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Red Flannel pirates invade Cedar Springs


Thousands of people “buttoned down the hatches” last weekend and rocked Red Flannel Day in lots of red and even dressed in Red Flannel pirate garb.

Red Flannel Festival President Michele Andres said that the mild, mostly dry weather brought thousands of people downtown. “Anytime we can have warm, dry weather the attendance soars. All events indicated attendance up from last year,” she said.

Andres said that the earlier time of the Firefighter Memorial Parade generated a lot of visitors downtown on Friday evening, with the highest attendance of the carnival on any previous Friday evening.

“For the first year, the Festival had television commercials on FOX 17 (instead of Charter) and we believe that boosted attendance as well,” explained Andres.

N-RedFlannel-crowd-webSeveral food vendors sold out and the Marketplace and Car Show was well attended.

New this year was a trolley to move people to different venues. “The trolley was well utilized, and since it is a new event this year, we believe the awareness will increase next year,” noted Andres. “It made a large loop around the City with several stops at different venues until the Parade started.”

“The trolley was a fun addition to the Festival and those who rode it appreciated having that service,” added RFF second Vice President Anna Nozkowski.

N-RF-Pirate-girl-webMissing this year was the Cedar Springs Fire Department’s old Model A fire engine. According to Fire Chief Marty Fraser, it is being restored and was not available for use. Instead of the Fire engine, Keystone Cops used golf carts and the Trolley to haul people to jail for not wearing red.

On the down side, the tractor pulls were canceled due to the condition of the track (too much rain).

Andres said that overall, the Red Flannel Board of Directors received several compliments on a great Festival and believe it all went extremely well. “Nine volunteer board members (4 of them new this year) did an outstanding job!” she remarked.

The Board will take a hiatus until the end of January, when planning for the 75th Festival will begin.





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Read to ride

Deb Elliott of Elliott’s Amusements, Library Director Donna Clark, and an excited reader with her tickets for two free rides. Courtesy photo.

Deb Elliott of Elliott’s Amusements, Library Director Donna Clark, and an excited reader with her tickets for two free rides. Courtesy photo.

The Cedar Springs Public Library’s Read to Ride program was a big hit this year on Red Flannel Day, with 294 students turning in reading logs to earn tickets for two free carnival rides. Library Director Donna Clark was grateful to the Cedar Springs Public Schools and Creative Technologies Academy for helping to distribute the logs to students and making them aware of the program.

“It was so worthwhile and so gratifying to see the families come and pick up their tickets. I’m so delighted,” she said.

Each Red Flannel Day, the library partners with Elliots Amusements and the Red Flannel Festival on the Read to Ride program. Clark said that the program has now run for 5 years.


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New Red Flannel royalty crowned

Pictured (L to R): 2012 Court member Jordyn Nichols; 2013 Court member Hannah Sommer; 2012 Queen Dani George; 2013 Queen Alexis Lucarelli; 2013 Court member Julianne Schut; and 2012 Court member Kellie Spahr.

Pictured (L to R): 2012 Court member Jordyn Nichols; 2013 Court member Hannah Sommer; 2012 Queen Dani George; 2013 Queen Alexis Lucarelli; 2013 Court member Julianne Schut; and 2012 Court member Kellie Spahr.

Thirteen Cedar Springs area juniors vied for the title of 2013 Red Flannel Queen last Saturday evening, September 28, at Cedar Springs High School. Winning this year’s top honor was Alexis Lucarelli, daughter of Brett and Nikki Lucarelli. Her 2013 Red Flannel Court includes two Hannah Sommer, daughter of Charles and Joelene Sommer, and Julianne Schut, daughter of Joel and Chris Schut.

“All the girls did a fabulous job and we could tell each one of them worked so hard throughout this whole process,” said 2nd Vice President Anna Nozkowski. “They looked beautiful as they graced the stage in their gowns and business attire. Very charming and sweet young ladies.”

This year’s pageant director was the 2007 Red Flannel Queen Kaleigh Rosenberger. “She did a wonderful job,” remarked Nozkowski. “It was very well organized and put together.”

