web analytics

Archive | Seasonal

Letters to Santa Claus

Hey kids, it’s time to write a letter to Santa! Photo courtesy of S. Read.

Hey kids, it’s time to write a letter to Santa! Photo courtesy of S. Read.

It’s that time of year again, when kids can’t wait to mail their letters to Santa! To help parents out, the Cedar Springs Post will have a special North Pole drop box. Every year dozens of kids use our special box for express delivery to the North Pole, and we make sure Santa reads each and every one! So, if you’d like to send a letter to Santa, and maybe get it printed in the newspaper, just drop off your letter, in the bright red box labeled “Santa Mail” outside our office at 36 E. Maple Street, or mail your letter to: Letters to Santa, c/o the Cedar Springs Post, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319.

Posted in Hometown Holidays, NewsComments Off on Letters to Santa Claus

Baby’s First Christmas

atlas-santa-beardWe want to give you the opportunity to celebrate your baby’s very first Christmas in a special way. The  Cedar Springs POST will be featuring area newborns in “Baby’s First Christmas,” a special feature for babies celebrating their first Christmas.

Photos will be run at no cost to our readers, but space is limited so get your photos in early. Deadline is Monday, December 19 by 5 p.m. and pictures with name and date of birth will appear in the December 22nd issue. We cannot guarantee return of photos. Show the community your precious gift!

Photos may be dropped off at the Cedar Springs POST – 36 E. Maple St., or mailed to Baby’s First Christmas, P.O. Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319, or emailed to news@cedarspringspost.com. Please include baby’s name, and birth date, as well as a contact name and phone number.

Posted in Hometown HolidaysComments Off on Baby’s First Christmas

Tour of lights

 

There’s nothing like the warm glow of Christmas lights this time of year to give you a good dose of Christmas cheer!

Every year The Cedar Springs POST hosts a Tour of Lights giving area residents the scoop on where the hot spots for Christmas lights are glowing.

In order for us to make an accurate listing, one that includes YOUR house as a “drive-by” we need you to lead the way.

Simply mail your name and address to Tour of Lights, P.O. Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319. You can also email them to news@cedarspringspost.com or call the office at 616-696-3655 to let us know.

Posted in Hometown HolidaysComments Off on Tour of lights

Holiday happenings

 

Check out some of the fun, family activities going on in the area for the holiday season.

CEDAR SPRINGS

2016 Cedar Springs Christmas Mingle with Kris Kringle 

Dec. 3: Celebrate the kick off to the Christmas season with “Come Mingle with Kris Kringle,” presented by the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce.

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Come make Christmas ornaments at the Cedar Springs Library from 10 a.m. 1 p.m. Sign up at the library, 43 W. Cherry St., Cedar Springs, MI. Free.

1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Kids crafts at the CS Historical Museum (Cedar Street by Morley Park)

2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Story time with Mrs. Claus at Perry’s Place llc for herbs, teas, and more (90 N. Main, corner of Maple and Main Street)

4 p.m. Parade Line Up corner of Second and Maple Street

4:30 p.m. Christmas Parade starts at Maple and Main Street

4:45 p.m. Christmas Tree Lighting at the corner of Main and Ash Street

5 p.m. Live Nativity Scene (reenacted by Calvary Assembly of God at the corner of Main and Ash Street)

5:00 pm to 7:00 pm Ladies Auxiliary of the American Legion Bake Sale and Hot Chocolate at the American Legion

5:15 p.m. Mingling with Kris Kringle at the American Legion Hall (Photographs with Santa by Kristen Smith)

Main Street will be closing down (from Oak Street to Beech) from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. for the mini Christmas Parade, Tree lighting, and Mingle with Kris Kringle portion of the event.

Make gingerbread houses at the library

Dec. 10: Come make gingerbread houses at the Cedar Springs Library on Saturday, December 10, from 10 a.m to 12:30 p.m. Sign up at the library, 43 W. Cherry St., Cedar Springs, MI. Free.

2016 Kent Theatre Christmas Concert

Dec. 10: The 2016 Annual Kent Theatre Christmas Concert hosted by the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce (CSACOC) is scheduled for December 13th from 3pm to 5pm. Come out an have some holiday family fun! 

The Annual Kent Theatre Christmas Dance Extravaganza

Dec. 11: Come out to see dance performances from Cedar Springs dance Company and Seira Kovach & Cameron Wilson with poi dancing, at the Christmas Dance Extravaganza, hosted by the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce, on Sunday, December 11 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the historic Kent Theatre, 8 N. Main St. in beautiful downtown Cedar Springs. Come out and have some holiday family fun. Admission tickets are $3 per person. By special request from the Cedar Springs Public Library, we are including a reader’s theater performance by Actors del Arte Ensemble of A Christmas Carol for the second half of our show this year.

