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Tag Archive | "Red Flannel Festival"

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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Time to move on


For over 70 years there was a cooperative spirit between Red Flannel Festival volunteers and city officials who worked together to promote Cedar Springs for the good of the entire community. That all changed in 2011 when the economy took a serious downturn and the city could no longer justify costs associated with the festival, as taxpayer services and staff were negatively impacted. As a result, the Festival Board threatened a lawsuit if the city didn’t pay for use of the long john logo. After almost two years, facing what would surely be a prolonged court fight and considering the subsequent costs to taxpayers, the Council voted to move forward with a new logo. During last Thursday’s council meeting, members were openly castigated for doing so by those RFF volunteers who refuse to accept the decision and who seemed determined to promote more divisiveness within our community. I found it telling that they left immediately after speaking, not caring about anything else but their own agenda.

After all the Festival’s demands for taxpayer dollars, I found it ironic that a woman took to the podium to quite proudly proclaim the Festival Board’s success in taking care of everything (costs) themselves this year, except for police support at the beer tent. (She explained that an outside security would have been used but the City charged less.) You just can’t beat that good old American can-do spirit, the concept of pulling one’s own weight! Had that been done in the first place, it would have been a win-win situation for everyone.  The city vehicles, stationary, street signs, etc. would have continued to be free advertising for the yearly festival and the citizens would have their red flannels. I found it odd that the Festival recently offered a new business free use of the Red Flannel logo when it is being held for ransom from the city.

The whole issue surrounding the logo boiled down to nothing more than pride, arrogance, and unwillingness to do what was best for Cedar Springs. There is plenty of blame to go around for all involved but, the Council, having no other viable option, has voted, with heavy hearts, to move on.  That can only happen if people will stop the rumors, gossip, and hateful vitriol that is taking place throughout the community and on social media and embrace the future.  Friendships have been lost, families divided and enough is enough! Take a step back and work to restore good relationships within our city for the good of all.

Cedar Springs will always be known as the “Red Flannel Capital Of The World”.  Google that title and you can find as many as seven websites where our city’s name shows up as just that. That isn’t going to change. It’s time to support the Chamber of Commerce, an entity that is trying to bring back a spirit of cohesiveness and community to our town. Business owners are joining in and Shawn Kiphart has worked tirelessly, and at great cost to himself personally, to improve community relations. Let’s all do our part to make that happen. We can’t change yesterday, tomorrow is a new day, let’s make it good.

 

Kathy Bremmer, Cedar Springs

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City approves new logo and tagline


This is the new logo for the City of Cedar Springs.

This is the new logo for the City of Cedar Springs.

by Judy Reed

The City of Cedar Springs voted Thursday evening, November 14, to approve a new logo and tagline for the city.

“Cedar Springs—Est. 1871 Cherishing our heritage, embracing our future” will now be the city’s official slogan that will appear on city-related items.

It replaces the tagline “A great place to live, work, and play” and the Red Flannel logo, which the city stopped using in August of last year after receiving a letter from the Red Flannel Festival of intent to file suit for copyright infringement. Subsequent meetings between the city manager and festival have yielded no results on an agreement.

A committee made up of members of the community took submissions from the public for a new logo, but only nine entries were submitted.

This is what the new logo will look like on business cards.

This is what the new logo will look like on business cards.

While there was no official public comment time on the new logo, several people commented on it during the public forum part of the meeting. Rose Powell said that “Red Flannel is the cement that holds us together” and asked if they couldn’t use what they already had,” and not spend more money to get new logos put on police patches and other items.

Steve McBride, a Red Flannel Festival board member, warned that, if the new logo went through, “SEV’s would go down and taxes would go up. It would be a corporate nail in the head.” He said he would go out and sell his plasma to help them raise money to license the Red Flannel logo.

Mark Laws, Red Flannel board member and former City Council candidate, also urged the city to provide police protection for one day in exchange for using the Red Flannel logo.

Calling it one of the hardest things she’s had to decide, Councilmember Patricia Troost was emotional while speaking on how she felt about the matter. She compiled pages of articles, meeting minutes, emails, etc. while researching the history on the Red Flannel logo. “A lot of time and money was spent on this (issue), and friendships ended over it,” she remarked. “I finally decided that I had to put this to rest, that we needed to move on. We will always be the Red Flannel town. Why didn’t we get the submissions? I don’t know. But we can’t give our services away to everyone. Other groups, like the Chamber of Commerce, are bringing events into town also. It’s not just about Red Flannel and the City. It’s time for the city to heal and move forward.”

New Councilmember Dan Clark said that he didn’t think the community was going to be happy if they approved the new logo. “They want Red Flannel back. If we do this we’ll be a pariah because we gave up,” he said.

