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Tag Archive | "red flannel"

Thank you

Thank you Gary, Linda, Rick, Amber, Chris, Kaitlyn, Beth, Voni, Jean, Joe, Tammy, Matt, Bryn, Mark, Steve and friends for all your help and hard work at the Red Flannel Town World Headquarters office. Volunteers like you are the heart of our Red Flannel Community.


Rose E. Powell

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Thank You

We buttoned down the hatches for this year of Red Flannels.

First of all I want to say thanks to the Festival Committee for choosing me this year. I was enlightened as to just how much work is done by all of you special people. The many man hours that goes into making this successful is enormous, but you did it. I think that this year’s crowds outdid themselves, wall to wall people everywhere! Wonderful! God’s blessings were upon us that warm beautiful day.

A sleek black convertible to ride in was by Ed Koehn and again thanks for the pleasure.

All the community businesses did extend to all those that came a warm welcome and they will return again. As this is the Red Flannel Town as it was when The Clipper Gals started in the 1930s and it will be forever known as that! We need all of your help to get our Red Flannels back on our street signs for all the world to see, because you people are that Red Flannel Town and we need to restore that again. I know you will put those here to support it.

I want to thank my American Legion Family also for their support of me and the Festival. May we all come together with love and prayers. Also thanks to my great family for all their help!


Mary Goller Kilts, Grand Marshall 2013

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Red Flannel Warmth

By Ranger Steve Mueller


Amazing methods for surviving cold weather abound in nature. Cedar Springs became famous by spreading warm red flannels around the world. Humans are not endowed with adaptations for cold climates. Fortunately we have devised many ways to create a tropical climate around our bodies. Homes are heated to tropical temperatures. We clothe to hold heat between clothing and skin so a tropical environment exist in that narrow space even when we venture into freezing outdoor temperatures.

Mammals are changing summer coats to winter coats. Their underfur thickens in fall but it is not waterproof. Outer guard hairs have oils that repel water. The number of hairs in underfur increases producing dead air space to hold warm air near the body. Opossums do not produce a thick under underfur and they become vulnerable to killing cold. There tails are especially are at risk for frostbite.

Birds produce insulating down feathers for winter and those are protected from getting wet by contour feathers that we see covering the body. At the base of the bird’s tail is an uropygial or preening gland that produces an oily substance the bird retrieves with its bill to spread on contour feathers. This water repellant keeps feathers dry in wet weather. Ducks as well as songbirds use the oil to prevent down feathers from becoming waterlogged and losing the ability to provide warm dead air space.

Insects have a variety of adaptations to maintain populations until summer. Most wasps freeze to death after the first few hard frosts but the queen leaves the nest and finds a log to crawl under or some other protected place. There she survives the winter to begin a new colony in the spring.

Viceroy butterflies lay eggs that hatch in late summer and the tiny caterpillars use silk to attach a willow leaf to a branch. The caterpillar hibernates hidden and suspended in the curled leaf until spring. Woolly Bear Caterpillars are seen walking about on warm fall days. They hibernate in secluded locations like leaf litter until spring conditions warm to encourage plant growth. The caterpillar in spring continues feeding and development. A white winged Woolly Bear moth will emerge from the pupa in summer to begin the cycle anew. Many aquatic insects, like dragonflies, winter as larvae in streams with the some adult dragonflies, like darners, migrating south.

June beetle grubs burrow into ground to get below frost line. In 1985 our dog, Ody Brook, died and we buried him in January. Yes, Ody Brook Nature Sanctuary is named after him in 1979. A fire was built with a reflector to direct heat downward to thaw the ground. It was a cold winter and the frost line was deep. We dug the grave and found a large white June beetle grub four feet deep at the bottom of the grave. Had the beetle only dug three feet deep, it would have frozen.

