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Month: April 2018

Chamber of Commerce introduces a refreshed festival to celebrate Charlotte

The Chamber of Commerce has teamed-up with CanDo!, Courthouse Square and the City of Charlotte to re-imagine a broader, more regional future of the “Celebrate Charlotte” festival. “What began as a small gathering of locals at Bennett Park has grown into one of the largest events in the community,” said Tyler Pray, president of the Chamber of Commerce Board. “It’s time to appeal throughout mid-Michigan and offer a large-scale festival that celebrates the core family values and small town successes that define our community.” The festival is being renamed Charlotte Celebrates! “The action-oriented name may not sound much different, but it lends itself perfectly to our city’s revitalization and its new brand,” Pray said. The Chamber Board, as well as its festival planning committee participated in the development of the new regional branding system for Charlotte that will be unveiled Tuesday, April 24, on the billboards located across from the Charlotte Performing Arts Center. Charlotte Celebrates! will be the first major event to embrace these exciting new developments. “We wish to express a great deal of thanks to the CanDo! Marketing Advisory Committee,” says Courtney Anderson, the Chamber’s executive director. “They spent more than a year hosting study groups and brainstorming with creative professionals to re-create our community brand. In doing so, they reached out to our festival planning committee and our board to help us implement these new...

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Facelift nearly complete, 119 S. Cochran ready for new occupant

His building briefly without a tenant, Darrell Vanderstelt, co-owner of Dutch Bros. Development Group, took stock of his property at 119 S. Cochran Avenue this past winter and was shocked at what he found. The brick that made up the front façade of the building was crumbling, succumbing to a lack of support. “There was nothing tying the brick on the front of the building together,” Darrell said. “The front of the building was literally falling into Cochran.” He has spent the past two months correcting the issues, completely removing and replacing the front of his building. “We found...

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Kelsey Grand Marshal of 78th Annual Vermontville Maple Syrup Festival

Doug Kelsey has never been far from the Maple Syrup Festival fun, living for years just a block from where the action takes place. But, he’s never been quite front and center as he will be this year, having been named the 78th Annual Vermontville Maple Syrup Festival Grand Marshal. A Vermontville native, Kelsey graduated from Maple Valley High School in 1967 and chose to remain an active member of the community. His involvement includes an impressive list of boards and committees, but his dedication to the Syrup Festival, where he served as Master of Ceremonies for 35 years, is rivaled by only a handful of residents. It is for his years of dedication that organizers of this year’s festival have chosen to honor him. The 78th Annual Vermontville Maple Syrup Festival will take place Friday, April 27 through Sunday, April 29 in downtown Vermontville. This year’s festival officially gets underway with the opening ceremonies on Friday, April 27 at 6 p.m. on the main stage. Included in the Friday festivities is the annual talent competition, which features a number of local acts showcasing a variety of skills. You will also find some of the best pancakes around being served up by the American Legion and Nashville Lions Club at the American Legion (located above Independent Bank) from 4 to 8 p.m. or the Maple Valley Band Boosters at...

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Maple Syrup Festival annual talent show kicks off spring fun

Singing, dancing, maybe a little magic, it’s the all-encompassing annual talent show at the 2018 Maple Syrup Festival. The stage is open for adults and children alike to show their secret and well-known gifts. With age divisions of 5 and below, 6-12, 13-17, and 18 and older there’s a spot for anyone looking to step into the spotlight for the community showcase. The Syrup Festival talent show often sees several musical acts, but the stage is open for dance, poetry, magic presentations, and other varieties of odd talents. According to event organizer, Sydney Khouri, the talent show generally varies year to year between 20-50 acts. She hopes for more acts in 2018, both for variety and for the entertainment of the community. The 5 and below bracket will receive participation trophies, the 6-12 and 13-17 brackets will receive 1st, 2nd, and 3rd placements, and the adult bracket will have a first place winner with a cash prize, the amount for which is yet to be announced. To participate in the talent show, readers can email Sydney Khouri at sydneykhouri17@gmail.com, or call (517) 667-8413. “It’s a good opportunity to share their talent with their community,” said Khouri. “It’s another outlet to perform.” The talent show takes place Friday, April 27 on the Main Street stage following opening ceremonies at 6...

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Emily’s Farm continues to win young business competitions

Emily Newborn is a fourth generation farmer from Eaton Rapids. Her family has long raised chicken, beef, and pork to sustain the family, and eventually provided meat to neighbors and friends looking for locally raised food. Taking into account her own health needs for clean meat, as well as the growing national trend of buying locally grown food, Emily decided to start Emily’s Farm, a business committed to providing meat without preservatives, antibiotics, or steroids. The start of Emily’s Farm coincided with Emily’s participation in FFA. Now a senior in high school, Emily started building and promoting her business...

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