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Tag Archive | "Red Flannel Day"

The Clipper Girls: A Red Flannel Legend

By  Tanya Eldred, The Cedar Springs Historical Society


Nina Babcock (left) and Grace Hamilton (right) working on the newspaper in later years. Photo courtesy CS Historical Society.

Nina Babcock (left) and Grace Hamilton (right) working on the newspaper in later years. Photo courtesy CS Historical Society.

If you have lived in or near Cedar Springs in the last 75 years, you have heard the story of how Cedar Springs became the Red Flannel Town—many times.

But do we remember the efforts of the Clipper Girls—Nina Babcock and Grace Hamilton—to get the Red Flannel town on the map?

When they answered the wire from the Associated Press, it was just the beginning. Metropolitan newspapers and the radio took up the cause and spread the word. They received a flood of letters from all over the United States and overseas inquiring about Red Flannel underwear. There was much more publicity than they expected.

In November 1939, Red Flannel Day was a bright spot in a time of war, when people could forget what was looming on the horizon. That year, the town played host to thousands of deer hunters on their way up north to the deer camps. Merchants and clerks wore red shirts or hunting togs and the town was decorated for event. Five men from Grand Rapids chose the Queen from candidates submitted to the Clipper.

Two “big-city gals” Grace Hamilton (left) and Nina Babcock (right) bought the town’s newspaper, The Cedar Springs Clipper, in 1932, and it was 1936 when they put Cedar Springs on the map. Photo courtesy CS Historical Society.

Two “big-city gals” Grace Hamilton (left) and Nina Babcock (right) bought the town’s newspaper, The Cedar Springs Clipper, in 1932, and it was 1936 when they put Cedar Springs on the map. Photo courtesy CS Historical Society.

After Red Flannel Day, orders for the red flannel underwear were received from as far away as Escanaba and Detroit, and other states such as Maine, Texas, California, Kansas, New York, Alabama, Rhode Island, Florida, and Wyoming, and from Canada and Great Britain.

They answered these and news articles appeared in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Kansas City Star, Detroit News and Free Press, Michigan Tradesman, Atlanta Constitution, Life Magazine, Readers Digest, Independent Woman, and even True Comics.

The Kansas City Star sent a reporter to interview the girls and they were interviewed on National Public Radio.

The Clipper girls helped persuade a young man named Gerald Ford to run for Congress in 1948. As a congressman, Ford attended the Red Flannel Festival 25 times. His bus became a fairly common site on Main Street and the girls were always his faithful supporters. He went on to become Vice President and then President of the United States.

The Clipper Girls worked hard to establish the Red Flannels as a symbol of Cedar Springs. Because of their hard work, Cedar Springs had become known as the Red Flannel Town, which evidently it is not anymore.

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C-Birthday-TImBrownHappy 60th Birthday



If you see Tim Brown on Red Flannel Day, wish him a Happy 60th Birthday.

Happy Birthday, Tim!


Cindy, Stevie and Nathan

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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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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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Family fun on Red Flannel Day

_RED-Bed-races1If you are looking for some great family fun, there are two events you won’t want to miss on Red Flannel Day.

Children’s parade: The annual Red Flannel Children’s Parade is Red Flannel Day, October 5. It begins promptly at 9 a.m. at the Red Flannel offices, at the corner of Maple of Main St. Boys and girls decorate bikes and wear costumes in their own parade! Parents are encouraged to walk with their children.

Bed races: Five person teams race beds around an obstacle course and compete for the best time. The Keystone Kops referee, so you never know what might happen! The bed race check-in starts at 10 a.m. and the races begin at 10:30 a.m. in front of the Grand Stand at Main and Ash Streets. Find an application at www.redflannelfestival.org.


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The Springs Red Flannel Bounce Bash

_RED-The-Springs-Red-Flannel-Bounce-BashRed Flannel Day, October 5


Question: What’s red, sails through the air, and has a smile a mile wide? Answer: Your kids at The Springs Red Flannel Bounce Bash! The Springs Church will have five different bounce houses set up in their parking lot at 135 N. Grant Street, for kids of all ages, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Red Flannel Day. And that’s not all—there will be free food as well. Free inflatables plus free food = free fun! So get your bounce on and head over to The Springs! For more info call 696-2970.

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Sand Lake man convicted in assault


Zebariah Gillons

Zebariah Gillons

It took eight months, but a Sand Lake man has been found guilty of assaulting a Grand Rapids man who was visiting Cedar Springs for Red Flannel Day.

According to Cedar Springs Police Chief Roger Parent, there were a number of minor fights on Red Flannel weekend in October 2012. This incident took place inside the Gun Tavern, 18 N. Main Street at 1:45 a.m. on October 7.

