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Tag Archive | "Perry Hopkins"

Santa stops in Cedar Springs


 

Santa Claus arriving for the Christmas tree lighting in Cedar Springs last Saturday, December 2. Post photo by J. Reed.

By Judy Reed

We had great weather here in Cedar Springs last Saturday, December 2, to welcome Santa Claus to town. And a lot of people enjoyed the day-long events that took place before the big man made his entrance in the parade.

“A Cedar Springs Christmas weekend 1—Mingle with Kris Kringle—went over quite well,” said Perry Hopkins, president of the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce. “The library had over 100 people attend their crafts to start the event off. Story time with Mrs. Claus and Cousin Shannon was a hit for the children as well. “

Hopkins said that the children loved the petting zoo and bake sale provided by Double K Farms and Animal Junction. The CS HS Choir performed while people were waiting for the parade to start.

More people marched or drove in the parade this year, which brought Santa from the fire station to the corner of Ash and Main, in a horse-drawn carriage.

Calvary Assembly of God presented their live nativity before the tree lighting. Post photo by J. Reed.

Calvary Assembly of God once again did a live nativity scene, and then Santa and Mayor Gerald Hall did a countdown to light the tree. Afterwards, children and their families were invited to follow Santa over to the American Legion where they could color a picture, write a letter to Santa, or have hot chocolate, while they waited to visit with Santa and get a photo taken. Baked goods were also available for sale.

The Christmas tree after it was lit at the corner of Ash and Main Street. Post photo by J. Reed.

Hopkins said that photos that were taken during the daylong event will be available on the Mingle with Kris Kringle event page on Facebook. 

The fun continues this weekend with the Kent Theatre Christmas Concert on Saturday, December 9 from 3-5 p.m., and the Kent Theatre Christmas Dance Extravaganza on Sunday, December 10, from 3-5 p.m. Admission is $3 for each show.

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Christmas lights are back in town


Downtown Cedar Springs is looking more festive and cheery than it has looked in the past decade, thanks to a partnership between the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Development Authority, and the City of Cedar Springs.

According to Perry Hopkins, who is chairman of the DDA, president of the Chamber, and sits on the City Council, it’s been at least 10 years since the trees lining Main Street were decorated with lights. “They haven’t had them since I opened my business here,” remarked Hopkins, who owns Perry’s Place llc for teas and more. 

Hopkins said that both old and new businesses were asking, “Why don’t you bring back the small-town Christmas charm this town used to have?” 

Hopkins explained that Mayor Gerald Hall offered to string the lights and hook up the needed accessories if the Chamber could get sponsors to raise the money, and several businesses chipped in to make it possible. The City Council then voted to pay for the electricity.

The Cedar Springs DPW plugged the lights in on Monday and they now come on at dark with the street lights. 

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Hard work brings beauty to library grounds


 

by Donna Clark and Sue Wolfe

The asphalt being poured on the walking trail at the Library.

Volunteers continue to work hard to complete the projects around the library and surrounding park areas, which includes the flowers around the stainless steel structure and the native grasses in the rain garden on the south. Naturalists Tom Mabie and Perry Hopkins took oversight of these two projects, gathering most of the native grasses and plants from the area around Cedar Creek, and then babying them to be sure they survived.

From the first days of May to the Grand Opening of the new Library, many good folks from the Community Building Development Team (CBDT) and beyond came together to put in the shrubs, trees, stones and lawn around the Library. An underground watering system on timers has been key in aiding in the growth and stability of the healthy plants and lawn. The system was provided by Dan McIntyre and his company, Splash, and then installed at no extra cost to the Library. Several free visits have been made as adjustments or replacements to sprinklers have been needed.

City Councilor Dan Clark has put in a lot of hours tending to the library grounds.

Councilman Dan Clark has spent many evenings and weekends around the Library and walking path in the surrounding park areas off Main and Pine Streets, hand-mowing the lawn,  edging, checking on the sprinklers, making sure the timers are set right, and cleaning around the new asphalt and placing sod to prevent any washouts. Clark is doing the finishing touches that take a lot of time but really pull things together for a neat and crisp appearance. Also spending many hours toward cleaning up the grounds, trimming bushes, and sweeping sidewalks has been donated by Andy Dipiazza.  The public grounds are really beautiful!

Along the new path you can now see the (36) 10”x8” brass plates inset into the retaining wall blocks. Thanks to Don Snow and his team at CS Tool Engineering, Inc., the plates and engraving are finished, and at no cost to the Library. Thanks to Dale Larson, owner of Northwest Kent Mechanical and his team, 36 plates were installed with great care and precision on September 27 and 28. 