GREENVILLE

Celebrate Christmas on the green in Greenville

Hometown Christmas parade and Santa party

Dec. 2: Come join the fun in downtown Greenville on Friday, December 2. The Santa park party will take place from 4:00-5:30 p.m. at Lafayette park. Get your picture taken with Santa, enjoy games and live music, then watch while Santa magically lights the Christmas Tree at 5:45 p.m. The parade will start at 6:00 p.m. on Lafayette Street. You won’t want to miss out on all the fun!

Enjoy local events and shop local businesses 

Dec. 3: Shop local businesses and enjoy local events throughout the day on Saturday, December 3.

Picture of You & Your Pet with Santa– 12-1:30 p.m. Town & Country Animal Clinic-FREE

Holiday Craft Fair. 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. at Greenville Area Community Center

John Berry Christmas Concert

Dec. 3: Ring in the Christmas season with country legend John Berry at the Greenville High School Performing Arts Center, 111 N. Hillcrest, Greenville, on Dec. 3 at 7 p.m. This year marks Berry’s 20th holiday concert tour. He has big plans to celebrate and involve fans like never before! The John Berry concert benefits “Have Mercy,” helping our homeless get safe and warm, while working with them to rebuild their lives. Tickets are $25 at JohnBerry.com/tour OR pick up at the UPS store in Greenville.

Dec 4: Gingerbread House Decorating 1-3pm at Greenville Area Community Center $10(registration) 900 E. Kent Rd., Greenville. (616) 754-9163.

Dec. 4: MCC’s Holiday Celebration 1-4pm at Sidney Campus-Free

Dec 5: High School Band/Orchestra Concert 7:30 pm at GHS Performing Arts Center-free

Dec 6: Middle School Holiday Orchestra Concert 7pm at GHS Performing Arts Center-free

Dec 7: Grand Rapids Symphony Holiday Pops 7:30 pm at GHS. 

Dec 10: High School Holiday Choir Concert 7:30 pm at GHS; FREE tickets are required

Dec. 10: Holiday Flea Market at the Greenville Area Community Center – 754-9163.

Dec 11: MCC’s Alumni & Friends Holiday Choir Concert 3-4:30 p.m. at Sidney Campus. Admission is free.

Dec 12: Middle School Holiday Choir Concert 6:30 pm at GHS Performing Arts Center-free

Dec 13: Lincoln Heights Holiday Concert 6:30 pm at GHS FREE!

Dec 14: Cedar Crest Holiday Concert 6:30 pm at GHS FREE!

Dec 15: Walnut Hills Holiday Concert 6:30 pm at GHS – FREE!

Business After Hours @ The Daily News Stafford Room 5 p.m. Food & refreshments $3. 754-5697

Dec 19: Baldwin Heights Holiday Concert 6:30 pm at GHS-Free.

NEWAYGO

December 11:  Newaygo Community Christmas Concert Sunday, December 11 beginning at 6:00 p.m. at the Grant High School Fine Arts Center 331 E. State Rd, Grant. Come and enjoy the sounds of the Christmas Season. Admission is free.

ROCKFORD

Discover a Rockford Christmas

Take a step back in time and capture the magic of the holidays with these special events!

Holiday lighting ceremony

Dec. 2: Holiday lighting ceremony from 5:30-7 p.m. at the Rockford Dam overlook. Help us ring in the holiday season with the Holiday Lighting Ceremony. Enjoy the sounds of the Rockford High School Jazz ensemble prior to the Rockford Choirs singing Christmas Carols. The Rockford Mayor will present a message of peace prior to thousands to lights coming to life in downtown Rockford and at the dam. This is a wonderful way for your family and you to start the holiday! Music starts at 5:30 p.m. and the Ceremony begins at 6 p.m. Also Holiday Carriage Rides at the Rockford Pavilion from 6-8 p.m.

Santa Parade

Dec. 3: Join us for Rockford’s 73rd Annual Santa Parade on December 3 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in downtown Rockford. The jolly man in the red suit makes Rockford one of his first stops on his world tour. More than 60 floats line the downtown streets to welcome Santa Claus. He always arrives in style in a gorgeous white carriage. After the parade, he visits all good boys and girls in the Rockford Rotary Pavilion to hear their wish lists. The event features free photos, free milk and cookies, children’s activities, Christmas carols and each child receives a goodie bag after visiting with Santa.