Officers were dispatched to a fight in progress. Upon arrival they found one man unconscious on the floor and covered in blood. Witnesses told police that the suspect had fled the scene. Additional officers responded to clear the bar, while fire rescue and ambulance personnel treated the victim.

Chief Parent said that the victim, 35 of Grand Rapids, was attending Red Flannel festivities with a female friend and they were inside the Gun Tavern for a late night drink. A male acquaintance of the female, who once dated her, saw the two and confronted them. According to witnesses, the suspect, without any provocation, hit the victim at least four or five times. After the victim fell to the floor, the suspect then continued to kick him in the face.

Police charged Zebariah William Gillons, 28, of Sand Lake, with aggravated assault, and he finally went to trial on June 13, and was found guilty. He will have a presentence hearing on June 19 at 2 p.m. in 63rd District Court.

“I wanted to publicly thank the witnesses who took the time to tell officers the night of the incident what they saw and later made themselves available to testify in court,” said Chief Parent. “I believe this case weighed heavily on witness testimony.”


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The 2011 Red Flannel Day Talent Show

Leah and Kim Pasley, “The Pasley Sisters”

The Kent Theatre on Main Street in Cedar Springs is once again hosting its annual Red Flannel Day Talent Show on Saturday, October 1, after the grand parade. The show this year features a rockabilly guitar performance by Paul Brailey, along with returning young crowd pleasers Alexis and Ryan Kaiserlian.  Also back this year to treat the crowd is banjo master Calder Baker, and the talented and delightful Karli Morehouse.
There is also quite an array of new acts this year, including Eric and Clare Freeman with a Vienesse Waltz, and the wonderful harmonies of the Pasley Sisters, Leah and Kim.  We have the young guitarist/singer Maddie Nichols, gifted Flamenco guitarist Ben Knapp, and the very talented singer/guitarist Joshua Kohns.  There is also an eye-popping performance of The Isis Wings with dancers Ann Knapp and Karen Jennings, along with Clare Freeman.

Clare Freeman

The Show starts directly after the Grand Parade (4:30 pm) on Red Flannel Day (Oct. 1) at the Kent Theatre at 8 North Main, downtown Cedar Springs. Tickets are $3.00 at the door.

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2011 Red Flannel Day – Schedule of Events

September 23, 2011

Red Hawk Varsity Football
Red Hawks vs. Forest Hills Northern
Red Hawk Stadium     7:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Firefighter Parade – New Event!
Main Street     9:30 PM – 10:00 PM
Immediately following Varsity Football Game

September 24, 2011

Women’s Club Yard Sale
Main & Ash Streets    All Day

Cedar Springs Youth Football
Skinner Field     8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Red Flannel 5K Run and Walk & Kid’s Fun Run
Red Flannel Office, 21 E. Maple St.     9:00 AM

Basketball Shootout – New Event!
Registration at 11 am. $5 per person. Each player receives a t-shirt!
Main & Ash St.     11:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Chili Cookoff – Doubling the prize money!!
Cedar Pub Patio – Main Street    11:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Horseshoe Throwing Contest – New Location!
Entry fee is $10 per 2 person team and top teams receive trophies and prizes! Limit 12 teams, must be preregistered! FREE ADMISSION!
Main & Ash Streets (Next to Cedar Pub)    11:30 AM

Bed Race Obstacle Course
Bring your own bed, or rent one from the Festival! Check in begins at 12:30 pm; $10 entry fee (per 5 person team).
Main Street (in front of City Hall)    1:30 PM

Fire Barn Open House
Main & Maple Streets     2:30 PM – 4:30 PM

Red Flannel Children’s Parade
Main & Beech St. (American Legion Parking Lot)    3:00 PM

Lumberjack Supper – New Location!
The CS Lions Club hosts a delicious lumberjack supper of ham, fresh side pork, boiled potatoes and all the trimmings! $8 adult – $6 child – $25 family. A Red Flannel tradition since 1941!
CSHS Cafeteria    5:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Red Flannel Queen Scholarship Pageant – New Location!
Tickets on sale at Library, $11. Available at Box Office for $13 at 6 p.m. Doors open at 7 pm. Pageant begins at 7:30 p.m.
CSHS Auditorium     7:00 PM

September 30, 2011

LIVE ENTERTAINMENT! Red Flannel Grand Lodge
EXPANDED!  TWO TENTS! $5 Cover. Must be 21 or over. Join the fun for local band CHASER BAND from 4:30 – 7:30, Enjoy the MAIN STREET BAND from 8 pm -midnight.
MCU Body, 276 N. Main St.    4:30 PM – 12:30 AM

Ash & Beech Streets     5:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Red Hawk Varsity Football
Red Hawks vs. Comstock Park
Red Hawk Stadium    7:00 PM

October 1, 2011
Red Flannel Day

Red Flannel Photography Contest
Submit any photo of a Red Flannel event taken during the Festival by Oct. 15. Cash Prizes! $100, $75 & $25. Free to enter!