An example of one of the many bricks available to purchase.

The 129 bricks that have sold this past year have arrived and will be installed very soon. With the help of our new DPW Director, David Ducat and his team, and any other volunteers needed, the plan is to install them at the entrance of the new Library. According to Duane McIntyre, foreman of the project, we have 410 places for bricks, depending on the sizes purchased. The sizes offered are the 4×8 for $50 or the 8×8 for $100. On the 4×8 there can be 3 lines of 21 characters, including spaces between words and for the 8×8, 6 lines. These will make wonderful holiday presents! In fact a long-time community person with lots of family and grandchildren recently said she was going to purchase 21 bricks for her family Christmas presents.  

Mayor Gerry Hall and Councilman Perry Hopkins have been assembling the 10 benches purchased through the CBDT. The nameplates will again be engraved under the direction of Don Snow. Memorial and honorary brass plates will be installed on these benches, also. McIntyre and Hopkins will oversee the installing of the benches on various cement slabs around the library and surrounding park area. 

You perhaps noticed the four six foot benches around the clock tower and the sidewalk at the east side of the Library, ready for Red Flannel visitors.  They were in constant use and a very attractive and useful addition to our festivities!

Director Donna Clark was on hand at the library on Red Flannel Day offering tours and information about the vision our community has embraced called, the “Heart of Cedar Springs.” The entire property, going even beyond the edge of Cedar Creek and the White Pine Trail, will be a park-like area, developed and supported through a base constituency of over 100 volunteers and donors, the Community Building Development Team.  

The next project is building an amphitheater along where the White Pine Trail and Cedar Creek meet west of the park property.  A new fundraising campaign has begun. The City of Cedar Springs and the CBDT will work together on submitting an application for a Economic Development Grant for a $50,000 match within the next few weeks. Watch for details soon on how you can get involved. 

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2017 Renaissance Faire 


photo by Perry Hopkins

photo by Perry Hopkins

Last weekend, May 20-21, there were strange goings on at Morley Park, as hobbits, orcs, elves, and other unusual people could be seen strolling throughout the Park, and all manner of entertainment graced the grounds, from sword play, to belly dancing, to musical minstrels. That’s because last weekend was “Fellowship of the Springs,” the 2017 Cedar Springs Renaissance Faire, put on by the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce.

“Without having a gate entrance we do not have an accurate number of attendees, but it is estimated over 400 attended between the two days,” said Chamber President Perry Hopkins. “Rain doesn’t stop a Renaissance Faire. It may have chased away a few patrons, but the faire still went on.”

E-Leesa Gypsy Enchantress and Steel Lotus Dance Troupe entertained everyone on the Gypsy Stage; Darkmore Colony of Larpcraft shared their battle skills on the hill by the north entrance to the park with their Larpcraft swords shields, and talent; Kingdom of Shiabruck took the flat ground and entertained with metal swords and their fenced in arena for patrons to dual with foam swords. The Wind Rose Minstrel, Bell Brook and Cantro, Joe Kid and Sheila Burke performed their musical talents in multiple areas of the park giving patrons entertainment as the shopped at vendor booths such as Belly Dance Costumes USA, Paracord Fashions, The Knotted Cloak, and Perry’s Place llc for herbs, teas, and more… Mother Earth Mehndi was set up doing Henna Art for passer byers.

A Royal Dinner (catered by The Grilling Company) with live entertainment was held on Saturday evening for those who wish to attend. Cast Co-Director Scott Schroeder emceed the Royal Dinner with a special toast from Cedar Springs Mayor Pro-tem Pamela Conley. Queen Victoria (Mandy Stephenson) and other cast walked the grounds mingling and entertaining people all weekend.

“We (the event committee) were happy to see more local people at this year’s Cedar Springs Renaissance Faire and more of them came in costume,” said Hopkins. “There was much positive feedback about us switching the date to May verses having the fair in June like previous years.”

He also said that because they didn’t have a parade this year, the vendors were able to do some shopping at local businesses before the festivities began. Many of them are eager to return.

“You know your fair went well when some of the new attendees comment about what they want to do for next year,” said Hopkins.

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Cedar Springs Renaissance Faire next weekend


 

This man dressed as Elrond the Elf at last year’s CS Renaissance Faire would be a perfect fit for this year’s theme, “Fellowship of the Springs.” Post photo by J. Reed.

