COVID-19 cancels Michigan’s largest free festival

Jillian Felton / Michigan State UniversityThe Lapeer Days website sharing that the event has been cancelled due to COVID-19. The aromas from vendors that travel from all over the country and crowds filled with people that come from near and far won’t be present in Lapeer this year. 

Michigan’s largest free festival since 1902, Lapeer Days, will not be happening this year because of COVID-19. Neda Payne, director of the Lapeer Chamber of Commerce, said that everything for the event is run through the chamber office. There is a committee of about 25 people, and everyone handles a different aspect of the festival. Payne said that the festival  fortifies the economy in Lapeer County and estimates the event brings in 300-400 thousand dollars each year. 

“Our hotels are always full, the restaurants in the downtown area are very busy, the gas stations usually are making a ton of money,” Payne said.

Citizen Yoga instructors, practitioners discuss outdoor classes and practicing in a pandemic

Courtesy of Lindsey YoakumLindsey Yoakum stretches during an outside yoga class

“Yoga has saved me,” is a common expression stated by yoga teachers and practitioners alike. “I’m a different person [because of it],” said Daniel Johnson, yoga practitioner. “I have this whole thread of joy that I never had before.”

Due to COVID-19 shutting down exercise facilities such as gyms and yoga studios, there is now a greater demand for different methods of exercise. That is why Citizen Yoga has curated alternative ways for yoga practitioners to enjoy an hour’s worth of peace and quiet with their Zoom classes and new, free outdoor yoga at Grand Circus Park in Detroit. The summer classes began June 21 and take place every Sunday at 7 p.m. through Aug.

Disc Golf becomes popular COVID-19 pastime

Jeremy Cionca hasn’t found time to play disc golf, a sport he once played competitively, because in these past few years he has been busy working and taking care of his family. However, that all changed after the pandemic which gave Cionca an excuse to start playing again. “Lately we have been getting back to the courses because there is nothing to do,” Cionca said. “It has rekindled the fire a little bit. I have a taste for it again.”

Disc golf is a sport where the objective is to throw a disc golf disc into a chain basket from a set distance.

Musicians hurt by COVID-19

COVID-19 is slamming Northern and West Michigan musicians in their wallets as concert venues and music festivals remain closed for the foreseeable future. We find out how a Bayne City musician who teaches in Mancelona, a Petoskey musicians with a cafe in Indian River and one from Grand Rapids are getting by.

Little Free Libraries luring more readers

Little Free Libraries are gaining popularity across the state as a way to share books and build neighborhoods. Books are flying off the shelves with public libraries and schools closed and people stuck at home. We learn more from Little Free Library owners in Prudenville, Cascade and Holland. By Joshua Valiquette.

MSU Museum’s Teal Talks give survivors a platform

Images from the “Finding Our Voice: Sister Survivors Speak” exhibit. At the Michigan State University Museum, a series of Teal Talks is being hosted in the “Finding Our Voice: Sister Survivors Speak” exhibit. These talks take place on the second Friday of every month for an hour.  

The museum opened the exhibit in April 2019 to provide a healing and learning environment to raise awareness regarding sexual violence. The talks provide a forum for community members, students, staff and faculty all over campus to participate in facilitated conversations led by scholars and advocates about the exhibit and the important issues it raises,” said Elesha Newberry, campus outreach specialist.