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Eaton Rapids

Eaton Rapids

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Eaton Rapids

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Eaton Rapids … A well-loved small town

By Deb Malewski

Not everyone loves Eaton Rapids, of course. But those who do, really do. There is a certain passion about what this town has to offer, and many appreciate it. They enjoy a sense of security, neighbors helping neighbors and a strong community connectivity. Yes, they know it’s not perfect, there are problems and crime just like everywhere else. But they recognize what it has to offer and appreciate the life in Eaton Rapids.

The beauty of the community was important to many.

Janell Bush said, “I love the parades and the tree-lined and lighted Main Street at night.” 

Tammie Driggs agrees: “When you come into town at night and see the lights on the trees. I think that is beautiful!”

The small-town connectivity is what several commented about. Knowing your neighbors. 

“Seeing friends and customers around town, taking a minute to say hi, and spending time building friendships,” is important to Jaime Lawson.

Laura DeLong explained that the town feels, “more like family. When someone needs help the community steps up to help as a family would.”

Jennifer Mills echoes the family connection.  

“With technology and Facebook I can put out a shout for help and the community is so receptive and willing to help. That is what you call family. I love our town.”

Kerry Colestock commented: “I’ve lived here for 32 years and what I love most about this small town is the people. It’s refreshing to watch families come together for different events throughout the year.”

The historical aspect of the city is important, especially to those whose families were part of the early history of the town. 

Nathan Foote feels connected to Eaton Rapids, “because Rose Hill contains five generations of our family members who were all important to the history of our city.” 

Likewise, Mari Lin Pettit stressed the importance of the rich history, which makes Eaton Rapids great. 

Mark McGee also noted the historical aspect of the town, plus the even brighter future he expects.

Pam Colestock: “I’d say what I love most is the small-town charm. Knowing many people when you walk down the street, being friends with neighbors, and growing up here I have a great family history.”

Lindsay Peters said, “I have three things that stick out to me. First, I love the hometown pride. Second, it seems like everywhere I travel, I meet people with a connection to Eaton Rapids. Finally, when there is a need, the community pulls together to fulfill it.”

Leah South said, “I love how everyone in the community gets together to help others in need. The response is almost immediate, and the support is overwhelming.”

Carol Oliver said, “Eaton Rapids is where my heart is. My beloved grandmother was born here, and I met the love of my life here.”

It was easy to get responses to this topic, but space is limited in including them all!

We love Eaton Rapids!

Mason

Mason

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Mason

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Mason DDA hosts Chocolate Walk through downtown

Thursday, May 11, from 2 to 5 p.m. residents and visitors are invited to Mason for a Chocolate Walk through downtown. The Mason Downtown Development Authority is putting on the event to bring attention to the unique businesses and opportunities that exist all within a short walking distance in the downtown area.

Walkers will start at Mason City Hall, receive a map and a chocolate-collecting bag, and start the trek through downtown. With 37 stops along the way, walkers will consume and take home a variety of chocolate treats, as well as special gifts and offers from the participating businesses.

“(This may) give them a reason to come back to Mason,” said Jamie Robinson, chair of the Mason DDA.

As owner of a couple Mason favorites, Bestsellers Books and Coffee Co. and the Vault Delicatessen, Robinson knows the great potential the downtown has for attracting newcomers. A chocolate walk through some of Mason’s finest businesses combined with a special gift or discount for products is a sure to bring visiting walkers back to the historic town, according to Robinson.

The idea of the chocolate walk came from one such event held in Old Town Lansing. Robinson and others saw the kind of crowds and enthusiasm the Old Town chocolate walk brought to one historic district, and brought the idea back to Mason.

“Chocolate is appealing to a vast majority of people,” said Robinson.

Walkers will be fortunate to have a variety of finely made chocolates from Hanover’s Michigan Mints, Fabiano’s Candies, and more. Although chocolate will be the primary treat for the event, walkers can look forward to a number of other delicious delights as well.

Attendees will also have the opportunity to view new spaces in the Mason downtown. One stop along the chocolate trail will be the new Dart Bank building, in which walkers will get a tour of the lobby area. Another highly anticipated stop will be the Michigan Barn Salvage, where walkers will get a sneak peak at the new business.

