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Tag Archive | "Red Flannel Festival"

RFF president named to state board


Michele Tracy

Michele Tracy

Red Flannel Festival president Michele Tracy is one of three new members elected to serve on the Michigan Festivals & Events board, a networking partner for event planners, volunteers, vendors and their communities.

The other two new members are Debbie Mikula, Greater Lansing Festival Alliance; and Ashley Rop, Chelsea Area Festival & Events. All three will serve on the MFEA Board of Directors for 2015–2017.

This was Tracy’s 13th year as Red Flannel Festival president. “It’s exciting to be able to represent the Red Flannel Festival on a statewide basis!” she said.

MFEA’s mission is to support and promote festivals, fairs, events, attractions, suppliers and tourism through educations, marketing and networking for the success of members.

 

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Red Flannel rocks despite weather


 

This photo was taken by Natalie Kieda as she rode in the helicopter over the town on Red Flannel Day last Saturday.

This photo was taken by Natalie Kieda as she rode in the helicopter over the town on Red Flannel Day last Saturday.

 

 

Natalie Kieda won a complimentary helicopter ride on Red Flannel Day.

Natalie Kieda won a complimentary helicopter ride on Red Flannel Day.

By Judy Reed

 

The weather held true to the spirit of the Red Flannel Festival Saturday, with temperatures in the 40s. The nip in the air and the sporadic sprinkles didn’t put a damper on the festivities, however, as thousands of people lined the streets to celebrate the Red Flannel Festival’s 75th anniversary.

Helicopter rides were one of the highlights of the day, and the helicopter could be seen and heard buzzing over the town all day long. Courtland Township resident Natalie Kieda was one of the people who took advantage of the attraction. Kieda, who works at Cedar Springs Public Schools, said she won the ride as a door prize the school gave away.

“I really enjoyed it,” remarked Kieda. “I had never ridden in a helicopter before. I was a little nervous, but it was an amazing view. It was nice to see the town from the air.” She took some aerial photos, which she shared with us.

She said the helicopter took off from Red Hawk Elementary, went north of town, out over the highway, and circled back to Red Hawk. “It was a nice experience. A pretty smooth ride, too,” she added.

Events and attractions could be found all day, up and down Main Street, on side streets, at the schools, in Morley Park and up on 17 Mile in the Tractor Supply parking lot (the car show was there). People were able to take the trolley to various locations.

As usual, the Grand Parade was a big hit, with Cedar Springs TV production teacher Justin Harnden and crew filming a live lip dub production during the parade, and the Scottville Clown band entertaining at the end of the parade, and in a concert afterward. Activities continued on into the evening, with the Red Flannel Talent show, a movie at the Kent Theatre, a powder puff football game, and live music at the Grand Lodge and at the American Legion.

To see the lip dub, go to youtube.com and type in Red Flannel lip dub.

Many people submitted their Red Flannel photos to the Post Facebook page this week. We couldn’t fit them all in, but download this week’s Red Flannel Post and see if you can find yours!

N-RF-Helicopter3

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Varsity baseball at Fifth-Third ball park


S-Baseball-Fifth-third-with-red-flannel-queen-webThe Cedar Springs Varsity baseball team played a double header against Belding on Wednesday, May 7, at the home of the Whitecaps—5/3 Ball Park in Comstock Park.

Pictured is the Red Hawk baseball team with the Red Flannel Queen and Court. The Red Flannel Festival sponsored the event.

 

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Pollock brothers named honorary grand marshals for festival


Bill (left) and Bob (right) Pollock are honorary grand marshals of this year’s Red Flannel Festival.

Bill (left) and Bob (right) Pollock are honorary grand marshals of this year’s Red Flannel Festival.

If there is a name other than Nina Babcock or Grace Hamilton that is closely associated with the original Red Flannel Day, it would have to be John (Jack) Pollock. He was the owner of the dry goods store that sold red flannels way back in 1936, when the writer at the New York Sun wrote that red flannels couldn’t be found anywhere. And so it would only be fitting that his two sons—William (Bill) and Bob Pollock—have been named honorary grand marshals for the 75th celebration.

