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Tag Archive | "Red Flannel Town"

The Post travels to China


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Almost 70 Chinese high school students visited Cedar Springs last summer and took a little bit of Red Flannel Town home with them.

Tim and Shelley Bauer, directors of Network 153, a local nonprofit organization, teamed up with Pine Ridge Bible Camp for the third summer in a row, worked with Lu He Cultural Training Center in Beijing to bring the students here for a three-week English immersion program. They spent two weeks with host families and one week having fun at camp.

When the students left, they each took a copy of the Post back to Beijing, and took a group photo.

Thanks so much to the Chinese students for visiting, and then taking us home with you!

Are you going on vacation? Take the Post with you and snap some photos. Then send them to us with some info to news@cedarspringspost.com or mail them to Post travels, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319. We will be looking for yours!

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Students visit from Beijing


These Chinese students spent three weeks in Cedar Springs this summer.

These Chinese students spent three weeks in Cedar Springs this summer.

Almost 70 high school students from China have made an impact on Cedar Springs over the last few weeks, and will also take a little bit of Red Flannel town with them.

Tim and Shelley Bauer, directors of Network 153, a local nonprofit organization, teamed up with Pine Ridge Bible Camp for the third summer in a row, in order to work together with Lu He Cultural Training Center in Beijing to bring the students here.

Chinese students learned about some of America’s founding fathers in their ESL class this summer.

Chinese students learned about some of America’s founding fathers in their ESL class this summer.

The Chinese students are here for a three-week English Immersion program. They spend two weeks in local host families, and one week at camp. While here, they participated in twelve hours of ESL classes under the theme of “All men are created equal,” as well as visiting some of our local attractions. Not only were there guest appearances from famous Americans in their ESL classes such as George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, a pilgrim, and Paul Revere, but they also learned of our struggles as a nation with racism and prejudice. An African American, and a Native American Indian speaker also shared their cultural difficulties within our land. Whether Chinese or American, it was very moving for all who heard them share their hearts.

The students cleaned the Kent Theatre as part of a community service project.

The students cleaned the Kent Theatre as part of a community service project.

The students also did a thorough cleaning of the Kent Theater in Cedar Springs, as part of a community service project.

The students’ final week is spent having fun at Pine Ridge Bible Camp August 1-6. When they leave, they hope to take some copies of the Cedar Springs Post back with them to Beijing.

The Bauers and Pine Ridge Camp are grateful for this exciting relationship with those from the other side of the world. They hope to visit Lu He next year in Beijing for their 150th anniversary. The school was founded in 1867 by American Christian missionaries, and many of the buildings on campus have American names after those who first began their school. It is a growing relationship that the Bauers pray blesses both countries.

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All aboard!


 

N-RFF-theme-LogoThe Red Flannel Express Steams into Red Flannel Town for the 2016 Festival 

The all-volunteer Red Flannel Festival Board of Directors has worked hard to provide fresh new events for the 77th “All Aboard the Red Flannel Express” Festival celebration, on Saturday, October 1, 2016. They recently released their new theme’s logo, which was designed by local artist, Lloyd VanDuyn, father of Festival First Vice President Randy VanDuyn. “We’re so grateful to have this beautiful logo,” said Randy.

“This board is extremely dedicated to ensuring the Red Flannel Festival is the biggest and best ever,” said Festival President Michele Tracy. “The comments about the old fashioned steam engine train theme have been very positive.”

In keeping with the theme, the Festival will debut a large model train show in Red Hawk Elementary Gymnasium this year. Also, the Grand Lodge will be hosting live music for two weekends, with Tribute bands the first weekend. The Firefighter Memorial Parade will return this year after a few years hiatus.

Returning this year is the Red Flannel Open Golf Tournament, hosted by Whitefish Lake Golf and Grill. The Red Flannel Art Review, Red Flannel Town House Decorating Contest, Trolley to provide transportation, and the Giant Arts and Craft Fair, Carnival and Marketplace will also return.

“Of course, the traditional events are still in place,” said Tracy. “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.”

The Festival will partner with 95.7 FM in Grand Rapids, for radio commercials; and an expanded number of television commercials will begin on Charter Cable Channels in September. The 36-page full color “Official Red Flannel Press” will be distributed after Labor Day, thanks to Festival Business Patron Sponsors and “Friends of the Festival,” a donor program designed exclusively for individuals.

For a full schedule of events, or to download all event applications, visit www.redflannelfestival.org, visit the Red Flannel Festival, Inc. Facebook page or email president@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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Red Flannel Festival and City reach agreement


 

By Judy Reed

The Cedar Springs City Council approved an agreement with the Red Flannel Festival Board to donate in kind services during the Festival, as well as an agreement to use any of the Festival’s 14 trademarks in return for the in kind services.

The Council voted in favor of both agreements 5-1, at their regular meeting on Thursday, July 9. Only Councilor Perry Hopkins voted against it. Councilor Bob Truesdale was absent.

“We are grateful this City Council negotiated fairly and in good faith,” said Festival President Michele Tracy. “This reinstates and memorializes the original 69 year handshake agreement, and provides a solid foundation for the long term sustainability of the Festival. We couldn’t be happier for Red Flannel Town, U.S.A.!”

The City voted in August 2012 to stop using the Red Flannel logos and initiate development of their own logo, after an ongoing disagreement over who had the right to use the logos, which the RF Festival had trademarked. The Festival disputed that the city had common law rights to the trademarks, and in August 2012 sent a letter with a notice that they would file for trademark infringement. The Red Flannel Festival had asked for a $4,000 licensing fee for the city to use two of the trademarks, and the city declined, stating that they had used them for 70-plus years. The Council then voted 6-1 to drop the RF logo.