Tickets to the Mason Chocolate Walk are $25 with advance order and $30 on the day of the event. Readers can buy tickets online at the Mason DDA website, or buy tickets at Bestsellers Books and Coffee Co, or purchase tickets at Mason City Hall the day of the event.

For more event information readers can visit masondda.com.

DIMONDALE

Dimondale

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Beloved Dimondale restaurant to reopen

With a sigh of relief and a round of applause, residents of Dimondale, and the surrounding areas, celebrated at Mike’s Village Restaurant Wednesday, June 27 as Lori Conarton announced she’d be reopening the Dimondale favorite....

Dimondale

Featured Story

Beloved Dimondale restaurant to reopen

With a sigh of relief and a round of applause, residents of Dimondale, and the surrounding areas, celebrated at Mike’s Village Restaurant Wednesday, June 27 as Lori Conarton announced she’d be reopening the Dimondale favorite. For 50 years Mike’s was a staple of the village of Dimondale, serving baked goods and homestyle fare. Dimondalians knew owner Mike Chappell and his staff and took comfort in the food, friendliness, and simplicity. Many, far and wide, were saddened when Mike announced he’d be closing the restaurant, and Conarton was one of the many.

Saddened by the news as she was, Conarton decided to let the announcement be the catalyst for fulfilling one of her lifelong dreams — to own her own local diner, especially one she was familiar with. Conarton and her mother were regulars at Mike’s, and she couldn’t stand the thought of losing another gem of Dimondale’s main street, especially one that had lasted in the village through many storms and changing times.

“The day he (Mike) made the announcement, I started thinking about it,” said Conarton.

It wasn’t long before she and Chappell had made arrangements. Pieces are currently in motion to have the same, familiar restaurant reopened in August. Many familiar faces and dishes will return to Mike’s, but a few things will be different. Mike’s will have a facelift, with new paint and flooring. The hours will also change, with restaurant no longer offering dinner. Still, the menu will have many of its essential favorites, as well as the small town charm any diner needs.

The reopening of Mike’s, however, is less about the food and walls, to Conarton, and more about the people. Conarton not only was a regular customer at the village restaurant, she also worked at Mike’s during her high school and college years. To her, and to so many patrons, Mike’s was a place for community togetherness, early employment, and fond memories.

“In every community there’s a restaurant people go to regularly. There’s a sense of community and friendliness,” said Conarton. “It’s a friendly atmosphere, everybody knows your name, you feel at home there… That’s so important to us.”

The concept of the community restaurant isn’t just important to Conarton and Chappell, it’s important to many Dimondale residents. Conarton has received dozens of encouraging and grateful emails, messages, and phone calls regarding her announcement. Mike’s absence may have been short, but it left an impact on the community. Residents are eager to have their beloved restaurant reopened, and hopefully ready for another 50 years of service.

Eaton County

Eaton County

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Team One Chevrolet Grand Parade to draw thousands to downtown Charlotte

If you want a good seat for the Frontier Days Team One Chevrolet Grand Parade on Saturday, Sept. 7, come early. The parade will begin at 10:30 a.m., but many people will reserve their place by setting up chairs and blankets along the parade route hours in advance. The Team One Chevrolet Grand Parade is usually the largest event of the year in Charlotte, drawing thousands of people downtown.

This year we are honored to introduce David Howe as our Grand Marshal, and Garrett Blocker as Jr. Grand Marshal.

David has been a businessman in Charlotte for more than 40 years. You may have heard of his business, the very well known Beacon Sales and Service. David has always had a soft spot for Charlotte’s youth and proudly supports athletics, performing arts, FFA, 4H, Pheasants Forever and school-related activities. Most recently, David donated funds to cover school lunch balances. He has been actively involved in demolition derbies at the Eaton County Fair. He sponsors the Eaton County Fair and Charlotte Frontier Days and is a strong supporter of organizations such as CharlotteRising, Guardian Angel Suitcases for Kids, Homeless Angels, Bikers4Books, Christmas Kiddies, AL!VE, and the Eaton Area Senior Center. He is a member of the Friends of Maple Hill Cemetery, Eaton County Buck Club, and the Chamber of Commerce, just to name a few. Dave was also a long time volunteer at the Charlotte Fire Department.