Bill and Bob are the surviving sons of Jack and Ann Pollock, and grandsons of Pearl and William Pollock, the founders and operators of Pollock’s, The Original Red Flannel Store. Jack, Ann, and Pearl were all on the board of directors of the first Red Flannel Club, established in 1940. The directors of the club were chosen from those who were actively engaged in business in the community.

“This is such an important, historic year for the Festival, we wanted to honor the first families of the original Red Flannel Festival Board,” said Michele Tracy-Andres, Festival President.

Bill, Bob and their late older brother, John (Mac) grew up in Pollock’s Store.  In their house, Red Flannel Day was second only to Christmas. They helped build and rode on Red Flannel Day floats from the age of four. Bill and Bob have carried on that tradition by entering a Pollock’s float in the 2011 parade. They also recently purchased a license from Life Magazine to the full page color photo of their dad and a hundred school children dressed in red that appeared in Life Magazine on December 19, 1949. A framed copy of the photo was donated by Bill to the Cedar Springs Historical Society Museum in Morley Park where it is on display. Bill also narrated the “Under the Radar” television show for the RFF in 2012 and both are great advocates of the Festival.

Bill told the Post that they are thrilled to have this opportunity.

“The entire Pollock family is extremely grateful to the Red Flannel Festival Board of Directors for designating us as Honorary Grand Marshals. Bob and I humbly accept this honor on behalf of the Red Flannel pioneers that preceded us including our grandparents, William and Pearl, our parents, Jack and Ann, our aunt, June Allchin and her sons, Skip and Mike…not to mention the hundreds of Red Flannel Town residents who worked at Pollock’s Store over its 60 year history such as Don Koster, Lil Meyers, Libby Hanna, Clara Gust, Spud Ensing, and many, many more. We are eagerly looking forward to participating in the 75th Diamond Anniversary Festival.”

Bill graduated from Cedar Springs High School in 1963, the University of Notre Dame in 1967 and holds an MBA from the George Washington University.  He is a retired U.S Navy Captain and corporate vice president. He and his wife, Gisela, travel full-time in their motor home.

Bob attended Cedar Springs High School until he moved to Kalamazoo in 1966. He is a 1969 graduate of Monsignor Hackett High School where he lettered in football and tennis. Bob graduated from Western Michigan University in 1974. He is retired from a career in human resources and real estate/property management. He lives in Parchment, Michigan.

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A Royal Salute—Celebrating 75 years of volunteers


N-Red-flannel-75-webThe 75th diamond anniversary Red Flannel Festival presents new 2014 events

The Red Flannel Festival Board of Directors recently revealed a slate of new and exciting events to celebrate the 75th Red Flannel Festival, taking place October 4, 2014.

The theme this year is “A Royal Salute! Celebrating 75 Years of Volunteers!” “We’re so grateful to have this beautiful logo designed by local artist, Doris Vinton, winner of last year’s RFF Art Review,” said Brynadette Powell, Festival Trustee.

One thing the board plans to do is have additional events throughout the year.

“The board has added many events in the last few years and boasts over 4,500 fans on our Facebook page,” said President Michele Tracy-Andres. “This board is extremely dedicated to ensuring the Red Flannel Festival is the biggest and best ever! Our goal is to have Red Flannel Town events monthly leading up to Red Flannel Day, Oct. 4, 2014. We’re proud of all of the volunteers over the past 75 years who have made this a nationally recognized, quality event.”

The Festival continues to expand its advertising portfolio with the addition of billboards to advertise this year’s events. Again this year, the Festival has partnered with WLAV, 96.9 FM in Grand Rapids, for radio commercials; and an expanded number of television commercials will begin on FOX 17 in September. The beautiful, 32-page full color “Official Red Flannel Press” will be distributed in August, thanks to Festival Business Patron Sponsors and “Friends of the Festival,” a donor program designed exclusively for individuals.

New this year, the Festival will debut the Scottville Clown Band in the Grand Parade, with a concert after the Parade in the Grand Lodge. “This is a fantastic, entertaining group we’ve been trying for years to have come to the Festival,” said Andres. A large volunteer picnic, to celebrate all Festival volunteers past and present will be held in August.