Rockford community holiday concert

Dec. 4: Enjoy the delightful sounds of the season as the Rockford Community Band and Rockford Community Orchestra present their annual holiday concert at Rockford High School Fine arts auditorium on Sunday, Dec. 4, at 3 p.m. They will be playing all of your seasonal favorites and snacks will be served after the concert. Come and be a part of a Rockford tradition! Admission is free but donations are welcome.

Santa at the Pavilion

Dec. 7: 6-8 p.m. Tired of battling the mall crowds? Why not bring your child to Rockford to visit Santa at the Rotary Pavilion, all in the idyllic setting of downtown. Kids can give Santa their wish lists, and enjoy free hot cocoa and cookies! Rockford Rotary Pavilion, 50 Squires St. Square.

Holiday carriage rides

Dec. 8-9: 5:30-8:30 p.m. Take a free horse-drawn carriage ride and enjoy the sights and sounds of the beautifully decorated streets of the downtown area. It is a beautiful way to recapture the feelings of Christmases past and make memories with your loved ones. Rockford Rotary Pavilion, 50 Squires St. Squar.

Santa at the Pavilion with Live reindeer

Dec. 14: From 6-8 p.m. at the Rotary Pavilion. Kids can give Santa their wish lists, and enjoy free hot cocoa and cookies! Santa will be bringing his LIVE reindeer for the kids to get a closer look at these amazing animals.

Holiday carriage rides

Dec. 15-16: 5:30-8:30 p.m. Take a free horse-drawn carriage ride and enjoy the sights and sounds of the beautifully decorated streets of the downtown area. It is a beautiful way to recapture the feelings of Christmases past and make memories with your loved ones.

SAND LAKE

Sand Lake Tree Lighting & Carols

Nov. 27: There will be a Tree Lighting and carols in Sand Lake at Salisbury Park on Sunday, November 27 at 5:30 p.m. Meet at the tree on the southeast corner of the park. Special music from Resurrection Lutheran Church Preschoolers.

Indoor Live Nativity

Dec. 2-3: Sand Lake United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall is transformed into the city of Bethlehem for an indoor live Nativity on Friday, December 2nd from 6 to 8 pm and Saturday, December 3rd from 1 to 3 pm. See the baby in the manger and listen to the angels sing. Our free gift to you this Christmas.

SPARTA

‘Tis the season! Check out these fun Sparta holiday events.

Nov. 24: Turkey Trot in Sparta, Thursday, Nov. 24, at 9:00 a.m. Race begins at Sparta Civic Center, 75 N. Union. Registration forms at spartachamber.com. Proceeds to Sparta Rugby club.

Nov. 26: 4th annual Ugly Christmas Sweater 5K Run, registration at 8:30 a.m., race at 9:30 a.m. Starts/finishes: Mamrelund Lutheran Church, 4085 Lutheran Church Rd., Kent City. Proceeds to Adopt a family and food pantry at Mamrelund. Register at michianatiming.com. Contact Cindy 616-799-0500 with questions.

Dec. 3: Horse-drawn trolley rides with Santa 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. 112 E. Division.

Dec. 6: Santa Workshop 6-8 pm at Maddie LaRoues, 126 E. Division. Free photos with Santa, activities, & more!

Dec. 8: Pet night with Santa at the Santa House 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. 80 N. Union.

Dec. 10: Visit Santa in the Santa house 9-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m. 80 N. Union.

Dec. 11: Children’s Christmas program 10:10 a.m. at Sparta United Methodist Church.

Dec. 12: Holiday fun at the Sparta Library, 80 N. Union at 6:30 p.m. Mrs. Claus has been invited to come and read a story at our library. We will have cookie decorating and a fun craft for the kids to make. Bring your cameras for a fun holiday photo!

Dec. 13: Sparta Middle School band holiday concert 7 p.m. Sparta High School auditorium.

Dec. 15: Sparta High School holiday concert with concert band, jazz band, and choir. 7 p.m. Sparta High School auditorium.

Dec. 15: Visit Santa Claus in the Santa House, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Dec. 17: Visit Santa Claus in the Santa House, 11-2 p.m. Horse drawn wagon rides.

Dec. 20: Visit Santa Claus in the Santa House, 6-8 p.m.

Dec. 21-24: Ballard Church of Christ, 1633 10 Mile Road, presents “The Living Nativity,” from 7-8 p.m.

Dec. 22: Visit Santa Claus in the Santa House, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Posted in Featured, Hometown HolidaysComments Off on Holiday happenings

Postal Service ready to deliver holiday cheer

hol-shipping

Approximately 16 billion pieces of mail, including 750 million packages to be delivered this holiday season

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Postal Service announced it is ready to deliver a lot of cheer—in the form of roughly 16 billion cards, letters and packages—this holiday season.