Trees do not maintain heat to survive winter but have special nature niche adaptations. They remove most of the water from cells to prevent cells from bursting when water freezes. If the cells kept water, it would expand and rupture tissues killing them. Trees must maintain their trunks and branches so they move water to roots and that protects from frost damage. The antifreeze nature of rich sugar water prevents freezing. Desiccation in winter can kill tissues. Bud scales help prevent bud tissue drying by covering delicate tissues that wait for spring. The above ground portion of herbaceous perennial plants dies but living tissue survives in the ground. New spring growth arises from underground tissues. Annuals die except for the seed that carries new life to spring. Wear red flannels and survive until spring.

Natural history questions or topic suggestions can be directed to Ranger Steve (Mueller) at the odybrook@chartermi.net Ody Brook, 13010 Northland Dr, Cedar Springs, MI 49319-8433.


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Let’s call it a wash

To the Editor,
I’m just wondering…. Why doesn’t the City of Cedar Springs and the Red Flannel Festival just call it “a wash”?  The Festival should contribute to the City by allowing the use of the Red Flannel logo because the City is promoting the Festival. The City should contribute to the Festival by providing the services of the Department of Public works and the Police Department because the Festival is promoting the City.

Instead, both are contributing to the legal system, which, financially, may or may not be comparable to the amount of money in contention.

In the words of Rodney King, “Can’t we all… just…get along?”

Dorothy Bishop
Former Chair of the Red Flannel Festival      

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A suggestion about Red Flannel expenses

Dear Editor,

The Grand Rapids Press, Thursday, April 12, on page A6, in an article about a Cinco de Mayo event, states the Grand Rapids Downtown Development Authority is allowing designated streets to be blocked off, and also the Downtown Development Authority approved $7,000 in assistance.

I wonder if the Cedar Springs Downtown Development Authority might provide assistance to help finance Red Flannel expenses?

Very truly yours,

Lyle Perry Jr.

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An idea to raise funds for Red Flannel Day

From the editor

We’ve been getting comments on the story we ran last week “Festival proposed city pay to use trademark.” Below we are printing a letter we received, and a few samples of comments from our website and our Facebook page. Please visit those sites at www.cedarspringspost.com and www.facebook.com/cedarspringspost to read all the comments, or post some of your own. You can also email us at news@cedarspringspost.com.


An idea to raise funds for Red Flannel Day


Dear Editor,

One idea about gaining money  to support Red Flannel Day could be a Booster Club. The Cedar Springs Red Flannel Day Boosters Club, an independent club composed of our citizens, and one ex-officio member from the City Council and one ex-officio member from the RFF.

We have many public-spirited folks in the Cedar Springs community. A concerned, dedicated leader of the Boosters, with the help of the Boosters committee, could create programs to earn money specifically for Red Flannel Day expenses.

Very truly yours, 

Lyle Perry, Jr


Some online comments 

I was intrigued by Ms. Andres’ statement, “is it the city or the festival?” This is not an either-or, but a both-and. Without the City’s support, there would be no Red Flannel Festival; without the Red Flannel Festival, the City wouldn’t have a signature event.

The City made a decision based on budgetary constraints, and donors stepped up to cover the RFF’s deficit. This is probably what should continue. A true win-win for everyone.

Craig Owens, Cedar Springs


I’m pretty sure that Red Flannel weekend brings the most business in one weekend than any other weekend of the year.

Benjamin Knapp


This has everything to do with the relationship between the committee and the City Manager. As the article says…it’s been a cooperation in the past. The only reason it isn’t is because the CM sprang on the RFF charging them for city services.

I do think the RFF needs to be knocked down a peg or 2. They think they run the town. I think it’s time for “Cedar-fest,” move it up a month for nicer weather and tell the RFF we’re no longer interested. It will be hard to protect that precious logo without income.

William Wheeler


I think this is very irritating of the RFF to do. Amazing how the amount is exactly the same as the cuts last year. As a society we’ve all had to endure cuts. They should not be immune, and the residents should own the TM not the committee. I as a resident would not want to profit off of history. The TM is synonymous with the city of Cedar Springs. Let’s keep politics out of the underwear!!

Katie Griffard Kangas


I am fine paying a little more in taxes to support our festival. Every year it brings in revenue to our local business, and that is worth supporting. The festival really just needs the city to cover the police and DPW workers, they are not trying to make a profit off any of us.