Community members may have seen Garrett perform in multiple plays or at Windwalker’s open mic nights. If you live in downtown Charlotte, you have probably been lucky enough to hear Garrett singing and playing guitar while he walks his dog, Jake.  Garrett has many accomplishments, but his biggest one is how he manages his Autism. Garrett found his love of music and acting at a young age and uses these outlets as forms of expression. Social situations are often uncomfortable for Garrett, but music helps. Garrett is currently employed at Peckham, but still finds time to compose his own original music. 

There will be many businesses and organizations from throughout Mid-Michigan represented in this year’s parade. Those watching the parade will see floats, horses, old cars, tractors, dance groups, martial arts groups, bands, and much, much more.

Each year we have a float contest for parade participants. Winners will be announced during the parade. The 2019 Frontier Days Scholarship Winners as well as the Grand Marshal and Jr. Grand Marshal will have special transportation. Frontier Days is a celebration of Charlotte as a community.

The Frontier Days Board would like to thank everyone who helps to put this festival together. A special thank you goes out to the Charlotte Police Department, Fire Department, Eaton County Sheriff’s Office and MDOT for all they do to make our festival successful.

Charlotte Frontier Days is a weekend of fun, food, and family entertainment. Hope to see you all there.

Article submitted by the Charlotte Frontier Days Board.

Onondaga

Onondaga

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Onondaga

Featured Story
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Charlotte

Charlotte

Featured Story

Team One Chevrolet Grand Parade to draw thousands to downtown Charlotte

If you want a good seat for the Frontier Days Team One Chevrolet Grand Parade on Saturday, Sept. 7, come early. The parade will begin at 10:30 a.m., but many people will reserve their place by setting up chairs and blankets along the parade route hours in advance. The Team One Chevrolet Grand Parade is usually the largest event of the year in Charlotte, drawing thousands of people downtown.

This year we are honored to introduce David Howe as our Grand Marshal, and Garrett Blocker as Jr. Grand Marshal.

David has been a businessman in Charlotte for more than 40 years. You may have heard of his business, the very well known Beacon Sales and Service. David has always had a soft spot for Charlotte’s youth and proudly supports athletics, performing arts, FFA, 4H, Pheasants Forever and school-related activities. Most recently, David donated funds to cover school lunch balances. He has been actively involved in demolition derbies at the Eaton County Fair. He sponsors the Eaton County Fair and Charlotte Frontier Days and is a strong supporter of organizations such as CharlotteRising, Guardian Angel Suitcases for Kids, Homeless Angels, Bikers4Books, Christmas Kiddies, AL!VE, and the Eaton Area Senior Center. He is a member of the Friends of Maple Hill Cemetery, Eaton County Buck Club, and the Chamber of Commerce, just to name a few. Dave was also a long time volunteer at the Charlotte Fire Department.

Community members may have seen Garrett perform in multiple plays or at Windwalker’s open mic nights. If you live in downtown Charlotte, you have probably been lucky enough to hear Garrett singing and playing guitar while he walks his dog, Jake.  Garrett has many accomplishments, but his biggest one is how he manages his Autism. Garrett found his love of music and acting at a young age and uses these outlets as forms of expression. Social situations are often uncomfortable for Garrett, but music helps. Garrett is currently employed at Peckham, but still finds time to compose his own original music. 

There will be many businesses and organizations from throughout Mid-Michigan represented in this year’s parade. Those watching the parade will see floats, horses, old cars, tractors, dance groups, martial arts groups, bands, and much, much more.

Each year we have a float contest for parade participants. Winners will be announced during the parade. The 2019 Frontier Days Scholarship Winners as well as the Grand Marshal and Jr. Grand Marshal will have special transportation. Frontier Days is a celebration of Charlotte as a community.

The Frontier Days Board would like to thank everyone who helps to put this festival together. A special thank you goes out to the Charlotte Police Department, Fire Department, Eaton County Sheriff’s Office and MDOT for all they do to make our festival successful.

Charlotte Frontier Days is a weekend of fun, food, and family entertainment. Hope to see you all there.

Article submitted by the Charlotte Frontier Days Board.

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