The Postal Service, the largest e-commerce deliverer, is projecting about 750 million packages will be delivered this holiday season, a 12-percent increase in volume compared to last year.

“Our customers can count on the entire Postal Service workforce to deliver their holiday gifts, cards and letters,” said Megan J. Brennan, Postmaster General and CEO. “With the Postal Service’s unrivaled network and expanded 7-day a week delivery window, we are uniquely qualified to provide the highest levels of customer service and we are confident that’s exactly what we’ll do this holiday season.”

Additionally, the Postal Service is hiring more than 35,000 seasonal employees to help process and deliver increased volumes and meet the needs of its customers. While the Postal Service already delivers packages on Sunday in most major cities, following the success of past holiday seasons, it will expand Sunday delivery operations to all locations with high package volumes beginning Nov. 27. More than five million packages are expected to be delivered each Sunday in December. Mail carriers will also deliver packages on Christmas Day in select locations.

Busiest Mailing and Delivery Days

The Postal Service predicts that Monday, Dec. 19, will be the busiest mailing and shipping day for holiday packages, letters and cards. Thursday, Dec. 22, is expected to be the busiest delivery day for holiday packages, cards and letters. The Postal Service anticipates nearly 30 million packages will be delivered on the peak delivery day alone.

Skip the Trip and Ship Online

Dec. 19 will also be the Postal Service’s busiest day online with more than 7 million customers predicted to visit usps.com that day alone. Customers can avoid holiday hassles by visiting usps.com—the Postal Service’s website that will help make mailing and shipping easier than ever. Millions of customers will skip the trip to the Post Office altogether and take advantage of convenient online shipping this holiday season. Click-N-Ship and other online services allow customers to order free Priority Mail boxes, print shipping labels, purchase postage and even request free next-day Package Pickup from the mail carrier.

2016 Christmas Shipping Deadlines

The Postal Service recommends the following mailing and shipping deadlines:

Nov. 7 – APO/FPO/DPO USPS Retail Ground

Dec. 9 –APO/FPO/DPO Priority Mail & First Class Mail

Dec. 15 – USPS Retail Ground

Dec. 20 – First Class Mail

Dec. 21 – Priority Mail

Dec. 23 – Priority Mail Express

Additional news and information, including all domestic, international and military mailing and shipping deadlines, can be found at the Postal Service Holiday Newsroom at usps.com/holidaynews.

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

Posted in Featured, Hometown HolidaysComments Off on Postal Service ready to deliver holiday cheer

From easy art to a sweet treat

hal-easy-art-mummy

Family Features

Spooky, silly or symbolic, carved pumpkins are an essential ingredient to any Halloween celebration. This year, scare up some special fun for your party with a wicked watermelon carving instead—but don’t stop there.

After crafting your watermelon into an artful mummy, take advantage of the healthy, immune-system supporting qualities of the lycopene leader among fresh produce. At 92 percent water, as well as an excellent source of vitamins A and C, watermelon is a hydrating post-art snack.

Carving a creative design into a watermelon is a simple way to kick off the festivities and requires only a handful of common tools. Add a twinkling candle to make a fantastically frightful centerpiece. Or fill it with a fresh fruit salad or salsas for a more functional, practical approach.

Even if you’re planning on a hollowed-out carving, keep the sweet juicy fruit and make it a healthy addition to your Halloween party menu with a recipe that puts to use all your carving leftovers.

To take advantage of all a watermelon has to offer—outside of the fun carving—try Frosted, Frozen Watermelon Balls or Kids Watermelon Pizza Supreme. These fun, simple recipes make it easy to incorporate a healthy snack after all your hard work carving up a Halloween masterpiece.

Find more recipes, carving patterns and inspiration at watermelon.org.

Carving Tips

Prior to carving, read through all of the directions.

Cuts are easiest when the watermelon is at room temperature. Once your handiwork is complete, chill the carving and contents before serving.

After drawing your design on the rind, insert toothpicks in key places to guide your cuts.

A sharp knife with a pointed tip makes the easiest, cleanest cuts.

Remove excess flesh in large pieces, when possible, to allow for easier melon ball or cube creation.

Use round toothpicks or skewers to attach pieces to your design as flat toothpicks are not strong enough to bear the weight or stand up to the thickness of the rind.

Choosing a Watermelon

With a thick rind covering the fruit inside, you may wonder how to choose the best watermelon at the market. Here are some tips for picking the perfect one:

Look it over. Look for a round, oval or oblong shaped watermelon that is free from bruises, cuts or dents.

