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Tag Archive | "Chamber of Commerce"

Founders Day fun in Cedar Springs


Signal Trip, a local band, was one of the performances.


The second annual Founders Day weekend, put on by the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce last weekend, had a little something for all ages, and helped everyone know just a little bit more about the history of Cedar Springs.

It kicked off with a children’s street fair under tent at Main and Ash Streets Friday from 4-7 p.m., with balloons, carnival games, animals, face painting, story time, a magician, a model train set, and loads of fun. The event was put on by Double K Farms and 4H.

On Saturday, March 29, kids gathered at the library for pioneer storytime and did pioneer crafts; the Cedar Springs Historical Museum was also open for tours. The tent was reopened from 4 to 10 for free concerts by two area bands, and good food and local craft beer and hard cider was available to purchase.

Children enjoyed the petting zoo at the Founder’s Day Celebration

Children enjoyed the petting zoo at the Founder’s Day Celebration

Matthew McQueen shows off his crafts he made at the Library.

Matthew McQueen shows off his crafts he made at the Library.

Chamber president Shawn Kiphart was pleased with the turnout. “It was double that of last year,” he noted. “But we still have room to grow.”

He said he had positive feedback from the events at the library and museum, and that the children’s street fair would become a permanent addition to the event. “Next year they will have more time to plan for it,” he said.

One thing that added to the comfort level this year was that the tent was enclosed and actually felt heated. “It really made a big difference,” he said.

Kiphart noted that they are always looking for new ideas, and would welcome other community groups to join them in planning for Founders Day next year. “If anyone has an event they would like to do, it doesn’t have to be on Main Street. We would put it under our umbrella and get the advertising out for it,” he said.

You can reach Kiphart at shawnkiphart@csacoc.com or (616) 773-5126.

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Chamber responds to the Festival


By Judy Reed

We received a lot of response to our story last week regarding a cease and desist letter the Red Flannel Festival sent to the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce regarding use of the Red Flannel Town, and Red Flannel Town, U.S.A. service marks.

The Red Flannel Festival trademarked it, but the Chamber also trademarked three taglines that incorporate the words Red Flannel Town in a longer phrase. When the Chamber organized the city’s annual holiday event this year, they named it “A Red Flannel Town Christmas, Come Mingle with Kris Kringle” and registered it in October, along with two other taglines, which were all approved by the state: A Red Flannel Town Christmas, and The Original Red Flannel Town, USA, Cedar Springs, MI.

The Red Flannel Festival shows they registered “The Red Flannel Town” on June 3, 2005, and “Red Flannel Town, U.S.A.” on June 27, 2011.

Chamber president Shawn Kiphart said they  used the term because Cedar Springs has always been known as Red Flannel Town. The Red Flannel Festival said it’s a direct violation of their trademark rights, and it is likely to “cause confusion as to the source or sponsorship of Chamber materials and events.”

Kiphart didn’tagree. “Red Flannel Town is part of a larger title we use. We are referencing Cedar Springs. There is no confusion. I don’t think people think, ‘Oh, it’s the Red Flannel Festival,’ we believe they think of Cedar Springs.”

The Chamber sent a letter back asking for clarification and received one back from the Festival. Kiphart also asked the community to tell him what they want—to forget about using the logo and let the Festival use it only for them, or to fight for it. The responses we received, and that he received personally, were overwhelmingly in favor of letting the moniker identify the town itself.

Last Wednesday evening, the Red Flannel Board met to elect officers, and representatives from the Chamber board were there. Unofficial sources from both sides said there was some good discussion.

The Chamber was asked to put in writing to the Festival what they want, and they did so with a letter this week. In a nutshell, they are asking the Red Flannel Festival to let groups and businesses in Cedar Springs use the name “Red Flannel Town” to positively impact the town, without having to ask each time. You can read the letter in its entirety on page 12, along with what comments readers made on last week’s story.


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Celebrating Cedar Springs

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By Judy Reed


Main Street in Cedar Springs was hopping last Saturday when the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce held their second annual Community Celebration.