Molly Nixon


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Red Flannel Festival adds new events

Steve and Lisa Corbett, of Courtland Township, and kids Mike, 10, and Shannon, 13, are ready and rarin’ to go to the next Red Flannel Day. According to Lisa, Steve likes to wear his Red Flannels that day. Perhaps he’ll be part of the new Red Flannel flash mob, one of the new events taking place this year.

The Red Flannel Festival will provide some fresh new events for its 73rd annual festival, titled “Deeply rooted in tradition.”

New this year is the Michigan Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial Wall. “The addition of the Memorial Wall enhances the tradition the Festival has in honoring Veterans,” said Red Flannel Festival President Michele Tracy-Andres. Annually, the Flap Jack Breakfast profits are donated from the Brown Family to the City for the Veteran’s Memorial Park via the Festival Community Share Program.

The Red Flannel Flash Mob is another new event this year. Organized by Social Media (Twitter, You Tube, Facebook) and mobile phone texting, a flash mob is a group of people who assemble in a public place for a brief time to perform a song then disperse.

Andres said that the new Firefighter Parade that debuted last year was a phenomenal hit and will be back again this year as an annual tradition.

The American Lumberjack Show is back this year with an entertaining display of old-fashioned lumberjack skills, replacing the Fireworks Show. A new Euchre tournament will be held at the Grand Lodge, along with last year’s Cornhole tournament.

“Of course, all of the traditional events are still in place,” said Andres. “The Queen Scholarship Pageant, Car & Tractor Shows, Museum Open House, Chili Cook Off, Bed Races and Grand Parade are wonderful “deeply rooted” traditions!” For a full schedule of events, or to download event applications, visit www.redflannelfestival.org. The Festival takes place each year the last weekend in September and the first weekend in October, with the grand parade and main events taking place on Red Flannel Day, the first Saturday in October.


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Library almost halfway to matching grant


After the all-you-can-eat spaghetti dinner fundraiser at Big Boy Restaurant last Thursday night, the library now has almost $23,000 towards the $50,000 matching grant. They raised $5,551 between the dinner and the tips.

“It was a great evening,” said Library Director Donna Clark. “We’re having fun and that’s important.”

Several door prizes were given away, including a Red Flannel town license plate, license plate frame, pies, books, and other items.

The next Big Boy fundraiser will be a taco bar in April.


Come out this Saturday, February 25 and enjoy some fun at the Old Time Family Hockey and Broomball tournament, at the Cedar Rock Sports Plex, 4758 Cornfield Drive, just off Northland Drive. The fun starts at noon, when the Cedar Springs Police take on Kent County Law Enforcement. At 2 p.m. see the Dewey Decimals vs the Book Ends. At 3:30 p.m. it’s time for broomball with the Bureaucrats vs. the Guns and Hoses, and more broomball at 5 p.m. with the Cedar Springs High School Co-ed game. At 6 p.m. is open skate.

There will be door prizes, a shoot-out competition, and chuck-a-puck competition

You can either buy a shirt to support your team for $18 and get in free, or pay $5 at the door.  Some shirts will be available the day of the event at the door. You can see them online at the City of Cedar Springs Facebook page, or call Cedar Springs City Hall (696-1330) for more information. Red Flannel Town license plates and frames will also be available for sale, with plates $12 and frames for $18.


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Joe Watson named 2012 Grand Marshal

Joe Watson and his wife Florence.

The Red Flannel Festival Board of Directors proudly named Cedar Springs resident Joe Watson, Sr. as the 2012 Grand Marshal for the 73rd Annual Celebration, to be held on Saturday, October 6, 2012.

Watson, 77, moved to Cedar Springs in 1963. He was raised in Virginia, and served in the military in North Carolina before moving here. He and his wife, Florence, have been married 54 years and raised five children: Jedonne, Joseph Jr., Charlie, Kelli and Merri. All graduated from Cedar Springs High School.