Lift it up. The watermelon should be heavy for its size. On average, a 5-pound watermelon yields 15 cups of edible fruit.

Turn it over. The underside of the watermelon should have a creamy yellow spot from where it sat on the ground and ripened in the sun.

hal-easy-art-mummyMummy

Supplies and Tools:

Oval or round seedless watermelon

Cutting board

Kitchen knife

Small bowl

Dry erase marker

Paring knife

Melon baller, fluted or regular

Scoop

Assorted peelers

Cheesecloth

Straight pin

Battery-operated candle or light

Candy eyeballs or blueberries

Wash watermelon under cool running water and pat dry.

On cutting board, place watermelon on its side and use kitchen knife to cut off 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch from bottom (end opposite stem), being careful not to cut too deep into white part of rind.

Cut 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch from stem end to create opening large enough to fit small bowl.

Using dry erase marker, draw eyes, nose and mouth, along with wavy slits around carving to let more light flow through. Use paring knife to cut out design, being sure to cut through to red fruit.

Use fluted or regular melon baller to hollow out inside of watermelon. Use scoop to remove excess watermelon.

Peel green rind off outside of watermelon. (Tip: Different peelers work well for different parts of the watermelon, depending on how flat or round the melon is.)

Wrap thin strips of cheesecloth around mummy carving and secure with straight pin, if needed.

Put battery-operated candle or light into carving. Fit small bowl into top of carving and trim away excess rind to make bowl fit securely. Fill bowl with melon balls and attach candy or blueberries to make eyes.

hal-easy-art-watermelon-pizzaKids Watermelon Pizza Supreme

Servings: 6

1 watermelon slice (8-10 inches around and 1-inch thick), drained

1 cup strawberry preserves

1/2 cup white chocolate chips

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1 cup sweetened shredded coconuts

Place watermelon slice on serving platter and cut into 6 wedges, leaving in shape of pizza.

Spread preserves over watermelon and sprinkle chocolate chips, raisins, walnuts and coconut.

 

hal-easy-art-watermelon-ballsFrosted, Frozen Watermelon Balls 

Servings: 35-40

1 small watermelon

1 package (3 ounces) watermelon or other red flavor gelatin dessert

Using melon baller, scoop out 35-40 small watermelon balls. Place on paper towels and set aside.

Pour gelatin into shallow bowl. One-by-one, gently drop watermelon balls into bowl, roll around, take out and place on plate covered with paper towel. Repeat until all gelatin is used.

Place plate of frosted watermelon balls in freezer. Allow at least 2 hours to make sure they are completely frozen. Remove from freezer and let sit a few minutes before eating.

Note: To serve with toothpicks, place toothpicks in before freezing to aid in serving.

Posted in Arts & Entertainment, Featured, Halloween funComments Off on From easy art to a sweet treat

Crossfire Harvest Festival

 

Crossfire Church will hold their annual trunk or treat again this year, which they have renamed Harvest Festival.

The event will be held October 31 at the Cedar Rock Sports Plex (4758 Cornfield Drive), from 5-8 p.m.

Crossfire Church started the Halloween alternative in 2012, with dinner, candy and games, and have seen it grow each year. Two years ago they added awards for the candy givers in the categories of creative costumes and decorated vehicles.

Last year they moved it to the Cedar Rock Sports Plex to have enough room for booths, games, inflatables (a bouncy house and obstacle course) and of course, lots of candy.

This year they rebranded Trunk-or-Treat as Harvest Festival, and added an extra hour to present a special kids concert by the Hope Kidz (www.hopekidz.org), and more prizes will be given away.

Two additional churches have joined with Crossfire this year: Bella Vista Church and Rockford United Methodist, along with World Missions, who will have a booth displaying their Talking Bible.

A professional security team will oversee the safety of the evening, although adults will be responsible for the supervision of their own children.

Take your kids, grandkids, and neighbors, and head out on October 31 from 5-8 p.m. to the Cedar Rock Sports for a great time!

Posted in Arts & Entertainment, Halloween funComments Off on Crossfire Harvest Festival

Halloween and Harvest Happenings

A Trick or Treater from last Halloween in Cedar Springs.

A Trick or Treater from last Halloween in Cedar Springs.

Check out some of the fun, fall activities going on in our area for Halloween this weekend and next weekend!

Pumpkin/Carving Trail Walk

Oct. 21: Howard Christian Nature Center is hosting a Pumpkin /Carving Lit Trail Walk on October 21, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. $8 per person includes pumpkins and everything you need to carve them. Also includes donuts, cider and coffee. The event starts with pumpkin carving, and trail walks begin promptly at 7:45 and again at 8:15. Open to all ages, preregistration required to be guaranteed a pumpkin.