The pageant was fun and entertaining for both the audience and the contestants. Nozkowski said one of the highlights of the evening was a local group from The Springs Church, who sang a funny song called, “We are the pirates who wear Red Flannels.”

The Queen and her court will all receive scholarship money for being chosen to represent the Red Flannel Festival. Donations for the Scholarships given to the winners will be received until June 2014. Please send your tax‐deductible donation to RFF Queen Scholarship Fund, PO Box 43, Cedar Springs, MI 49319 or go online to their website donate through PayPal.


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Are you ready for Red Flannel Day?

The Corbett family dressed in their Red Flannel finery. Left to right: Ruger (dog), Steve, Lisa, and Mike.

The Corbett family dressed in their Red Flannel finery. Left to right: Ruger (dog), Steve, Lisa, and Mike.


The Corbett family in Courtland Township can hardly wait for Red Flannel Day. They are so anxious, they are already dressing in the famous long johns to get ready for the big event! Even their dog, Ruger, gets into the act.

So what do the Corbetts like about Red Flannel Day?

“We love dressing up in our red flannels, seeing the lumber jack show, lawn mower pulls and then ditching the kids and going to the beer tent at night!” said Lisa.

How about you? Are you ready for Red Flannel Day this Saturday? Check out the schedule on page 7 for this weekend’s events.

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New Prince and Princess crowned

2013 Prince & Princess, Deagan Pike and Grace Middlebrook. Photo courtesy of the Red Flannel Festival.

2013 Prince & Princess, Deagan Pike and Grace Middlebrook. Photo courtesy of the Red Flannel Festival.

The annual Red Flannel Prince and Princess contest was held Wednesday, September 25, at the historic Kent Theatre in Cedar Springs. According to Chair Anna Nozkowski, 25 kindergarteners participated in the contest, and winners were Deagan Pike, of Cedar Trails Elementary, and Grace Middlebrook, of Creative Technologies Academy.

Len Allington, of the Kent Theatre, was presented with a plaque for his outstanding service to the Festival. He was reportedly 100 percent surprised and touched by the gesture. “He has opened his doors to us for many years, and has always been gracious about lending his time,” said Nozkowski.

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Red Flannel Day Talent Show at the Kent Theatre

Cloie and Bruce  Bennett, winners of the Howard City Hometown Idol, will be performing at the Red Flannel Day Talent Show this Saturday.

Cloie and Bruce Bennett, winners of the Howard City Hometown Idol, will be performing at the Red Flannel Day Talent Show this Saturday.

The 2013 Red Flannel Day Talent Show looks to be another winner this year. Held at the historic Kent Theatre located in the very center of downtown Cedar Springs, this annual event showcases the talents of local individuals and groups. This year there are a number of vocalists and musicians, and a variety of other acts.

Returning from last year will be KJ Decker, a local Classic Country singer/guitarist. Also returning is his daughter Whitney, with a couple of country classic songs of her own. Also appearing will be Cloie and Bruce Bennett, a daughter/father duet and the winners of Hometown Idol in Howard City.

The show will also feature newcomers like singer Kyla Emmorey, vocalist Kelcey Dykstra, singer/ guitarist Laurie Bahmer, and singer/guitarist Maddie Nichols. They will also have variety acts with Katie Schumann performing “the Cup Song,” and the Bunko Babes for comedy relief.

All this and more, combined with another classic performance by aging Master of Ceremonies Len Allington, should prove to be well worth the $3.00 ticket price. The show starts immediately following the Grand Parade on Saturday, October 5 (approximately 4:30 p.m.)

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Schedule of Events


Friday, Oct. 4



Rides and games with Elliott’s Amusements. 5-9PM


Red Hawk Varsity Football

Cedar Springs Red Hawks vs. Northview at 7PM


Firefighter Memorial Parade

Parade route on Main St. Begins at 8:30PM


Red Flannel Grand Lodge

5PM to 12:30AM $5 cover. 21 or older. Local band Kronik Payne from5-8PM, Foolish Plezyer Band from 8:30PM-11:30 PM.


American Legion

Live Band Cross Creek 8PM-12AM


Saturday, Oct. 5


Flag Raising Ceremony

8:45AM. Presented by the American Legion Glen Hill Post #287, Cedar Springs Middle School Marching Band.


