart it don’t mean a thing.’ ~Toni Morrison, Beloved, 1987
“Call your mother. Tell her you love her. Remember, you're the only person who knows what her heart sounds like from the inside.” ~Rachel Wolchin
“Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials.” ~Meryl Streep
“She never quite leaves her children at home, even when she doesn’t take them
along.” ~Margaret Culkin Banning
“The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new.”~Rajneesh
“One warm mother-kiss dried the little wet eyes and stilled the little troubled heart.” ~Jay Benson Hamilton
“Whosoever does not believe in the existence of a sixth sense has clearly not regarded their own mother. How it is they know all they know about you, even those secrets you locked away so tightly in the most hidden compartments of your heart, remains one of the great mysteries of the world. And they don't just know—they know instantly.”~Narissa Doumani
“I don't believe in love at first sight because my mother started loving me before seeing me.” ~ Luffina Lourduraj
“Mothers always worry. There’s no off switch.” ~ Priscille Sibley
And a personal favorite...
“No language can express the power, and beauty, and heroism, and majesty of a mother’s love. It shrinks not where man cowers, and grows stronger where man faints.”~Edwin Hubbell Chapin.
Nicely put Edwin.
And Happy Day to Moms everywhere.
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