This man dressed as Elrond the Elf at last year’s CS Renaissance Faire would be a perfect fit for this year’s theme, “Fellowship of the Springs.” Post photo by J. Reed.

Fellowship of the Springs May 20-21

N-CS-Ren-Faire-logoThe Cedar Springs Chamber of Commerce will turn Morley Park into Middle Earth next weekend, when they kick off their spring and summer events with the annual Cedar Springs Renaissance Faire, May 20-21. This year’s theme is “Fellowship of the Springs.”

“Fellowship of the Springs serves as a double meaning,” explained Chamber President Perry Hopkins. “Many of our faire’s fans are J.R.R. Tolkien fans. Since many of the Renaissance Community call Morley Park Morleyshire (for the Cedar Springs Renaissance Faire), it is only fitting we choose a theme that Tolkien fans can relate to. The theme also ties into all the new excitement around Cedar Springs (new library, new businesses, new future potentials for the community, etc.)”

Hopkins said this year’s Renaissance Faire would be the biggest one yet. “We will have double the encampments from previous years, a wider variety of vendors, bigger entertainment, along with the annual Royal Dinner catered by the Grilling Company.”

The Faire will run 12-8 p.m. on Saturday, with the Royal Dinner from 6-8 p.m.; and then reopen from 12-6 p.m. Sunday. It is a free family event.

New to this year’s attractions will be the Kingdom of Shiabrook. Returning entertainers and encampments will include Darkmor Colony of Larp Craft, Robyn the Bard, E-Leesa Gypsy Enchantress, Steal Lotus Dance Troupe, Bell Book and Catro Hopkins said that the cast for this year’s faire will have a few more local people included.

The Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce (CSACoC) started hosting an annual Start of Summer Celebration in June of 2014 with a Renaissance theme, then later renamed it the Cedar Springs Renaissance Faire.

N-CS-Renaissance

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Community cleans up on Earth Day


 Community members helped clean up around the Heart of Cedar Springs and other roadsides within the city limits on Earth Day last Saturday. Photo by Kathy Ensley.

Community members helped clean up around the Heart of Cedar Springs and other roadsides within the city limits on Earth Day last Saturday. Photo by Kathy Ensley.

In honor of National Earth Day on Saturday, April 22, the City of Cedar Springs and the Community Building Development Team (CBDT) volunteers took to cleaning up the newly acquired city property running north along Cedar Creek and intersecting with the White Pine and North Country Trails, just west of Main Street in downtown Cedar Springs. Approximately 28 community members came together to cut down brush and dead trees, haul away the lumber, clean out creek waters, and pick up debris in the area.

Earth Day cleanup. Photo by Perry Hopkins.

Earth Day cleanup. Photo by Perry Hopkins.

Perry Hopkins, City Councilor and CBDT Board Member, along with Tom Mabie, CBDT member, and other community members were careful to protect and keep flowers, bushes, plants, and trees that are environmentally important to maintaining proper creek temperatures for the trout, as well as providing an enjoyable year-round variety of natural blooming and therapeutic vegetation. The Hopkins and Mabie duo are teaming up with the Cedar Springs Garden Club and Trout Unlimited in creating natural rain gardens and learning stations along the creek beds. Other city councilors participating in the Earth Day cleanup included Rose Powell and Gerry Hall.

John Ensley, CBDT, organized the Earth Day cleanup and has secured the donated marble stone from Doreen and Dan Welch, Welch Tile and Stone, which will be eventually installed along the walking path.

Community members helped clean up on Earth Day. Photo by Kathy Ensley.

Community members helped clean up on Earth Day. Photo by Kathy Ensley.

“The goal is to open up the new downtown park areas known as the Heart of Cedar Springs. We got a lot accomplished today thanks to the many dedicated volunteers. We still have some work ahead of us but it’s coming along nicely,” explained Ensley.

Julie Wheeler, CBDT Board Member, organized various other community organizations who also began their Cedar Springs Earth Day cleanup along the primary roadsides within the city limits and other sections of the White Pine Trail as part of the Earth Day efforts.  The groups have until May 1 to complete their section of the roads.

“This is another example of folks coming together for our community. We had volunteers out there on a sunny Saturday willing to do some hard physical labor,“ shared Kurt Mabie, CBDT President. “We hope to continue the cleanup this summer along with constructing a new amphitheatre, walking path, and veteran’s memorial by fall as needed funds become available.”

Garett Tunison, Ground Control Aerial LLC, did a second drone fly-over to show the area progress since his first video done prior to the construction of the library. The video will be added to the CBDT website.

