“Big city amenities with small town values,” said Eaton Rapids mayor, Paul Malewski.
The statement couldn’t be truer when it comes to staying active in Eaton Rapids during the summer months. The Island City has dozens of places, events, activities, and projects in which to get involved during the summer. From parks, to holidays, to building projects, there’s something for citizens of all ages to be involved and be active.
The first question every new spring and summer is, “What is there?” Where can one go? What’s outdoors? Where are the best places? The good thing is there are many places to go. From parks right on the river, like Mill Point Park, or GAR Memorial Island Park, or the Scott Munn Memorial Riverwalk, to pocket parks by City Hall and The Oak Ridge Park with biking and walking trails, there are spots all over town to enjoy the outdoors with a book, or a picnic.
But what about activities? How can one stretch his or her limbs, keep the kids moving, or let the dog run around? Not only do several parks have play equipment for kids, there are also spots around the city for different activities. At Mill Point Park is the Livery, where visitors can come Thursday through Sunday (Thur. noon to 7 p.m., Fri.-Sun. 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.) for kayak and tube rentals to float down the Grand River. Fishing all along the river is an easy and mobile activity at several accessible locations in Eaton Rapids. For skaters, scooter riders, and cyclists the Eaton Rapids skate park on Howe Street is a great local spot for working on new tricks and socializing with board acrobats. If one is looking to take the dog out to play with other pups and get out some energy, the Island City Dog Park is located on Eaton Pines Boulevard.
Some readers may be wondering about events. What is there to look forward to throughout the summer? Are there regular events? Eaton Rapids is fortunate to have a number of sought after events throughout the summer months. There are free concerts and movies at the Hansen Amphitheater all summer long. The concerts will present The Kathy Ford Band July 12, local musical ensembles July 26, and the Brenda Loomis Band August 9. Movie dates at the amphitheater are June 29, July 3, July 6, July 13, July 20, July 27, August 3, August 10, and August 17. Readers can visit or call City Hall (517-663-8118) for the full list of movies, which include popular hits like Despicable Me and Wonder Woman. Other consistent community events include the Wednesday night classic car shows on Main Street, and farmers markets at Eaton Rapids Medical Center every Wednesday 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., and by the bridge to GAR Island Park Wednesdays 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
For holidays, the biggest celebrations will be July 4, which include a Senior Center breakfast from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., the community parade at 11 a.m., and a barbeque chicken dinner from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. at Red Ribbon Hall. At dusk a fireworks display will take place at Eaton Rapids High School.
Readers can call City Hall for more information on ways to be active and enjoy Eaton Rapids’ many amenities.