The Festival is excited and proud to have partnered with Rob Bliss, from Rob Bliss Creative in Grand Rapids, to film a “Red Flannel Town Lip Dub” during the 2014 Grand Parade. “Rob is nationally known for his creativity and we’re thrilled he’s part of the 75th Anniversary celebration,” said Andres.

Bliss did the Grand Rapids Lip Dub a few years ago, which got over five million views on youtube and brought a lot of positive attention to Grand Rapids. He most recently did the homeless veteran time lapse for a non-profit organization, and that received over 16 million views, and raised $60,000 for his client.

A Red Flannel Town House Decorating Contest with cash prizes, is also new for 2014, as well as a Spaghetti dinner. A Princess for a Day event will be held as a fundraiser for the Queen Scholarship Fund.

Back by popular demand are The Lumberjacks! After a 2 year hiatus, The American Lumberjack Show will again make an appearance for an interactive show for the 75th Anniversary!

Due to last years’ success, The Red Flannel Wine and Microbrew Tasting event, Art Review, Firefighter Parade, and Trolley to provide transportation to Festival-goers will also return.

“Of course, the traditional events are still in place,” said Andres. “The Car & Tractor Shows, Museum Open House, Rotary Chicken BBQ, Lion’s Lumberjack Supper, Queen Scholarship Pageant, Bed Races and Grand Parade are wonderful traditions.” For a full schedule of events, or to download event applications, visit www.redflannelfestival.org.

The Festival was granted 501c3 non-profit status and all donations are tax deductible. The Festival is an independent, all volunteer organization with volunteer openings for individuals, families and groups to be involved. Sponsorship opportunities are also available. For more information on how to donate, volunteer or get involved with the Red Flannel Festival, call 616-696-2662 or visit www.redflannelfestival.org.

 

 

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John Teusink named 2014 Grand Marshal


John Teusink

John Teusink

The Red Flannel Festival Board of Directors proudly named Cedar Springs resident John Teusink as the 2014 Grand Marshal for the 75th Diamond Anniversary Annual Celebration, to be held on Saturday, October 4, 2014.

“I consider this a great honor,” remarked Teusink. “It’s the greatest honor I’ve ever had.”

“The Festival is extremely proud and thankful for the many years of John’s outstanding dedication to the Cedar Springs community,” said Michele Tracy-Andres, President of the Festival.

Teusink, 73, has lived in Cedar Springs all his life, and came by his service to the community naturally. He is the son of Dr. James (J.) Harvey Teusink and his wife Dorothy, both deceased. Dr. Teusink was a well-known doctor for many years in Cedar Springs and also served on the school board for many years. Dorothy was the first woman mayor in Cedar Springs back in the 1960s.

Teusink grew up here in town with his older brother Jack, now deceased, and his sister, Nancy Jackson, who still lives on Beech Street. He graduated in 1958 from Cedar Springs High School, which was then at Hilltop. Afterward he attended Hope College and graduated in 1962, and later earned two masters degrees in Biology—one from Central Michigan University, and one from Syracuse University. He then taught in Florida for a time, then returned home and taught at Forest Hills for six years, before moving on to Aquinas, where he taught for 32 years. In January of 1962 he retired after having a heart attack.

John was elected to the Cedar Springs City Council in November 1976, and served for 32 years, with 19 of those years as a mayor. During his time as Mayor, he married 175 couples. “I had the cheapest rate in town,” he said with a chuckle. He recalled that when he asked one couple for their marriage license, the man pulled out a fishing license. “That wouldn’t work,” he remarked. Teusink retired from the Council in 2008.

Teusink also served on the Library Board and was a member of the Cedar Springs Community Players. Mayor Linda Hunt presented him with a framed declaration proclaiming December 11, 2008 as John Teusink Day in Cedar Springs.

Teusink said his family was very good friends with Red Flannel founders Grace Hamilton and Nina Babcock.

“It’s very obvious John loves The Red Flannel Town and especially the Red Flannel Festival,” said Andres. “His connection to Festival Founders, Grace Hamilton and Nina Babcock is very special to us. The Red Flannel Town is a better place because of his involvement.”