The CBDT meets on the third Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. in their new regular meeting location of the Community Library gathering room. All are invited. More information is available on the website of CSCommunityCenter.org, the Facebook page of Cedar Springs Community Building Development Team or by calling Sue Wolfe at 696-2246.

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Community celebrates Santa and tree lighting


Santa mingled with the children before the tree lighting ceremony last Saturday. Post photo by J. Reed.

Santa mingled with the children before the tree lighting ceremony last Saturday. Post photo by J. Reed.

Calvary Assembly of God Church put on their live nativity at the tree lighting. Post photo by J. Reed.

Calvary Assembly of God Church put on their live nativity at the tree lighting. Post photo by J. Reed.

Last Saturday, December 3, was a beautiful day to be out and about in downtown Cedar Springs, to celebrate the annual Mingle with Kris Kringle, sponsored by the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce.

According to Chamber president Perry Hopkins, the first weekend of the 2016 Cedar Springs Christmas went really well, with a lot of people turning out to make and take ornaments at both the Cedar Springs Public Library and the Cedar Springs Historical Museum, and to see Santa at the end of the day.

According to Library Director Donna Clark, 74 people—old and young alike—attended the “Make and Take Ornament” morning at the library. Hopkins said that the museum estimated over 70 people attended ornament making there as well. “Story time with Mrs. Claus was a packed turn out also,” remarked Hopkins.

Both Renaissance Royalty and Red Flannel Royalty took part in the mini parade and tree lighting last Saturday. Photo courtesy of P. Conley.

Both Renaissance Royalty and Red Flannel Royalty took part in the mini parade and tree lighting last Saturday. Photo courtesy of P. Conley.

At 4:30 p.m., a mini parade made its way down Main Street from Maple to Ash, with Sgt. Kelley, of the Kent County Sheriff’s Department Cedar Springs unit leading the way, and a horse-drawn wagon and rider from the Red Flannel Tree Farm carrying Santa Clause at the end. Included in the parade was the American Legion Post #287 Honor Guard and Women’s Auxiliary; Cedar Springs Renaissance Queen Victoria and guest; the Red Flannel Queen and Court; Grand Marshal Donna Clark and her husband, City Councilor Dan Clark; and Fire Chief Marty Fraser with the Cedar Springs Fire Department.

After the parade, Tom Noreen serenaded the crowd with some instrumental music, and the crowd later sang Christmas carols. Mayor Jerry Hall addressed the crowd, and then it was finally time to light the tree.

After the tree was lit, Calvary Assembly of God put on their live nativity, assisted by the Double K Farms Animal Junction. Afterward, families headed to the American Legion hall for hot chocolate and cookies, and to let children line up to sit on Santa’s lap.

“Many people were happy that the Mingle with Kris Kringle was held inside at the American Legion,” said Hopkins. He estimated over 200 people attended the tree lighting.

This weekend has more fun in store for families. On Saturday, December 10, is the 2016 Annual Kent Theatre Christmas Concert hosted by the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce (CSACOC). It is scheduled from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Come out and have some holiday family fun!

On Sunday, December 11, will be the 2016 Annual Kent Theatre Christmas Dance Extravaganza. 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, they are including a reader’s theater performance by Actors del Arte Ensemble of A Christmas Carol for the second half of their show this year.

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Families celebrate at Mingle with Kris Kringle


Post photo by J. Reed.

Post photo by J. Reed.

Photo by by Craig Owens

Photo by by Craig Owens

By Judy Reed

Last Saturday, December 5, was a beautiful day to be out and about in downtown Cedar Springs, to celebrate the annual Mingle with Kris Kringle, sponsored by the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce.

According to Chamber president Perry Hopkins, the first weekend of the 2015 Cedar Springs Christmas went really well, with a lot of people turning out to make and take ornaments at both the Cedar Springs Public Library and the Cedar Springs Historical Museum, and to see Santa at the end of the day.

Photo by Donna Clark

Photo by Donna Clark

According to Library Director Donna Clark, 70 people—old and young alike—attended the “Make and Take Ornament” morning at the library. They created an ornament for the town Christmas tree and one to take home. They created lots of pine cone ornaments filled with birdseed, so that they would be environmentally and bird friendly.

At 4:30 p.m., a mini parade made its way down Main Street from Maple to Ash, with Sgt. Kelley, of the Kent County Sheriff’s Department Cedar Springs unit leading the way, and a horse-drawn wagon carrying Santa Clause at the end.