FlapJack Breakfast
All you can eat breakfast of pancakes, sausage, eggs, potatoes, coffee and juice! Hot Dog lunch available from 11AM – 1PM.
Red Hawk Elementary Cafeteria 7:00 AM – 11:00 AM

Cedar Springs Youth Football
Skinner Field     7:30 AM – 9:00 PM

Flag Raising Ceremony
Red Hawk Stadium     8:00 AM

Red Flannel Marketplace
Elm Street    8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Marching Band Competition
Area High School Marching Bands present half-time shows in competition. Begins 8:00 am. For more information: http://www.cedarspringsbands.org
Red Hawk Stadium     8:00 AM – 2:15 PM

Arts & Craft Fair
Over 90 vendors of beautiful handmade items.  $1 Admission.
Red Hawk & Beach Elementary Schools     9:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Ash & Beech Streets    9:00 AM – 9:00 PM

Red Flannel Antique Farm Tractors & Engines Show – At Cedar Springs Museum!
Antique tractors and running farm equipment fill Morley Park! Museum tours from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Free admission to tractor show.
Morley Park    10:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Red Flannel Car Show
Admission is free. Cost $15 per entry, registration at 9:30 a.m. Call: 616-696-2662 to register.
Vanderhyde Ford-345 N. Main St.     10:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Remote Control Airplane Demonstration
North Park     10:00 AM – 2:00 PM

American Legion Bingo – Carnival Style
Everyone is welcome! OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
American Legion    10:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Celtic Highlander Games – New Event!
The first Highlander Games in Kent County!  Free adminssion.
West side of Maple & Main Streets     10:00 AM – 5:00 PM

1st Annual Cornhole (Beanbag) Tournament
Two divisions, cash prizes! $40 per 2 person team in advance, $50 day of tournament. Check in between 11:00 AM and Noon.  Tournament starts at 12:30!
Red Flannel Grand Lodge Tent (MCU Body)     12:30 PM

Poorman Pullers Mini Rod Tractor Pull
Weigh in begins at 10 a.m., Free admission.
Elm Street (behind Festida Foods)     11:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Cedar Springs Rotary Famous Chicken Barbecue!
Cherry & Main Street     11:00 AM – 5:00 PM

American Martial Arts Institute Demonstration
Main & Elm St.      11:45 AM

LIVE ENTERTAINMENT! Red Flannel Grand Lodge
EXPANDED!  OPENS AT NOON!  TWO TENTS!     $5 Cover. Must be 21 or over. Enjoy the Irish Folk Music of international recording star MOSSY MORAN from Noon – 4:00 PM.   Join the fun for local band CHASER BAND from 4:30 – 7:30, Enjoy the MAIN STREET BAND from 8 pm -midnight.
MCU Body, 276 N. Main St.     11:45 AM – 12:30 AM

Red Flannel Parade Grandstand
Stop by and see Sue Harrison.
Main & Ash Street     2:00 PM

Judgement Day Pullers
Free admission to Stock Altered Garden Tractor Pulls! Pulling open to public, if tractor meets Club rules. Weigh in 2 p.m. Call Tina or Chad Smith at 636-4976.
Elm Street Pulling Track      3:00 PM

Red Flannel Grand Parade
The Festival’s signature event, the FAMOUS Grand Parade! Be sure to wear RED or the Keystone Kops will arrest you! More than 120 entries of floats, bands and entertainment.
Main & Muskegon Streets      3:00 PM

Everyone is welcome! OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
American Legion Hall     6:00 PM – 12:00 AM

Powder Puff Football
Red Hawk Stadium     6:30 PM

Fireworks Show!
Admission is free! Rain date, Sunday, Oct. 2 at 10 p.m.
White Creek Ave. & Solon Road (Pine Street)      10:00 PM

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Read to ride on Red Flannel Day

Calling all K-8th graders to READ and celebrate their RED Flannel Heritage for 1-2 FREE Coupons to ride carnival rides (or get popcorn) by simply reading 3-6 hours before October 1. Reading logs available at the Red Flannel Town Library (Cedar Springs) or on the website: cedarsprings.llcoop.org. Print off a log, read, get it initialed by a parent or teacher and “cash it in” at the CS Library before Oct. 1 or at the CS Friends book sale on Red Flannel Day. Have you “RED” a good book lately?

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