Teusink will reign this year, the Festival’s 75th Diamond Anniversary over the two weekends of the 15th oldest Festival in the state of Michigan, sharing the Red Flannel warmth of our community with visitors and residents.

 

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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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RF Festival threatens Chamber with legal action


By Judy Reed

 

The Red Flannel Festival has sent a “cease and desist” letter to the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce, ordering them to stop using the terms “The Red Flannel Town” and “Red Flannel Town, USA” or face legal action.

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 the name with the State of Michigan on October 8, 2013. “Our position is that Cedar Springs is Red Flannel Town and always has been, and that’s why the holiday event was so titled,” explained Chamber president Shawn Kiphart.

N-pull-quote-KiphartThey also registered two other taglines, which were both 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.

Although the state approved the Chamber’s taglines, the Red Flannel Festival feels it is trademark infringement. “We believe the Chamber’s use of these trademarks constitutes trademark infringement, unfair competition, as well as other common law causes of action,” read the cease and desist letter sent by the Red Flannel Festival’s lawyer, Frank Scutch.

Kiphart responded with a letter asking where they had infringed on the Red Flannel Festival’s property, stating that they would not use their specific phrases without permission. The Festival’s law firm then sent a response that the Chamber insignias specifically incorporate the Festival’s registered marks “The Red Flannel Town” and “Red Flannel Town, U.S.A.” and that their use on their own or as part of a phrase is a direct violation of the Red Flannel Festival’s trademark rights. The letter also said that was likely to “cause confusion as to the source or sponsorship of Chamber materials and events.”

Kiphart doesn’t agree. “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.”

He noted that Cedar Springs was known as the Red Flannel Town long before the Festival trademarked it. On their application, it states that the first time the phrase was used in commerce was October 1, 1950. But there are meeting minutes by the City of Cedar Springs dating back to December of 1941 showing the city was using it on their letterhead at that time.

Kiphart said he would like to know, does the Red Flannel Festival not think Cedar Springs is the Red Flannel Town? That it should only be used in connection with the Festival itself?

The Post asked Festival President Michele Andres that question. “The Festival has owned several state and federal trademarks for many years,” she said. “Red Flannel Town and Red Flannel Town, USA are both owned legally by the Festival regardless of anyone’s personal opinion. The Festival has readily granted permission to several organizations and entities who formally request to use its various trademarks. These marks simply do not belong to the Chamber.”

Kiphart said he doesn’t think they should belong to either entity. “It doesn’t belong to us. It’s the town’s identity,” he said. “If they are asking us to stop referring to Cedar Springs as the Red Flannel Town, we will not. Fear and intimidation tactics will not work on us. They are more than welcome to keep spending money on attorney fees to strip the town of its identity, but we will not play ball.”

Andres remarked that Kiphart needs to schedule some time to professionally and maturely discuss the matter directly with the Red Flannel Festival Board of Directors. “We have asked to meet numerous times and have received no response. It is extremely disappointing that this organization’s leadership does not understand or comprehend basic trademark infringement, especially as business owners.”

Kiphart said they have never declined to meet with them about using the Festival’s  logo. “As we have not wanted to use their exact logo, we haven’t met,” he explained. “We didn’t contact them to ask permission to use the town’s identity.”

Kiphart said the Chamber might be open to sitting down with the Festival to discuss the issue, as long as it was open to the public.

“We want to know what the community thinks,” said Kiphart. “We will do what the community wants. If the community wants us to tell them (the RFF) to take their ball and go home, we will.”

According to the most recent letter sent to the Chamber by the Festival, they have until February 4 to discuss with the Festival the steps they will take to “cease infringement of the RFF’s trademarks.” If they do not hear from them, “the RFF will have no choice but to take legal action against the Chamber,” the letter said.

What do you think? Send us a letter to the editor at news@cedarspringspost.com (limit 350 words), comment on this post, call the Chamber at 616-773-5126, or the Red Flannel Festival at 616-696-2662.