“Having the cheerleaders in the parade again this year singing, as the mini parade escorted Santa to the tree, was great,” said Hopkins. “And the Chamber was happy to have royal courts from both the Cedar Springs Renaissance Faire and The Red Flannel Festival in our mini Christmas parade this year.”

Photo by by Craig Owens

Photo by by Craig Owens

The American Legion Post #287 Honor Guard also marched in the parade.

After the parade, the Jubilee quartet led the singing of Christmas carols, and Calvary Assembly of God put on their live nativity, assisted by the Double K Farms petting zoo. “The awesome voices of Jubilee leading the caroling added a new touch  to this year’s Christmas tree lighting,” remarked Hopkins. “As always, the petting zoo and live nativity scene were awesome.”

Mayor Jerry Hall addressed the crowd, and then it was finally time to light the tree. Afterward, children lined up to sit on Santa’s lap in the heated tent.

Hopkins said they are already making notes of ways to improve the event for next year, and they hope more businesses, organizations, and community members will be in the parade next year.

 

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Chamber to host movies in the park, sidewalk sales


Polar Express

For the Christmas in July movie the “Polar Express” will be shown at Morley Park on July 10th

August's science fiction movie is planned for E.T.

August’s science fiction movie is planned for E.T.

When the Game Stands Tall is the football movie scheduled for September.

When the Game Stands Tall is the football movie scheduled for September.

Would you like to get some great deals locally and have some fun at the same time? Would you like to try something new on Friday night for family time? If that’s the case, the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce has some events coming up you are going to love.

The Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce (CSACoC) is hosting Sidewalk Sales the second Saturday in July, August, and September. Each month the sidewalk sales will be themed differently for more excitement. July is Christmas in July, August is Science Fiction, and September is football.

The Chamber is also providing free family-friendly movies in Morley Park during the summer months. The movies in the park will be held on the Friday before the sidewalk sales and will match the themes of the sidewalk sales. If by chance it is rained out on Friday, the movie will be played on Saturday.

On July 10, the movie will be “Polar Express” and start just before dark. It will coincide with “Christmas in July” sidewalk sales on July 11. Come to the CSACoC’s booth in the parking lot in front of the Cedar Chest Retail Shop and Curves/Jenny Craig for details on how to win a free bicycle. Bicycles will be given away at the August movie in the park just before the movie starts. There will also be a dunk tank at the corner of Elm and Main from 11:30 to p.m.

The August 7 movie will be “ET” to coincide with the August 8 Science Fiction-themed sidewalk sales (pending city council approval).

The September 11 movie will be “When the Game Stands Tall” to go along with the football-themed sidewalk sales on September 12  (pending city council approval).

The Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce is asking the local businesses to get in the spirit and decorate their businesses and/or storefronts to the theme of the month. The decorating doesn’t have to be limited to just the weekend of the movie/sidewalk sales. Feel free to use the theme all month long. For more info, contact Chamber president Perry Hopkins at Perry’s Place at the corner of Main and Maple Streets or email kinofhope@yahoo.com.

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Renaissance Faire a hit


N-Ren-Faire1-King-and-Queen-Chamber-photo

You may have thought you were in a time warp if you ventured out to Morley Park last weekend, or happened to get ice cream at KC Kones and Coneys last Saturday and saw people dressed like they were from medieval times. That’s because the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce hosted its second annual Renaissance Faire last weekend, and over 300 people attended the event.

“We have many people who said they can’t wait for next year’s faire,” said Chamber President Perry Hopkins. “Some of the people that travel the Renaissance circuit said it was very impressive for a second year faire.”

He said that the cast loved being part of the Ice Cream with Queen Victoria at KC Kones and Coneys.

Hopkins estimated they had approximately 175 people wandering around the park on Friday, and they counted 35 people who stayed to watch the Disney animated movie Robin Hood.

Post photo by J. Reed

Post photo by J. Reed

N-Ren-Faire3-Chamber-photo“Saturday, with the weather being better than the other two days, we had at one time about 325 people in the park,” said Hopkins. “Some people came back all three days of the event. With people coming and going and no admission it is hard to get a total number of attendees, so we can only go with how many were there when we did a head count.” About 15-20 vendors and entertainers took advantage of the opportunity to camp in the park.

The Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce and Cedar Springs Renaissance Faire Committee are grateful to all who volunteered their time and contributions to make it an awesome event.

Post photo by J. Reed

Post photo by J. Reed

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