Category Archives: Community News

MICHIGAN IRISH MUSIC FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES NEW STAGE & RETURNING CULTURAL EVENTS

Following record attendance three years in a row, the Michigan Irish Music Festival is expanding its grounds. The festival’s seventh covered stage will be positioned on The Point at Heritage Landing, a space previously inaccessible to festival patrons. The Belfast Stage will feature live music, new dining options, beverage offerings, and more.

 

The Belfast Stage is named for the capital of Northern Ireland, a fitting choice since The Point is the northmost location at Heritage Landing. Festival-goers will find everything they need near the new stage, including powder rooms with running water, a Blarney Bucks station, a bar, and two food vendors new to the festival. One such vendor is downtown Muskegon favorite Curry Kitchen, who will be serving butter chicken, samosas, and other Indian cuisine. The second vendor, Camzie’s Pizza, will offer two-topping wood-fired pizzas, as well as an Irish pizza option.

 

The Michigan Irish Music Festival runs from September 13th-16th. MIMF will kick off the 2018 festival with a Pub Preview Party on Thursday night. The Pub Party will give patrons a preview of the weekend with food, beverage, and three bands in the pub tent only. Admission is $5 (cash only Thursday). The full festival opens Friday, featuring over 30 bands on seven covered stages and an extensive selection of food, beverages (domestic beer, Irish whiskey, Irish cider, and local craft beer), shopping, and cultural offerings – including some returning favorites:

 

The Celtic Highland Games ​All day Saturday, the Celtic Highland Games return with competitors, both men and women, participating in the stone throw, sheaf toss, 16-lb. hammer toss, weight for height and distance, and the ever-popular caber toss (a log approx. 18’- 20’ long).

 

John “Red” Shea ​ The author of New York Times bestseller ​Rat Bastards returns to the festival after captivating audiences back in 2012. Shea talks about his life in the notorious Boston Irish mob, a compelling story of one of the most powerful Irish mobs in American history.

 

Celtic Beard Bout ​Presented by Lumbertown Beard Barons, this family-friendly beard and mustache competition celebrates facial hair of all shapes and sizes and the cultural significance of beards in Ireland.

 

Celtic Canines ​Come meet the dog breeds that originated from the Emerald Isle and learn about what each breed was originally intended to do. If you’re interested in owning one for yourself, chat with the owners to find out if the breed is right for you!

 

Limerick Contest ​Awaken the poet within you, or just come and enjoy one of Ireland’s most popular literary traditions. Not for the faint-of-heart, experience our local authors’ pithy and humorous takes on subjects such as sex, politics, love, death, and more.

 

Learn How to Play the Bodhrán ​This all-ages hands-on presentation is a great introduction to the bodhrán, a percussion instrument traditionally made with a wooden body and goat-skin head and played with a double- headed stick.

 

How to Speak Gaelic ​Through presentations and an ongoing exhibit by West Michigan Gaeltacht, patrons can enjoy learning and speaking the Irish language.

 

Session Tent ​Festival musicians are joined by walk-in amateurs as they participate in impromptu jam sessions, carrying on the Irish tradition of “session music.” Bring your instrument and join in the fun!

 

Wake House​ Visit Cathy Jo and Steve Smith for a glimpse into the cultural traditions of an actual Irish wake. Much more than a funeral, an Irish wake is a celebration of life with three days full of dancing, drinking, and singing.

 

Advance tickets and festival passes are available online through Wednesday, August 29th, after which tickets are only available at the Heritage Landing box office starting on Thursday, September 13th. Patrons can save $5 per ticket versus the gate price when they buy online. The festival offers an Early-In Free promotion on Friday only from 5-6PM, sponsored by Family Financial Credit Union. Other major sponsors of the festival include G&L, Van’s Car Wash, and Budweiser. For complete festival information, visit ​www.michiganirish.org​.

 

For media information, call 231.683.2065.