The Red Flannel Festival will also be having their annual board meeting tonight (Thursday, January 30) at 6:30 p.m. at their office on 21 E. Maple Street, where they will vote on a new grand marshal for this year’s 75th Festival, and elect their officers for the year. Those wishing to volunteer are also welcome.

 

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Red Flannel Festival seeking nominations for grand marshal


The Red Flannel Festival Board of Directors is seeking nominations for a Grand Marshal—or a couple to serve as Grand Marshals—for the 75th annual Red Flannel Festival. Since the 1980’s, board members have chosen Grand Marshals for Cedar Springs’ signature event in October. Citizens are encouraged to write a nomination letter suggesting a person or couple to receive this year’s honor.

If you know someone you would like to see honored this way, please submit their names, address and phone number and include a brief summary of that individual’s or couple’s contribution to the Red Flannel Festival and Cedar Springs area—and specifically volunteerism to the Red Flannel Festival.

Nominations must be submitted by 5 p.m. on Jan. 27 to the RFF Office, P.O. Box 43, Cedar Springs, 49319 or emailed to president@redflannelfestival.org. The Festival Board will choose the 2014 Grand Marshal at its January meeting.

The RFF Board meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 30 at 6:30 pm at the RFF Office, 21 E. Maple Street. All interested in volunteering are welcome!

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Were we at the same meeting?


 

After reading Kathy Bremmer’s letter in the Cedar Springs Post (11/27/2013), it’s hard to believe we were at the same City Council meeting. I had been wondering if you were ill or moved away since I haven’t seen you at a City Council meeting in several months. You were right—a woman (me) proudly took to the podium on Thursday, November 14, 2013. That’s where your truth ended. You may criticize me and disagree with me; that is your right. Attack me with lies and that is very different. I had to leave early for medical reasons, not as you stated that I wasn’t interested in important city business. I did send my regrets to our new Mayors, for my early departure.

My statements that night: First, I thanked the current and past city council members who voted Bob Truesdale into the Mayor’s seat. I felt it was the best thing they ever did for our city (not a castigation of council members). Second, I thanked the volunteers and Red Flannel Board for their hard work and dedication for our Red Flannel Festival. I thought the 2013 Red Flannel Day Festival was awesome. It was an honor and a privilege to work with the RFF board and volunteers (I said nothing about costs, police or beer tent). Third, I also said I feel the Red Flannel is like a mascot for the Cedar Springs community, like Spartie is for Michigan State, Wolverine is for U. of Michigan, Red Hawk is for Cedar Springs Schools, etc. Some people love it, some hate it, and a few just don’t care. I did say I like the new logo and I hoped that someday it might include our Red Flannel. Fourth, I asked council to table the vote on the new logo and give our residents, voters, and taxpayers a chance to review it. Most people didn’t know about the new logo until it showed up on the front page of the Cedar Springs Post the day of the council meeting. Fifth, I asked what the plans were for the new logo? What kind of costs would be involved in applying it to our city identity? Will we have to replace patches we just purchased for the police department uniforms? We just paid over $700 for them. I asked if we have to destroy or grind off the former tagline “a great place to live, work and play” from our city signs? What was the cost to develop that new logo? As we know, last year the City of Cedar Springs spent thousands of taxpayers’ dollars to destroy and replace our people’s property. How much more will we be spending on logos and taglines? Kathy, as a concerned citizen and former city councilwoman, you should be interested in these additional expenses.

Last, but not least, I addressed a rumor I have heard from several citizens—that our Cedar Springs City Council is planning to remove the Red Flannel from our water tower. I have reassured folks that because of the enormous cost, it could never happen. (I hope not.) Kathy, you have taught me a valuable lesson. If I address City Council again, I will record my every word, put it in writing, and submit it to the City Council correspondence, for the historical record. Kathy, hateful vitriol is all yours. I am a proud Red Flannel Festival volunteer. I haven’t lost friends, our family hasn’t split. The truth is, I made and renewed many wonderful friendships this past year and our family remains united. Our friends and family are looking forward to the 75th (diamond) anniversary of Red Flannel Day, 2014.

Rose Powell, Red Flannel Town, USA

Cedar Springs, Michigan

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