KDL Lab: Mad Scientist

Oct. 22: Pull on a lab coat and get ready to think like a mad scientist. Create a plush Franken-Beanie creature to take home, create slimy bugs in the Creepy Crawlers Oven and plan your next mad scientist creation with a Franken-creature collage! For ages 6 and older. Saturday, October 22, from 10 a.m. to noon at Nelson Township/Sand Lake KDL Branch, 88 Eighth St.

Awesome Autumn Adventure!
at Spencer Township Library

Oct. 22: Celebrate the season with autumn crafts and games. Saturday, October 22, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Spencer Township Branch of Kent District Library, 14960 Meddler Ave. Gowen, MI 49319.

Halloween Open House
at Van Andel Arena

Oct. 23: Celebrate Van Andel Arena’s 20th anniversary with this free family event on Sunday, October 23, from noon to 4:00 p.m. The first 5,000 people through the doors will enjoy a free hot dog, popcorn, and Pepsi, and the first 2,000 people will be given a 20th birthday cupcake. Other activities to enjoy are costume contests, a live DJ, trick-or-treating and bag decoration stations, Halloween photo stations, self-guided tours of the building, ticket giveaways, and more, including a chance to take a slapshot on the ice, shoot hoops on the basketball floor, and have your picture taken with a Zamboni. The event will be a fun-filled, family-friendly day and guests are encouraged to show up in costume to get into the Halloween spirit.

Awesome Autumn Adventure!
at Nelson Twp/Sand Lake Library

Oct. 25: Celebrate the season with autumn crafts, games, and pumpkin decorating on Tuesday, October 25, at the Nelson Twp/Sand Lake KDL branch, 88 Eighth St, Sand Lake, from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Please bring your own pumpkin.

Fall Festival at Solon Center
Wesleyan Church

Oct. 26: The church presents its Fall Festival on Wednesday, October 26 from 6:30-8 p.m. for families with kiddos 0 to 5th grade. Put on those costumes and come and enjoy games, prizes, snacks, candy, and lots of fun. Bring your friends along too! The church is located at 15671 Algoma Avenue, just north of 19 Mile Rd. All welcome!

Trunk or Treat at Courtland-Oakfield UMC

Oct. 29: Enjoy an early start to your Halloween celebrations Saturday, October 29, from 4:30-7:00 p.m. at Courtland-Oakfield United Methodist Church, 10295 Myers Lake NE, Rockford. Safe, friendly and fun. We’ll also be serving a free hot dog supper.

Trunk or Treat at East Nelson UMC

Oct. 29: East Nelson United Methodist Church, 9024 18 Mile Road, Cedar Springs, will have its annual Trunk or Treat on Saturday, October 29 from 5-7 p.m. Come enjoy games, walking tacos, treats and fun.

Halloween Extreme at the Cedar Springs Historical Museum

Oct. 29: Don’t miss Halloween Extreme at the Cedar Springs Historical Museum in Morley Park on Saturday, October 29, from 5 to 7 p.m. This special evening is for teens and adults, a little to scary for the little ones but loads of fun for our older visitors.

Haunted School House

Oct. 31: On Halloween night be sure to visit the Haunted School House, at the Cedar Springs Historical Museum in Morley Park. This Spooktacular  event will be open from 5:00pm to 7:00 pm. Our volunteers Marie and Nolan Patin along with Phil Mann will transform the one room school next to the museum into a fun and spooky place to visit. This event is suitable for all ages.

Cedar Springs Halloween Spooktacular

Oct. 31:  The Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce, businesses and churches in Cedar Springs are sponsoring the annual Cedar Springs Halloween Spooktacular on Saturday, October 31. Some of the free events include trick or treating from 4:30-7 p.m. at area businesses and City Hall, with maps available at the Library; The Cedar Springs Historical Museum will be having their Haunted School House from 5- 7 p.m.; Apple Cider from the Kent County Traffic Squad and Candy by the Cedar Springs Fire Department at the Fire barn (Maple Street); The Springs Church Trunk or Treating from 6-8 p.m; warm up at the Cedar Springs United Methodist Church with hot chocolate and treats.

Trunk or Treat at The Springs

Oct. 31: Creative costumes—check. Oodles of goodies—check. Lots of giggles and loads of fun—doublecheck! You’ll experience it all at The Springs Church at Trunk or Treat on Halloween night from 6 to 8 p.m. There will be lots of candy for the taking, carnival games, a giant slide, and refreshments. It will be fun for the whole family, and a safe, well-lit environment for kids. The church is located at 135 N. Grant St., in Cedar Springs.

