Folkfest returns to Manistique

Manistique resident Jena Osterhout performs pop classics at Manistique Folkfest. Jena Osterhout has always dreamed of being a singer despite her stage fright. However, growing up in the southern part of Michigan’s upper peninsula, there are not many opportunities to perform publicly. 

“Folkfest is a festival is a festival that goes on every summer in Manistique, and it just means a lot to me because I’ve been coming here every year because I grew up in Manistique and I have a passion for music and I’ve always wanted to sing,” said Osterhout. 

The annual two-day festival hosts “Yoopers Got Talent”, a local talent display that presents Osterhout with the opportunity to perform. Yooper is slang for someone who lives in the Upper Peninsula. “So, when I got old enough and worked out of my stage fright, and I finally, when I was 12 years old, got to sing at Folkfest, and I’ve been doing it every year since,” said Osterhout.

More people + more things to do = more 911 calls in Traverse City

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — Although it may not be surprising, 911 calls increase during times of tourism peaks in this Northwest Michigan town (for example, the annual National Cherry Festival last week), but why is this? Jim Danek, a 911 dispatcher, says, “Calls increase due to the amount of alcohol consumed during the National Cherry Festival and around the Fourth of July holiday. Both for medical and behavior issues. Traffic collisions increase due to the increased number of vehicles on the roadways and add some really cool air shows to distract the drivers and it’s an obvious recipe for disaster.”

Danek worked a total of 40 hours of overtime during the National Cherry Festival week. He says, “There is hardly a shortage of overtime shifts available during the Cherry Festival.

Traverse City businesses prepared for the National Cherry Festival

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — The annual National Cherry Festival is July 1-8 this year and Traverse City was busy preparing in recent weeks for the thousands of attendees, including both tourists and citizens. Steve Heap, a professional at the Association of Festival Organizers, says that communication is key when a city prepares for a festival. He also says it gets easier with experience, but still takes the whole year to prepare for the annual festival. Kaylie Camp, 19, has worked two previous Cherry Festivals at Fustini’s, an oil and vinegar store located in downtown Traverse City.

Festivals keep Old Town hopping

By Zachary Swiecicki
Old Town Lansing Times staff reporter

While Old Town Lansing businesses see a lull in customer traffic in the colder months, festivals are able to attract large numbers of interested travelers to the area.  

In early October, Old Town was home to Oktoberfest, a smaller, local version of Germany’s popular festival.  This two-day festival brought crowds in the thousands to the northern Lansing neighborhood.  

“This [Oktoberfest] is something we always look forward to in October,” a group of excited visitors said.  “It’s not Germany, but there’s no place we’d rather be.”

Okemos High School Hosts Annual Festival of Bands

By Florian Cherdron and Adam Ilenich
Meridian Times staff writers

OKEMOS — Eleven bands from across Michigan’s Lower Peninsula came together at Okemos Community High School to perform free concerts for the 17th Annual Red Cedar Festival of Community Bands. The festival was developed by members of the the Meridian Community Band in 1996 and has been held every year since. Over the years, 45 bands have performed in the festival, giving the public 188 free concerts in 17 years. Kyle Tooker, a 15-year-old freshman who plays tenor saxophone at Okemos High School, said he really enjoyed the concert, especially the German band that brought energy and fun to the show. “Seeing all the people having so much fun, especially the German band, they were having so much fun with the costumes and they make music look cool,” Tooker said.

City prepares for 41st Red Cedar Jubilee

By Mallory Estepp
Williamston Post staff writer

WILLIAMSTON — As winter warms into spring, Williamston ends its hibernation to plan for the 41st Annual Red Cedar Jubilee during the first week of summer. The weeklong festival will start June 18 in downtown Williamston. It has lawn mower races, an enduro derby and Lions-sponsored beer and food tents. The city’s Kiwanis, Lions and Rotary clubs host the jubilee. All the money earned at the event goes back to the city, said Sandy Bowden-Whelton, president of the Red Cedar Jubilee Committee.