Flapjack Breakfast

All you can eat breakfast! Hot dogs will be available for lunch from 11am to 1 pm. At the Red Hawk Elementary Cafeteria. Part of proceeds will be donated to the West Michigan Veteran’s Fund.


Red Flannel Blood Drive

10AM-2PM: West MI Bloodmobile on Main St. between Maple and Oak.


Bed Race Obstacle Course

Check in at 10 AM. Race begins at 10:30 AM. Bring your own bed or rent one from the Festival.


Red Flannel Children’s Parade

Parade begins at 9 AM.  Children decorate bikes and wear costumes in their own parade! Parents are encouraged to walk with children. Please provide bicycle helmets.


Red Flannel Car Show

10am-2pm: Admission is FREE. Cost per entry is $15, registration at 9:30am. Vanderhyde Ford West Lot, 345 N. Main St.


Red Flannel Antique Farm Tractors & Engines Show – at cedar springs museum10am-2pm: Admission is FREE to tractor show and family events. Museum tours from 10am-2pm. Cedar Springs Museum, morley park


Cedar Springs Youth Football

7:30AM – 9PM Games all day


Red Flannel marketplace

All day event with many different vendors of different types! Elm Street.



All Day: Elliott’s Amusements carnival rides and games. Ash and Beech Streets


Marching Band competition

9am: high school marching bands predent half-time shows in competition. Red hawk stadium, cedar springs high school


Giant arts and craft fair

9am-3pm. Over 90 vendors of hand made items. Red hawk and Beach elementary schools


american legion bingo-carnival style

10am-5pm. Everyone welcome!


Poorman pullers mini rod tractor pull

Weigh in at 10am, event runs from 11am-2pm. Free admission. Elm Street pulling track, west end of elm street


judgement day pullers

3pm: FREE admission. Weigh in 2pm. Pull begnis 3pm. Pulling open to public, if tractor meets Club rules. Call Tina Smith at 636-4976. elm street pulling track-behind the former festida foods






1am-5pm: Chicken dinner with all the Trimmings. CHERRY AND MAIN ST.


RED FLANNEL GRAND PARADE3PM: More than 120 entries of floats, bands and entertainment. Be sure to wear RED or the Keystone Kops will arrest you.  Parade begins promptly at 3pm! Main & Muskegon streets



Stop by and see Sue Harrison, who has announced the parade for 20 years. Main & Ash Streets.



12:30PM: Classic bean bag toss tournament with two divisions. $40 per 2 person team or $50 day of contest. Check in between 11am and noon. Cash Prizes! Red flannel grand lodge tent, American Legion, Main & Beech st.



EUCHRE TOURNAMENT NOON:  Cash Prizes! $15 per person or $20 day of contest. Red flannel grand lodge tent, American Legion, Main & Beech st.




Noon to 12:30AM $5 cover. Must be 21 or over. 1PM the Lumbertown Cloggers. The Foolish Pleyzer Band from 5 to 8PM. Kronik Payne from 8:30PM to 11:30PM. Red Flannel Grand Lodge Tent, American Legion,  Main & Beech ST.



9 AM – 5 PM Live band Wayne & Co. 7 PM – 11 PM. Everyone Welcome. American Legion Hall, Main ST




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Museum to showcase historic woodworking skills


Rex VanHorn, Jr. will be on hand at the Cedar Springs Historical Museum on Red Flannel Day, Saturday, October 5, to demonstrate his woodworking skills. He will be making buckets, barrels, kitchenware, brooms and other wood products using only vintage hand and foot-powered tools (nothing electric).  Please stop by to see him.

While you are there, take a look at the antique tractors and running farm equipment that will be on display again in Morley Park. Older farm trucks, miscellaneous farm equipment, implements and other items will be on display. The FFA will also have a food both set up there.

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Don’t miss the powder puff game


It’s an age-old question—who is the tougher class? The Juniors or the Seniors? Find out the answer at the annual Cedar Springs High School Junior-Senior Powder Puff  football game at Red Hawk Stadium, on Saturday, October 5, at 6:30 p.m. This annual event is a great way to bring classes together to celebrate school pride and to spur on some friendly rivalries between the Junior and Senior class. Come on out and support our teens! Tickets are $5 at the gate.