Halloween Hospitality Center

Oct. 31: Warm up and rest station at the Cedar Springs United Methodist Church, 140 S. Main St., Cedar Springs, on Monday, October 31st, from 4:30 to 7:30 pm. Serving hot chocolate and popcorn.

Solon Fire at White Creek Country Estates

Oct. 31: Solon Township Fire Department will hand out candy for kids at the office in White Creek Country Estates from 5-8 p.m. The park is located at 15851 White Creek Ave. Cedar Springs Mich. Bring the kids to meet the firefighters, see the fire trucks, and get some candy. Fun for all!

Algoma Township Halloween party 

Oct. 31: The Algoma Township Historical Society will host a Halloween Party for trick-or-treaters at the Chalmer’s building on the corner of Fonger St. and Pine Island Drive, on Monday, October 31, from 5 to 6 p.m. They will serve hot dogs, chips, punch and candy.

Trunk or Treat at Resurrection
Lutheran

Oct. 31: Parents and kids can both stay warm and dry by trick or treating at Resurrection Lutheran Church’s indoor trunk or treat, from 6-8 p.m. on Halloween. The church is located at 180 S. Third St. in Sand Lake.

Posted in Halloween funComments Off on Halloween and Harvest Happenings

A Smokin’ Celebration

FD-SmokedMeat

(Family Features) If the surge in barbecue and smoking competitions across the country is any indication, grilling has become an art form. This Father’s Day, grab dad and gather around the grill or try a new tech­nique that’s rising in popularity – smoking – to create a masterpiece meal – and plenty of memories – together.

From secret marinades to tricked out grills and smokers, competitive smokers know there is a near ritualistic approach to teasing the perfect flavor out of a pre­mium cut of meat. Follow in the foot­steps of those pit masters and smoke like a pro with these tips from Omaha Steaks Exec­utive Chef Karl Marsh.

Rinse brisket with vinegar, then water.

Rinse brisket with vinegar, then water.

Start with style

The first step is deciding how you’d like to prepare your meat. Consider stepping up your game by smoking your meat. Smoking is a popular choice because it infuses flavor through­out the meat, while extended cook times at low temperatures make it extra tender. Another advantage is the chance to create a wide range of unique flavors using wet and dry rubs, as well as seasoned wood chips and planks.

Dry meat and prepare rub.

Dry meat and prepare rub.

Choose your cut

Virtually any meat can be smoked, but the most popular cuts of meat to smoke are brisket, ribs, pork shoulder or turkey, all of which are typ­ically large in size. Guarantee a great experi­ence with Omaha Steaks Brisket for smoking or Whole Pork Butt, which were created with the competitive barbecue and smoking circuit in mind.

Coat meat generously with rub.

Coat meat generously with rub.

Ready your rub

Rubs are often used to add flavors and surface texture to a cut of meat. For best results, brush meat with cooking oil or another liquid ingre­dient (such as yellow mustard) before adding the rub. Spread the rub on a clean plate and place the meat on it. Coat both sides with the rub by gently pressing the meat on the plate.

Inject brisket with marinade.

Inject brisket with marinade.

Set up the smoker

Some pit masters consider their equipment as vital an ingredient as the meat or flavorings they choose. Preparation varies from one recipe to the next, but one constant is the importance of maintaining a steady temperature. As you prepare your charcoal, be conscious of where you’ll place any wood chips or other flavor enhancers for maximum impact.

Slow and steady

Sensational flavor takes time to build, so plan to dedicate several hours to your task. Often, smoked foods require foil wrapping for at least a por­tion of the cook to retain moisture. Plan to check in at regular intervals to restock wood chips, flip or rotate meat and apply a fresh coat of seasoning or spices.

Find more tips and recipes perfect for a smoking Father’s Day celebration at omahasteaks.com.

Ancho Chile Rubbed Smoked Beef Brisket

Prep time: 1 hour

Cook time: 11-13 hours

Rest time: 1-2 hours

Total time: 13-16 hours

1 Whole Omaha Steaks Brisket for smoking

2 cups white vinegar

2/3 cup yellow mustard

3/4 cup Omaha Steaks Ancho Chile Rub

4 cups Ancho Chile Smoking Spritzer, divided (recipe below)

8 cups apple or cherry wood chips, soaked in water

Remove brisket from bag and rinse with white vinegar then rinse with water.

Dry completely using paper towels.

Slather brisket generously with yellow mustard.

Rub generously with ancho chile rub and inject with 1 cup Ancho Chile Smoking Spritzer.

