Halloween may have been filled with rain but luckily for Williamston residents there was an indoor alternative. The Williamston First Baptist Church held its annual Trunk-or-Treat inside to combat the unpredictable Michigan weather. Pastor Dan Cavin said that this is about the eighth year that the church has held the Trunk-or-Treat.The first five years were outside and the past three have been inside because the weather has been so bad. For members and non-members alike the church offers Halloween festivities. “We have cider and donuts.
If you haven’t had a chance to make it out to Bestmaze this year, Halloween weekend is your last chance. Not only is it the last weekend the corn maze and Trail of Terror will be open, but there will also be multiple firework shows Friday and Saturday nights. When owner Mark Benjamin heard that people across the country were going to corn mazes for fun, he knew he had found his niche. He had been making mazes since he was a child, plus he had a great location, “halfway between MSU and University of Michigan. So 16 years ago we made one.
On Oct. 13, Williamston held its 3rd Annual Grub Crawl. Nine local restaurants participated by providing samples of their best dishes to those who participated. The event offered spring rolls, pumpkin pancakes and pulled pork sliders. However there was a 75 percent decline in attendance from the previous years.
Every Sunday, May through October, vendors and residents gather at McCormick Park to enjoy the music, baked goods, fresh produce and artisan crafts at the Farmers Market. The market features a variety of vendors, many of whom do not have storefronts. Ian Boyle, owner of Good Sense Coffee, started his business two years ago, solely online. Soon after, Boyle found that online business was extremely difficult to break into, “We worked with Google for a little while doing Google ads and with Facebook doing Facebook advertising, but nothing was really catching on,” said Boyle. “For specialty coffee like we have, where it’s $10 to $18 for 12 ounces of coffee, people really need to try it.
The Williamston Theatre’s production of Sirens began March 26 and will run through April 26. The play is written by Deborah Laufer and is directed by Tony Caselli. Sirens is a collaboration with the Michigan State University Department of Theatre and has two students in the cast. The theater is located in downtown Williamston and was founded in 2005 by John Lepard, Christine Purchis, Emily Sutton-Smith and Tony Caselli. According to Caselli, who has been directing plays for 19 years, the theater is a not-for-profit organization.
When Ruth learns a revealing secret about the family’s ancestors from her grandmother on her deathbed, she is compelled to tell this story to the rest of the family. It is revealed to the Nowaks that their ancestors were not Catholic, but actually Jewish, the family is immediately shaken. The family matriarch, Clara, is brought to tears. The family doesn’t know how to react to the sudden change in faith. The family fights with one another about what to do, but by the end of the play the family embraces their newly discovered change in faith and embrace one another.
The Williamston Theatre has won the National Theatre Company Grant honor from the American Theatre Wing. Best known for being the creator of The Antoinette Perry “Tony” Awards, the American Theatre Wing awarded 12 theaters this year with its National Theatre Company Grant. Williamston Theatre has been awarded $12,000 to help with general operations. According to the American Theatre Wing website, companies chosen to receive the grants have “articulated a distinctive mission, cultivated an audience and nurtured a community of artists in ways that strengthen the quality, diversity, and dynamism of American Theatre.”
“It’s great to get this validation of our work. We’re in terrific company, as the other theaters recognized are doing some really groundbreaking work and having a great impact on their respective communities,” said Development Director Emily Sutton-Smith.
Williamston Theatre, founded in 2006, is a treasured charm of downtown Williamston. With award-winning productions and a homey downtown feel, the success of the theater continues to make its founders proud. “I believe that what gets us, what makes us, at our core human beings, the reason why we are here and why we are going through this journey is to connect with each other and to relate to each other and the best way to do that is to tell stories,” said Emily Sutton-Smith. “Theater is a great way to do that.”
Sutton Smith is one of the four founders and development director of the theater. The founders of the theater strive to establish a homey feel for visitors.