Councilmember Ken Benham said it would be great if something did work out to put the Red Flannel logo in the circle where it says “Est. 1871” but in the mean time, he’d like to put something there. “We’ve went too long without something on our trucks,” he noted. He also reminded everyone that the public voted down a special community events tax put to the voters last year, which could have been used to fund those services for the Red Flannel Festival and other community events. “We’ve had cutbacks in staff, we no longer do a community cleanup, etc. We need to be fiscally responsible,” he said.

The Council voted 4 to 3 to approve the new logo, with Bob Truesdale and new members Jerry Hall and Dan Clark voting no.

No time line has been given yet for implementation of the logo.

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Red Flannel Festival presents community share check to Job’s Daughters


N-Jobs-DaughtersThe Red Flannel Festival Board of Directors presented a $750 check to the non-profit group Job’s Daughters, on Monday, November 18.

Job’s Daughters has a rich heritage and tradition. The group was founded in 1920 to provide an opportunity for young women to work together, to learn about themselves and to help others. It is open to girls ages 10 to 20 who have a Masonic Heritage. For over 90 years, Job’s Daughters has been actively promoting friendship and service. The local chapter of Job’s Daughters and their families donated two weekends to the Red Flannel Festival in the RFF Community Share Program.  This strong group of volunteers assisted the Red Flannel 5K Run/Walk and the Giant Arts and Crafts Show. They also made an appearance in the Red Flannel Festival Parade.

 

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Congratulations to the new mayor


Congratulations to our new Mayor, Mark Fankhauser, for winning the mayor’s seat, and a big thank you to that person who spilled the beans several days before election night that I would not be returned to serve you, the good people of Cedar Springs. I have been asked not to write and inform you any longer. I will honor that request, but let me tell you before I go, our City is not broke, and the $2,930 in fees invoiced to the Red Flannel Festival for 2013, is not the big picture.

I have a copy of those “severe” cuts that were made a few years ago when our revenues dried up. One of them was using two-ply rather than four-ply toilet tissue at City Hall. You poor people, it made me want to cry. When I was a kid growing up on West Muskegon Street, we had the luxury of going from corn cobs to the pages from a Sears and Roebuck Catalog. Those were the good days, as my Grandpa Eldred was also a successful businessman.

Thank you for your prayers and support. 

See you, Bob Truesdale

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Red Flannel Festival wins state award


Several stories from The POST are included in this display.

Several stories from The POST are included in this display.

The Michigan Festivals and Events Association (MFEA) announced the Red Flannel Festival as the 2nd place winner in the MichiganFun Awards for their marketing and promotional materials.

The MFEA MichiganFun Award winners were recently honored at an awards ceremony and luncheon held November 8 during the 21st Annual Michigan Festivals and Events Association Convention at the Best Western Plus Hotel & Conference Center in Lansing, MI.

The MFEA MichiganFun Awards competition draws entries from festivals and events throughout all of Michigan. Entries represented proud communities that celebrate and promote Michigan’s heritage, agriculture, talents, four seasons, history, products, sports, foods and magnificent waterways.

Michigan Festivals & Events Association (MFEA) is the largest association of its kind in the nation. Membership includes upwards of 800 Michigan communities and organizations statewide. MFEA programs provide educational and professional development for its member community volunteer organizations that host festivals, fairs and other celebratory events throughout the state. Additionally, by pooling resources and leveraging opportunities, MFEA is consistently helping communities promote their events. To learn more about MFEA, please visit www.michiganfun.com.

The Red Flannel Festival is an independent, 501c3 non-profit organization, run exclusively by volunteers and is the 15th oldest Festival in Michigan, celebrating the 75th Festival in 2014.

 

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Chamber registers insignia for Red Flannel Town Christmas


N-Chamber-registration

By Judy Reed

 

The Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce has given the city’s annual holiday tree lighting a new twist. Not only does it feature some new events, but a new name as well. And it’s been registered with the state of Michigan.

According to the Chamber’s president, Shawn Kiphart, the committee for the event, which will now feature activities all day, decided that the name of the event should tell people where it is. So they called it “A Red Flannel Town Christmas, Come Mingle with Kris Kringle.”

“We could have named it “Family Hometown Christmas” but that doesn’t tell me where it is,” explained Kiphart.  “We knew that it would be in Cedar Springs, and that Santa would be there. We live in Red Flannel Town, and always have, so decided that’s what we would call it.”

However, the Red Flannel Festival has taken exception to the title “Red Flannel Town.”

“Michele Andres (Red Flannel Festival president) called me a few days after I put up the event page and said that we couldn’t use it, that it was too similar,” said Kiphart. “She said I would need to send an email to the board to ask for permission.”

Kiphart said he called the state of Michigan to find out if that was indeed the case. “The state told me it didn’t look like anyone was using it, but to fill out an application and they would check it out. So that’s what we did, and they approved it,” he explained.

He also registered two other taglines, which were both approved: A Red Flannel Town Christmas, and The Original Red Flannel Town, USA, Cedar Springs, MI.