They had more than double the vendors this year (60-plus) and more people strolling through downtown Cedar Springs and making purchases.

“We are very happy with the way it turned out,” said Shawn Kiphart, President of the Chamber. “Our feedback from vendors was excellent. Everyone seemed happy.”

Visitors could buy flowers, baked goods, fresh produce, crafts, jewelry, handbags, Alpaca wool, and much more. Nonprofits also took advantage of the day. The Cedar Springs Library had a used book sale, The Lions Club collected used eyeglasses, and the Red Flannel Festival sold souvenirs. The Fire Department did a car wash as a fundraiser.

Face painting and balloon animals helped to keep kids entertained.

There were two bands—Oh Brother and Steal Gray—that performed on Ash Street, and the duo True Story performed in front of Curves and Cedar Chest. New this year was the dance shows, including the Zumba demonstration.

Kiphart said they already are planning to make some additions for next year. He said the celebrity dunk tank will be back next year, and they plan to do an inflatable park for the kids with festival style activities.

Coming up next for the Chamber is the Halloween Spooktacular, planned for October 31. New this year will be a haunted  schoolhouse put on by the Cedar Springs Historical Society at Morley Park, and the Chamber also plans to bring back the scavenger hunt done in years past.

Mark your calendars now for Mingle with Kris Kringle, to take place the first Saturday in December (December 7). They are currently working on scheduling a holiday parade to go along with the tree lighting festivities.

To keep up to date on Chamber activities, visit cedarspringsareachamber.org/ or like their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CedarSpringsAreaChamberOfCommercecsacoc. There are also lots of photos there from the Celebration. Go check them out, or add some of your own.


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New Cedar Springs Chamber of Commerce forming


A group of business owners in the Cedar Springs area have met twice now with the intention of creating a new Cedar Springs Chamber of Commerce. They most recently met Monday evening, May 14, at Perry’s Place, for a vision workshop. They are also working on the articles of incorporation. If any businesses in the area are interested in possibly joining the new Chamber and would like to be updated, please call the Post at the old Chamber number, 696-3260, and ask for Judy, or send an email to cspostjudy@hotmail.com with your name, name of your business, phone number(s) and email address. The next meeting will be June 4 at 6:30 p.m. at Perry’s Place at the corner of Main and Maple Streets.


The Optical Shop


Are you looking for a place to help you with your eyesight needs? There’s a new optical place in own that could do just that. The Optical Shop/U.S. Vision, is located at 3700 17 Mile, inside of Meijer. According to manager Rebecca Rodriguez, they offer optical care, eye exams, glasses and contacts, along with professional optical techniques by their optometrist. Rodriguez says that what makes their business unique, is that they offer flexible hours, great service, and phenomenal prices!

They are open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday 10-5 p.m. For more info, give them a call at (616) 696-2965.

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Businesses look to revitalize Chamber

By Judy Reed


It’s been almost five years that Cedar Springs has been without a Chamber of Commerce, and a drive is under way to get it reestablished. A group of businesses met Tuesday evening at Perry’s Place to get the ball rolling.

“I think the visionaries are ready to move forward,” said Sonya Cronkright, owner of Reflections by Design.

Sally Howland, owner of the Cedar Chest, thinks the business owners need a common voice to speak up for their needs. “There’s not enough being done for the business owners,” said Howland. “We need a chamber. I’ll take any help I can get.”

Fourteen people attended the meeting, with 10 businesses or groups represented.

The group is looking at what other Chambers do and what their bylaws are. They also discussed staying positive, and living their dream as a business owner, despite any limitations they feel they may face. “If you dream it, you can do it,” said Michele Andres, President of the Red Flannel Festival.

The group decided to meet again on May 14 at 6:30 p.m. at Perry’s Place to work out a vision for the new Chamber. All business owners in the greater Cedar Springs area are invited to attend.

The previous Chamber of Commerce closed July 31, 2007, after membership dropped off, and they could no longer pay a director. The B2B (Business to Business) group was later formed to help fill the gap, but also has been sparsely attended. The group hopes that a new Chamber will create some excitement and community pride, and draw people to shop in Cedar Springs.


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