“The Festival is extremely proud and thankful for the many years of Mr. Watson’s outstanding dedication to the entire Cedar Springs community,” said Michele Tracy-Andres, President of the Festival. “His outstanding community service in several organizations is very impressive and exactly what we look for in a Red Flannel Festival Grand Marshal. It’s very obvious Joe loves Cedar Springs and especially the Red Flannel Festival! The Red Flannel Town is a better place because of Joe’s involvement.”

Watson has been a leader in the community, volunteering his time to several organizations coaching youth sports and was one of the founding members of the Cedar Springs Athletic Association (created for youth athletics) prior to the formation of the Athletic Boosters. He supported the Festival for several years with his dedicated service as a Keystone Kop and Grand Parade Organizer.

Watson said he is excited to serve and honored to be chosen. “I think it’s a nice gesture,” he remarked. “I was very surprised.”

Mr. Watson and his wife Florence will reign over the two weekends of the 15th oldest Festival in the state of Michigan, sharing the Red Flannel warmth of our community to visitors and residents.

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Red Flannel results

We had beautiful weather for the first weekend of Red Flannel Festival 2011! There were lots of contests and activities going on, and listed below are some of the results.

5K run

Overall male winner was Brandon Smith, 31, with a time of 17:16.46.
Overall female winner was Cindy Kikkert-Penning, 45, at 20:42.09.
The first place team was Things 1 with a time of 1:37:04:00.
Visit www.playmakers.com/11results/11redFlannel.htm for all other 5K results.

The Post races to save the princess.

This princess could use a shave and a leg wax.


Taking first was Choice One Bank and winning best theme was Independent Bank (the judges must have liked Todd Hanson in a skirt). The Keystone Kops were there with their usual hijinks, and The Post will be doing an investigation on police corruption within their ranks, after seeing them not only hide the key to the castle, but instigating bystanders to jump on the beds, which slowed contestants down.


Taking first place was Mike Milanowski & Team Westside with Westside Chili.

Chili cook-off



The Chili Cookoff had 14 contestants, and Rand Ruwersma, Festival First VP, said ten were turned away. “We’re anticipating having a large tent next year to accommodate an even larger group next year,” said Rand. Taking first place was Mike Milanowski & Team Westside with Westside Chili.


Children’s  parade

The Children’s Parade had over 200 participants, a record! The local  4H Club, led by Cindy Karafa, was there with a fantastic petting zoo and Freddy the Clown was on hand for balloon animals and saxophone songs! Meghan Andres, Liz Tracy and Julie Tompkins distributed over 200 Fire Safety goody bags for the kids, and provided free refreshments.


The horseshoe contest, an original Red Flannel event, took place next to Cedar Pub. Taking first was Wally Ewing and Harv Dumond.

Basketball shootout

No info was available at press time on the winners for the basketball shootout.

For complete results, visit redflannelfestival.org/wp/media/festival-news/.



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Red Flannel prince and princess

Princess Penelope Belk and Prince Diego Caballero.

Excitement filled the air at the Kent Theatre last Wednesday night, September 21, when kindergarteners and their families gathered to see who would be this year’s Red Flannel Prince and Princess.  “It is our biggest turn-out yet”, said Angie Slagter, chairperson. “I was excited to see more of our youth participating than in years past, it made for a very entertaining evening.”
The prince and princess are chosen through a random drawing of ticket entries.
Prince Diego Caballero, son of Schalese and Alvin Caballero, stood tall while being crowned and Princess Penelope Belk, daughter of Krystle and David Belk, looked gorgeous as she was crowned.  It was a magical night for these two and they have made their debut at the Queen’s pageant and will be in the Grand Parade on Saturday, and are hoping all other contestants will join them.


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Prince and Princess contest next week

Shown here is the 2010 prince and princess Dylan Dine-Winchel and Alayna Cook. Photo by L. VanderLaan.

The annual Red Flannel Prince and Princess contest will take place next Wednesday, September 21, at the historic Kent Theatre in downtown Cedar Springs at 6:30 p.m. Come on out and see the littlest Red Flannel royalty get crowned!

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