But Andres said that the Chamber could be infringing, even though the state approved it.  “We think it’s important to emphasize that the Red Flannel Festival owns a number of its own marks which identify Festival branding as the source of various goods and services. For example, the RFF holds three variations of trademark registrations for THE RED FLANNEL TOWN. It’s the RFF board’s position that consumers would be confused between the two marks as the mark THE RED FLANNEL TOWN is, and has been, so closely associated with the RFF.

“The City recognized this last year when deciding on how to use the mark on city property. It seems clear that members of the public will think that the Red Flannel Town Christmas, etc. is in some way associated with the RFF.”

Andres would like to have the Chamber ask them if they can use the logo. She told the Post that they were ready to sign an agreement with an incoming business who asked to use their logo on its product, and they were going to do it at no charge.

“Certainly the Red Flannel Board agrees both organizations can work together to promote Cedar Springs as ‘The Red Flannel Town’ as long as the Chamber approaches the Board and asks its permission to use its property in a manner consistent with Board policy. To date, they have been unwilling to do that. The Board is merely policing its rights in order to maintain the strength of its brand and trademarks. We would think the Chamber would respect these rights and the Red Flannel brand and go about this in the right way so the entire Cedar Springs community can benefit,” she said.

Kiphart said that he has already gotten a phone call from the Festival’s lawyer about it. He said he assured him he would only be using the words and phrases he registered, not any Red Flannel logos.

Kiphart said he is a huge supporter of the Red Flannel Festival and has no beef with them. But he argues that Cedar Springs was known as Red Flannel Town before the Festival came into being, and that “Red Flannel Town” belongs to the community to use. “I registered it as a name, not as a brand,” he said. “It’s the town’s. I registered it to make sure the community could use it. Red Flannel Town is where I live, and most of the community thinks that, too, so I’m going to honor that.”

 

 

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High School drama club receives community share funds


N-CSH-Dram-Club-Community-ShareThe Red Flannel Festival Board of Directors delivered a Community Share check for $600 to the Cedar Springs High School Drama Club for their outstanding volunteer efforts at the 2013 Red Flannel Queen Scholarship Pageant. The Red Flannel Festival is proud of the annual Community Share Program that generated over $5,000 for area local non-profits in 2013.

The Festival is proud and excited to have been able to donate more than $40,000 to area non-profits as partners in the RFF’s Community Share Program.

As a completely volunteer, independent, non-profit organization, the Red Flannel Festival is keenly aware of the challenges organizations face in fundraising, and the RFF mission is to encourage collaboration and positive economic growth for all of the area’s non-profit organizations.  If your non-profit organization is interested in participating in this exciting Community Share Program in 2014, please contact the Festival office at 616-696-2662 or email president@redflannelfestival.org.

 

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Tri County Eagles earn community share money


N-Community-Share-Tri-County-Eagles-2013The Red Flannel Festival delivered a Community Share check for $750 to the Tri-County Eagles #4467 club for the volunteer efforts at the 2013 Red Flannel Festival Grand Parade.

The Red Flannel Festival is proud the annual Community Share Program generated over $5000.00 for area local non-profits last year. The Red Flannel Board of Directors and Chairpersons are working hard to ensure the success of the 75th Red Flannel celebrations.

“The Red Flannel Festival’s success and growth has been phenomenal,” says RFF President Michele Andres. “Staffing demands will out-number volunteers and we are turning to you, the non-profit community, for assistance. We are proud and excited we have been able to donate almost $30,000 to non-profits in the area with our Community Share Program!”

Andres added that as a completely volunteer, independent non-profit organization, the Red Flannel Festival is keenly aware of the challenges organizations face in fundraising. “Our mission is to encourage collaboration and positive economic growth for all of the area’s non-profit organizations,” she says.

If your non-profit organization is interested in participating in the Community Share Program, please contact the Festival office at 616-696-2662 or email president@redflannelfestival.org.

 

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Even the Mayor goes to jail


 

 

Yes, he ignorantly drove his 4-wheeler down Main Street, not realizing it needed to be tagged by the Red Flannel Festival for insurance purposes. After a conversation with the Chief of Police, Roger Parent, it was decided by the Keystone Cops—Leon Avery and Mark Fankhauser—that I was not above the long arm of the law! A big thanks to Russ Durst for bailing me out. And thanks to RFF President Michele Andres for legalizing my vehicle. Maybe, with everyone’s help, I can play within the rules at next year’s 75th Red Flannel Festival.

It was a great day for everyone, a sea of red up and down Main Street, including an Amish Furniture store on South Main Street that had record sales. And some would say that it (the day) is about the RFF and their so-called financial empire, and that the city merchants don’t benefit that much. Last Saturday’s sales was an eye-opener for this merchant.

A world of thanks to all the worker bees, generous sponsors and donors for a great Red Flannel Festival.

 

Humbly,

Your mayor, Bob Truesdale

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