 

BETTEN BAKER COOPERSVILLE EXPANSION AND KENT CITY FORD ACQUISITION

KENT CITY/COOPERSVILLE, MI – The Betten Baker Auto Plaza in Coopersville has completed construction on the Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram facility and has no sight on slowing down. They have acquired Kent City Ford and are relocating the Ford brand to Coopersville. This Automotive Plaza will soon be home to all of the “Big Three” automotive brands. This is a first for the area as no other location will allow customers to shop seven new domestic brands and fifty plus new models all at one location. These brands include Chevrolet, Buick, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram and Ford coming soon. The expansion puts Coopersville on the map as home to the largest Auto Plaza in Michigan.

 

In addition, the largest pre-owned center in Michigan will be built in the Auto Plaza campus, offering even more brands and models for customers to shop. Betten Baker will not be leaving Kent City and will continue to sell pre-owned vehicles as well as service and parts.

 

“We are so excited for this next chapter in Betten Baker history.” says co-owner Chris Baker, “This is one of the biggest expansions we have done at Betten Baker, something that will not only change our company but the way people shop for decades to come.”

 

The all-new state of the art Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram store is now open and the Ford store in Coopersville is expected to open early 2019. The groundbreaking for the pre-owned center will happen at the end of this summer. This state-of-the-art Betten Baker Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram facility is located west of the current Betten Baker Chevrolet Buick store just off 68th Street and I-96 in Coopersville.

 

The combination of the new dealerships will bring 100+ new jobs to the Coopersville area and will enhance the traffic to all of the retailers and fast food restaurants in the area.

 

With the addition of all the new locations, Betten Baker now employs over 850 people. This takes the total Betten Baker location count to 18, with hints of 3 more coming soon. This would make a total of 21 locations for the Betten Baker Auto Group. For the past 36 years, the Betten Baker Automotive Group has consistently led in automotive sales along the lakeshore and is confident they will continue this trend into new markets. Their progressive attitude and actions in the community allow them to not only remain a strong West Michigan employer, but also help them be successful in the future by exceeding the needs and expectations of today’s car buyers.

 

 

Dynamic Conveyor Corporation Completes Office Expansion

Dynamic Conveyor Corporation recently completed an office renovation and expansion at its Norton Shores, Michigan facility. Dynamic Conveyor is a second generation, women owned business offering innovative conveyor solutions to the parts manufacturing and food processing industries.

 

 

With the introduction of a second conveyor line, Dynamic Conveyor entered the food processing and packaging market in 2011. Since that time the company has been experiencing steady growth. Additional personnel has been hired to support the growth and the company found that it was running out of space. The new space includes additional offices, a larger conference room and break room that expands for company-wide gatherings.

 

 

Dynamic Conveyor was founded in 1991 when it introduced the DynaCon® conveyor system to the plastic molding industry. The DynaCon conveyor systems offer parts manufacturers the ability to build their own conveyors using modules (like Lego® building blocks) to configure and later reconfigure their conveyor layouts. Modules are built using plastic injection molded parts, which bring strength and durability to the conveyor system, while remaining light-weight enough to be easily reconfigured. Reconfiguration of DynaCon conveyors offers an eco-friendly and sustainable solution.

 

 

The DynaClean® line of conveyors was introduced to food processors as a cost saving alternative to traditional stainless steel conveyors. DynaClean conveyors offer a patented design that is simple, quick and easy to disassemble and clean. There are no tools needed, no small parts to lose, and no nooks and crannies to clean. DynaClean conveyors have a very open design with no place for food or bacteria to hide and are much easier to clean than traditional food processing conveyors. DynaClean conveyors are known in the food processing industry for reducing cleaning times in half.

 

 

All conveyors offered by Dynamic Conveyor provide flexibility of design which includes choices for length, width, inclines, declines, lateral turns, belt styles and an array of accessory options. The systems are designed to require no maintenance, lubrication or need for belt tracking.

 

 

For more information about Dynamic Conveyor visit www.DynamicConveyor.com or call 231.798.1483.

 

Muskegon County Calendar of Events 08/13 – 08/20/2018

Click here to view Visit Muskegon’s Calendar of events for Aug 13 – Aug 20.