The City removed all Red Flannels from City letterhead, trucks, benches, etc., and eventually created their own logo. However, the members of that City Council are no longer on the Council. The only person left on City Council that was part of that vote was current Mayor Pro Tem Pam Conley, and she was the lone nay vote three years ago.

Conley said, “I have always believed the community wants there to be a supportive working relationship between the City and all of our community groups, especially Red Flannel. I am glad to have had the opportunity to affirm that.”

The Council has not yet voted on if or where they will use any of the Red Flannel logos.

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Festival donates Red Flannel medallion to city


The Red Flannel Queen and court member presented the Ronny Merlington Memorial Medallion to his wife, Shirley Merlington

The Red Flannel Queen and court member presented the Ronny Merlington Memorial Medallion to his wife, Shirley Merlington

By Judy Reed

The Red Flannel Festival presented the city with a large wooden Red Flannel medallion, called the Ronny Merlington Memorial Medallion, to replace the one originally commissioned by Merlington, a longtime council member and former mayor who has since passed away. They presented the medallion at a special meeting of the City Council last Friday evening.

The original medallion that hung on the city’s wall for many years was destroyed after a cease and desist letter was sent by the Red Flannel Festival to the City.

Resident Kathy Bremmer told the Council that if the threat of a lawsuit still stands, then the council would be in violation of the law if they instruct the City Manager to hang the medallion on the wall.

*N-Red Flannel2Mark Fankhauser, a Keystone Cop and former Mayor of Cedar Springs, commended the Festival for honoring Merlington, and said he was a phenomenal individual.  “But there are concerns that council has to address,” he noted. “Both entities can survive independently. I don’t think we need to blend the logos. Regardless, Cedar Springs will always be known as the Red Flannel Town.”

Councilor Rose Powell said it was not a logo, but a symbol of the community’s culture. “It goes beyond being a sign. Hopefully it will restore our city as the Red Flannel Town,” she said.

Councilor Perry Hopkins said he didn’t know Merlington, but thought it would be honorable to honor him. “If we could have the cease and desist removed, it would be an honorable thing to hang on the wall,” he said.

“I don’t think the division is what Ronny would want for us,” said Councilor Dan Clark. “I hope hanging this would be some type of unification.”

Red Flannel President Michele Tracy and the board was in attendance for the presentation, and so was Shirley Merlington, Ronny’s wife, and this year’s RFF Grand Marshal. Ronny was Grand Marshal in 1994.

The Cedar Springs Red Flannel committee and the Red Flannel Festival will meet Thursday evening, June 4, at 5:30 p.m., at the Creative Technologies lounge to discuss a potential Red Flannel Festival agreement.

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City and Red Flannel Festival work on agreement


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N-red-flannel-logoBy Judy Reed

Will Cedar Springs be known once again as the Red Flannel Town? If an agreement between the City and the Red Flannel Festival is approved, the City could once again use that nickname at no charge.

A City committee made up of Mayor Pro Tem Pam Conley, and Councilors Dan Clark and Molly Nixon, met with Red Flannel President Michele Tracy and her committee, to work out an agreement. The RFF lawyer then drew up the agreements that the City Council will discuss Thursday evening, May 14, for the first time.

Under the agreement, the City would trade in-kind services in order to license the various logos owned by the Festival. They would not bill the Festival for any services.

“That type of agreement—the trading of in-kind services—seemed to be the most popular way of handling this, according to the West Michigan Municipal League,” commented Clark.

Tracy is pleased with the progress they are making. “The Red Flannel Board is thrilled to have open, honest, sincere dialogue with the City Ad Hoc Committee,” she said. “Our first meeting went smoothly.”

Since the City no longer has their own police department, the Festival would need to contract for their own security, and, according to Michele Andres, they have met with Sgt. Jason Kelley, of the Kent County Sheriff Department’s Cedar Springs unit, and are waiting for an estimate.

The City will discuss the agreement tonight, Thursday, May 14.

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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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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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City needs a leader with common sense


The Cedar Springs Post welcomes letters of up to 350 words. The subject should be relevant to local readers, and the editor reserves the right to reject letters or edit for clarity, length, good taste, accuracy, and liability concerns. All submissions MUST be accompanied by full name, mailing address and daytime phone number. We use this information to verify the letter’s authenticity. We do not print anonymous letters, or acknowledge letters we do not use. Email to news@cedarspringspost.com, or send to PostScripts, Cedar Springs Post, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319.

 

_________________________________________

Dear Editor,

I have lived around the Red Flannel Town for 80 years now, and was a resident of the city around 30 years in that time span. I have no voting power now, so maybe I can look at the machinations going on more objectively.

I do not know the council members personally and Mr. Truesdale slightly. When reading his letters to the public in prior editions of the Post, my reaction? Wow! What a great thing to keep the citizens informed, regardless!

Cedar Springs needs a leader with plain old common sense. I’m not a common sense type of person, but have enough wisdom to realize that to run a successful city, business, or anything, common sense is a requisite of great value.

Mr. Truesdale would have made a very, very good Mayor. He is honest and blessed with common sense.

Council take heed of one comment in the meeting and have no more of “underhanded dealings and slipping things in at the last minute.” This is not the most ethical way of business.

There was a comment as a reason for not voting for Mr. Truesdale. The reason came from a piece of gossip: “Mr. Truesdale didn’t believe women should be on the council.” It does give one pause. That’s a good reason?

To the mayor and council members, for the good of the city, everyone stop the pettiness. Please!

 

Alice Powell, 

Solon Township

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