Prepare smoker using 1 chimney of pure lump charcoal fully lit and one chimney of pure lump charcoal unlit. Make sure water pan is full and adjust vents until smoker maintains a temperature between 225 and 250 F.

Place brisket on smoker fat side up and brush smoking spritzer over top.

Every hour, check smoker temp, squirt with smoking spritzer and add handful of wood chips.

After 3 hours, flip brisket fat side down and squirt with spritzer.

After 6 hours, flip brisket fat side up. Wrap heavy duty foil around the last 3-4 inches of brisket tip to prevent it from drying out. Restock water pan and add lump charcoal as needed. Adjust vents until temperature is between 225 and 250 F.

Beginning at 8 hours, check internal temperature every hour and apply spritzer and wood chips as needed.

Between 11-13 hours, when internal temperature is between 195 and 200 F, if fork slides easily into brisket, it is done.

Let brisket rest for 1-2 hours before slicing and serving.

Ancho Chile Rubbed Smoked Pork Butt

Prep time: 1 hour

Cook time: 8-10 hours

Rest time: 1 hour

Total time: 10-12 hours

1 Omaha Steaks Whole Pork Butt

2 cups white vinegar

1/2 cup yellow mustard

1/2 cup Omaha Steaks Ancho Chile Rub

4 cups Ancho Chile Smoking Spritzer, divided (recipe below)

8 cups apple or cherry wood chips, soaked in water

Score top fat so it will melt into pork while smoking and allow more rub to get into meat. Rub pork with white vinegar then rinse with water. Pat dry with clean paper towels.

Rub pork butt with yellow mustard. Rub pork butt with ancho chile rub. Inject pork with 10-12 ounces of Ancho Chile Smoking Spritzer.

Set up smoker with 1 chimney using unlit lump charcoal and 2 chimneys using lit lump charcoal.

Adjust vents in smoker until temperature settles between 225 and 250 F.

Place pork butt fat side up and add a lot of wood chips.

Every half hour, add more wood chips and spritz pork with smoking spritzer.

After 2 hours, insert remote thermometer probes. Be careful not to let thermometer touch bone to prevent false readings.

After 5 hours, place pork in foil pan and liberally coat with spritzer. Wrap pan tightly with foil.

Continue cooking without adding wood chips or opening smoker until thermometer hits 190 F (for sliced meat) or 200 F (for pulled meat), about 8-10 hours total.

Let rest 1 hour before serving.

Ancho Chile Smoking Spritzer

Makes: 4 cups

2 cups apple juice

1 cup cranberry juice

1 cup canola oil

2 tablespoons red hot pepper sauce

1/2 cup Omaha Steaks Ancho Chile Rub

Combine all ingredients and mix well.

Posted in Arts & Entertainment, Father's Day, Featured, RecipesComments Off on A Smokin’ Celebration

You Can Be One Reason Mom Feels Loved

Make the day special.

Make the day special.

(NAPS)—From the big milestones to the everyday moments, chances are, you knew Mom would be there for you. So on her special day, you want to find exactly the right way to let her know how much she continues to inspire and encourage you.

A Beautiful Breakfast

To help, you can now start Mother’s Day morning with a wonderful gift from Wolferman’s specialty foods brand. The Mother’s Day Tote is filled with their famous English muffins, decadent pastries and Earl Grey tea, along with clover honey sticks to complete the luxurious breakfast gift. Afterward, the tote can be reused and act as a brilliant reminder of your thoughtfulness. For additional information, visit www.Wolfermans.com.

MOTH-You-can-be-one-reason2Clever Cookies

You can also sweeten her day with decadent gifts from Cheryl’s. The gourmet cookie brand’s Long Stemmed Cookie Flowers is a delicious bouquet of 12 long- stemmed, buttercream-frosted cutout cookies and hand-decorated crunchy sugar cookies. Delivered in a real florist box, this unique and memorable gift can really show you care. Available at www.Cheryls.com.

MOTH-You-can-be-one-reason3A Blooming Good Idea

The Mom’s Tea Party arrangement from 1-800-Flowers.com serves up plenty as a two-in-one gift with a lovely selection of pastel roses, carnations and white daisies, beautifully hand designed inside a reusable floral teapot. For more details, visit www.1800flowers.com.

For this Mother’s Day, send her a breakfast to remember, something to satisfy her sweet tooth and a truly original arrangement that she’ll treasure. That can help her know she’s loved, not just on Mother’s Day but every day.

Learn More

For more gift ideas to celebrate Mom this Mother’s Day, visit www.1800Flowers.com and www.Wolfermans.com.

Posted in Mother's DayComments Off on You Can Be One Reason Mom Feels Loved