 

Parents invited to “stock up” on school supplies August 15 &16

This month families are invited to gather at fun “School Stock Up Backpack Giveaway” events at The Gateway church on Pontaluna Road and at Lebanon Lutheran Church on Mears Avenue. Children will receive free backpacks stocked with school supplies and enjoy free meals, fun activities, resource tables, and free vision and hearing screenings. Between the two churches, 750 backpacks will be distributed!

 

The Gateway Church stock up event will be held on Wednesday, August 15 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at 1641 Pontaluna Road in Spring Lake. An optional, face-to-face, walk-in pre-registration will be held on Monday, August 13 from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.

 

 

Lebanon Lutheran Church will host their event on Thursday, August 16 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at 1101 South Mears Avenue in Whitehall.

 

 

Each child must be accompanied by an adult parent or guardian and an ID is required for both adults and children. Supplies are limited and are given away on a first come, first served basis.

 

 

Each year both churches work together to partner with area businesses and organizations to offer the popular giveaways. This year’s sponsors include Arconic, Dog ‘n Suds Drive-In, and Thrivent Financial Services.

 

 

 

Pastor Ben Vegh of The Gateway Church said, “We want to help ease the financial demand that preparing to go back to school can have on families.” Vegh said it costs between ten and twenty dollars to purchase a backpack and the supplies inside. Both churches are still raising funds to help pay for the items.

 

 

“We have a strong team of people dedicated to serving the families who live in our communities,” said Lebanon Lutheran’s Pastor Doug Ogden. “Seeing a child’s ear-to-ear grin when they receive their backpack makes it all worth it,” he added.

 

 

For more information about these events, contact the office at Lebanon Lutheran Church at 231-893-5745 or the office at The Gateway Church at 231-799-2141.

 

Muskegon County Calendar of Events 08/06 – 08/13/2018

Click here to view the full Visit Muskegon’s Calendar of Events. 

 

 

Tech Center FFA students earn 18 first place awards at Muskegon County Fair

MUSKEGON: The Muskegon Area Career Tech Center (MACTC) FFA Chapter, which includes students enrolled in the Environmental/Veterinary Sciences program at the MACTC, had their best showing yet at this year’s Muskegon County Fair, July 23-28, 2018. Students brought home 16 first place awards, seven Grand Champion awards, and one Reserve Grand Champion award.

 

 

“It was a proud moment for me to see my students step out of their comfort zone to show their animals,” shared Environmental/Veterinary Sciences Instructor and FFA Chapter leader, Jennifer Glombowski.

 

 

Second-year Environmental/Veterinary Sciences student, Stefanie Beckley (Fruitport) had some unexpected challenges due to the unusual heat the week of the fair. “My dog didn’t perform quite as we expected because of the heat, but we pushed through and ended up winning the overall trophy!”

 

 

Student results:

 

 

Showman of Showman

  • Danielle Hysell­ (Fruitport), first place, Grand Champion
  • Stefanie Beckley (Fruitport), fourth place

 

 

Poultry

  • Showmanship

○      Katie Howard (Montague), third place

○      Carter Wacholz (Montague), fourth place

○      Macey Wacholz (Montague), fifth place

  • Guinea Hen

○      Carter Wacholz, first place, Grand Champion

  • Quail Best Other Breed Male

○      Emily Sullivan (Fruitport), first place, Grand Champion

Carter Wacholz (Montague), Katie Howard (Montague), and Macey Wacholz (Montague) placed in the top three for their Dutch rabbits

 

Rabbits

  • Jr. Doe – Dutch

○      Macey Wacholz, first place

○      Katie Howard, second place

○      Carter Wacholz, third place

  • Dutch Rabbits (overall)