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Goller-Kilts named Grand Marshal for Red Flannel Festival

Mary Goller-Kilts - 2013 Grand Marshal

Mary Goller-Kilts – 2013 Grand Marshal

As a young newlywed whose husband worked for the Clipper girls, Mary Goller-Kilts could not have imagined that she would one day be Grand Marshal for the festival they made possible. She will be 81 in six weeks.

“I was initially very surprised,” she said, about finding out she had been voted in as the 2013 Grand Marshal. “I didn’t think I was deserving.”

But she couldn’t be more wrong. “The Festival is extremely proud and thankful for the many years of Mary’s outstanding dedication to the entire Cedar Springs community,” said Michele Tracy-Andres, President of the Festival. “Her outstanding community service in several organizations is very impressive and exactly what we look for in a Red Flannel Festival Grand Marshal. It’s very obvious Mary loves Cedar Springs and especially the Red Flannel Festival! Her connection to Festival Founders, Grace Hamilton and Nina Babcock is very special to us. The Red Flannel Town is a better place because of her involvement.”

Mary grew up in Grand Rapids. When she was 8 years old her father passed away, and when she was 12, in 1945, her mother died. She had an older sister who was 16 and stayed with relatives, and Mary went to St. John’s Catholic orphanage and attended Catholic Central High School. She graduated from cosmetology school in 1949.

She met her future husband, Oscar Goller, a veteran, when he took some girls dancing in Grand Rapids in 1951. She was 18 years old. “It was a whirlwind romance,” she recalled. She moved here to Cedar Springs in February 1951, turned 19 in April, and was married by June. Oscar worked for the Clipper Girls—Grace Hamilton and Nina Babcock—as a linotypist, and the couple rented an apartment from them for a time. Grace, who was also a real estate agent, soon found the couple a house—the one Mary still lives in—near Cedar Springs High School, for $2,800. “We were very close to Grace and Nina,” remarked Mary. “They were very affectionate people.” Mary said she would go into the office and help clean up, and would help out the festival by handing out flyers to the merchants. She also got to meet Jerry Ford, our future president, who used to attend the Festivals. “That was exciting,” she said.

Professionally, Mary worked for both Modern Cleaners here in Cedar Springs and Uptown Cleaners in Grand Rapids. When Tom Cooper, her former manager at Uptown, bought Modern Cleaners, he asked her to return here and manage it. She retired at age 73 after 52 years in the dry cleaning business.

In 1973, she also found a love for volunteering with the American Legion Auxiliary. “I joined for the vets and for the children,” she explained. Mary has served in several different roles in the Auxiliary, including state president. She is currently Unit 287 Chaplain and Membership Chairman, Girls State Chairman, Education Chairman, and Funeral Luncheon Chairman. But her heart is in the Salon of the 8/40 in northern Kent County, an auxiliary organization she founded that is committed to fundraising and scholarships for respiratory diseases in children. The money raised goes to National Jewish Hospital in Denver, Colorado.

“I went and visited and saw the great work they do there,” she noted. Mary said their Salon has grown to 44 partners that also make ditty bags for the kids at DeVos Children’s Hospital. “I feel this work for children is the most important thing in my life,” she said.

Mary and Oscar adopted two children, Addie and Oscar Alan. Mary now has three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. She and Oscar were married for 45 years.

Two years after Oscar died, Mary met Don Kilts, also a veteran and a widower. They married in 1998, and were married just under 10 years, when he passed away. Since then, she’s kept very busy in her volunteer work.

Throughout her life, Mary has always promoted Red Flannels, both personally and through the American Legion, and finally has the opportunity to do it in a highly visible way—as Grand Marshal of the 2013 Festival.

“It is with a humble heart I accept to serve as Grand Marshal for this coming year 2013,” she said. “Rest assured that I will continue to promote our town, flannels and its great people in memory of the founders of our Red Flannel Town, Grace Hamilton and Nina Babcock.”


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