○      Macey Wacholz, Best of Breed

○      Katie Howard, Best Opposite Breed

  • Mini Rex

○      Brynne Tober (Fruitport), Best Opposite Breed, first place Sr. Buck

  • Californian

○      Carter Wacholz­, Best Opposite Breed, first place Jr. Doe

○      Macey Wacholz, Best of Breed, first place Jr. Buck

  • Club Herd– Reserve Grand Champion, second place

○      Macey Wacholz

○      Carter Wacholz

○      Katie Howard

  • Fur Classes

○      Wool Fur

■      Brie Justian (Montague), first place

○      Rex Fur

■      Brynne Tober, first place

Danielle Hysell (Fruitport) with her swine competing in Showmanship

○      Normal Fur

■      Emily Sullivan, second place

■      Macey Wacholz, third place

■      Cater Wacholz, fourth place

 

Swine

  • Showmanship Senior Teen

○      Danielle Hysell, first place, Grand Champion Overall

  • Medium Weight Market Class

○      Danielle Hysell, second place

○      Stefanie Beckley, third place

 

 

Steer

  • Lightweight Market Steer

○      Danielle Hysell, third place

Corey Lowe (Oakridge) with his steer

  • Showmanship

○      Corey Lowe (Oakridge), fifth place

  • Heaveyweight Market Steer

○      Corey Lowe, third place

 

 

Dogs

  • Stefanie Beckley

○      Overall Grand Champion Dog Showmanship

○      First place, Intermediate Agility

Stefanie Beckley (Fruitport) and her dog with their awards including Overall Grand Champion Dog Showmanship

○      First place, Jumpers with runners and weaves

○      First place, 17 Year Old Open Showmanship

○      Grand Champion, Open Showmanship

○      First place, Advanced Rally B

○      High in trial– Rally

○      First place, Novice Obedience B

○      Reserve High in Trial– Obedience

○      Luv So True Overall Open and Handler High Point

 

 

Shooting Sports

  • Kerrigan Semans (Whitehall), first place Senior Teens, Reserve grand champion

 

 

Baked Goods

  • Collin Brown (Reeths-Puffer), third place

 

 

Pet Show

  • Maya Justian (Montague)

○      First place, Cutest

○      First place, Scary Pet

○      Second place, Largest

 

 

For more information about the Muskegon Area Career Tech Center and the free career training programs available to high school juniors and seniors visit muskegoncareertech.com 

 

 

Parents invited to “stock up” on school supplies August 15 & 16

This month families are invited to gather at fun “School Stock Up Backpack Giveaway” events at The Gateway Church on Pontaluna Road and at Lebanon Lutheran Church on Mears Avenue. Children will receive free backpacks stocked with school supplies and enjoy free meals, fun activities, resource tables, and free vision and hearing screenings. Between the two churches, 750 backpacks will be distributed!

 

 

The Gateway Church stock up event will be held on Wednesday, August 15 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at 1641 Pontaluna Road in Spring Lake. An optional, face-to-face, walk-in pre-registration will be held on Monday, August 13 from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.

 

 

Lebanon Lutheran Church will host their event on Thursday, August 16 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at 1101 South Mears Avenue in Whitehall.

 

 

Each child must be accompanied by an adult parent or guardian and an ID is required for both adults and children. Supplies are limited and are given away on a first come, first served basis.

 

 

Each year both churches work together to partner with area businesses and organizations to offer the popular giveaways. This year’s sponsors include Arconic, Dog ‘n Suds Drive-In, and Thrivent Financial Services.

 

 

Pastor Ben Vegh of The Gateway Church said, “We want to help ease the financial demand that preparing to go back to school can have on families.” Vegh said it costs between ten and twenty dollars to purchase a backpack and the supplies inside. Both churches are still raising funds to help pay for the items.

 

 

“We have a strong team of people dedicated to serving the families who live in our communities,” said Lebanon Lutheran’s Pastor Doug Ogden. “Seeing a child’s ear-to-ear grin when they receive their backpack makes it all worth it,” he added.

 

 

For more information about these events, contact the office at Lebanon Lutheran Church at 231-893-5745 or the office at The Gateway Church at 231-799-2141.

 

 

Red Cross Names New West Michigan Executive Director: Tiffany Page to Lead Local Programs and Volunteers

GRAND RAPIDS, MI, July 27, 2018 – The American Red Cross of Michigan recently named Tiffany Page as its new Executive Director for West Michigan.

 

“West Michigan means a great deal to the Red Cross and Tiffany’s local knowledge and passion for our mission adds a great deal of strength to all our community programs,” said Kimberly Burton, Regional Chief Executive Officer for the Michigan Region. “Local disasters happen each day. Our work helping families recover and move forward with their lives requires the type of dedication that Tiffany brings to all she does.”

 

Previously Tiffany worked with Catholic Charities West Michigan, overseeing community outreach and volunteer services. Her prior career experience includes leadership and management positions in the for-profit sector while serving as a board member for several local charitable organizations addressing human rights and social concerns.
Tiffany was drawn to the Red Cross by the mission of the organization and the passion of the organization’s volunteers. When Tiffany’s not working, she loves spending time with her family, dog and time at her family cabin. The American Red Cross of West Michigan service area includes all of Barry, Ionia, Kent, Lake, Mason, Mecosta, Montcalm, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana, Osceola and Ottawa counties

 

Last year, Michigan Red Cross volunteers provided food, shelter, comfort and hope to 3,532 local families who faced emergency situations. They also provided first aid classes to 121,277 individuals including CPR, AED, Aquatics and Water Safety. Ninety-one cents of every dollar donated to the Red Cross goes toward humanitarian relief programs.

 

Nearly 314,000 volunteers serve the Red Cross, helping staff blood drives, volunteering at veteran’s hospitals, teaching people lifesaving skills such as First Aid and CPR, responding to home fires in the middle of the night and so much more. Here in the Michigan Region, more than 5,000 volunteers help communities across the state, and when called upon, also deploy to assist in national disaster relief operations.

 

 

About the American Red Cross: The Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission.

 

 

Website: http://www.redcross.org/local/mi
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ARCWestMichigan/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MIRedCross/status/784457435742298112
Instagram: @miredcross

 

 

Betten Baker Acquires McArdle Buick GMC Cadillac

Midland, MI – Betten Baker is continuing their statewide domination with yet another acquisition. The newest and most recent acquisition for Betten Baker comes from Midland Michigan, where McArdle Buick GMC Cadillac will become Betten Baker Buick GMC Cadillac. This takes the total Betten Baker location count to 18, with hints of 3 more coming soon. This would make a total of 21 locations for the Betten Baker Auto Group.

 

Betten Baker will be taking over operations of McArdle Buick GMC Cadillac on July 31, 2018. Betten Baker co-owner Chris Baker stated that they would retain McArdle employees. Betten Baker auto group has locations in several counties across Michigan and proudly employs over 850 people.

 

“This is exciting! Each and every time we do this it feels like the first time.” Says Betten Baker Co-Owner Chris Baker. “We love being able to bring the Betten Baker culture to new communities. Tom [Mcardle] has done a phenomenal job growing and running the dealership, and we will do everything in our power to ensure continued success in this store.”

 

Betten Baker Chevrolet Cadillac GMC celebrated 36 years in March and has continuously expanded their Muskegon presence by adding Betten Baker Honda and Betten Baker Hyundai and an additional used car location. In addition, they have expanded into other communities including Coopersville, Twin Lake, Lowell, Grandville, Big Rapids, Allegan, Ludington, Cadillac, Alma and Ithaca. Betten Baker’s Massive Motor Mall has continued to be a leader in automotive sales along the lakeshore and will continue this trend into new markets. Their progressive attitude and actions in the community allow them to not only remain a strong West Michigan employer, but also help them remain successful in the future by exceeding the needs and expectations of today’s consumers.

 

 

Other ways to get involved

Volunteer for the Lakeshore Art Festival

A unique blend of arts, crafts, music, food and fun along the shoreline in historic Downtown Muskegon. More than 300 artists and crafters will be showcased with fine art in the park, crafts, children’s activities and Michigan food market – all wrapped up in a huge downtown street party atmosphere! Join us on July 5, and July 6, 2019.

Learn more

Join Watch Muskegon

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