Brethren Days kicks off Friday

The Ramblin' Band performs during last year's Brethren Days celebration. (News Advocate file photo)

BRETHREN — For the past 42 years people have been coming every Labor Day Weekend to the Dickson Township Park to celebrate the very popular Brethren Days event.

Organizers have put together another great event this year that features plenty of fun, food and music. There is something for all age groups, and it is the perfect way to bring the unofficial end to the summer season.

All the action begins on Friday evening when the Golf Shoot on Lake Elinor takes place between 4 and 6 p.m. It is an event that will run again on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

One of the many popular annual events of Brethren Days is the horse pull competition that will be taking place this year at 6 p.m. on Friday evening. It will be held at North Park at Lake Elinor, and will be hosted by the Dickson Township Fire Department.

The fun starts bright and early on Saturday morning with the softball tournament that will be running throughout the day and again on Sunday in the Dickson Township Park. It will feature some very outstanding teams competing in slow-pitch softball.

Early morning sports events will be in high gear around the Brethren area on Saturday. The Highbridge Hustle 5K run or walk starts at 9 a.m. at the Brethren High School.

The Dickson Township Park comes to life at 10 a.m. with kids games and an arts and crafts show. At the same time an open house will take place at the Brethren Museum located at the corner of Cart and Amick streets and run until 5 p.m. that day. It will also take place from noon until 5 p.m. on Sunday.

The Conservatory of Dance will be putting on a performance for everyone to enjoy at the DicksonTownship Park at 11 a.m. It will feature the skills of some talented young dancers.

The opportunity to learn more about the history of Brethren and the Dickson Township area in general will present itself between the hours of 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturday, and again from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday. People will have the chance to learn about first families to the area and Christmas past.

An event that no one will want to miss is the Cardboard Boat Race that starts with registration at 11 a.m. A boat show will follow at 11:30 a.m. and the races will be held at noon.

Music fills the air in the park for the first time starting at noon when the Eileen Hawkins band will perform. They will be playing until 4 p.m. and it is sponsored by the Traks Bar and Grill and Gentz Forest Products.

The clang of a ringer will also be heard in the park with the Brethren Days Horseshoe Tournament. Registration will start at noon and the actual tournament will begin at 1 p.m.

All motorcycle enthusiasts will not want to miss a poker run that starts with the registration in the park at 11 a.m. The ride starts at noon and there is a fee to take part in the event.

Members of the fire department will be holding a waterball competition starting at 2 p.m. and the rest of the night will feature music. The acoustic sounds of Steve Asiala will be from 4 to 6 p.m. That will be followed from 6 to 8 p.m. with DJ to the Macks as Joel Mackey will play the music.

From 8 p.m. until 1 a.m. the sounds of the variety band Onager and at dusk the skies over Lake Elinor will be filled with fireworks.

Sunday starts with a community church service at 10 a.m. in the gazebo. The public is invited to join in this community worship service.

People can stay right in the park to enjoy their Sunday meal after the service with the annual chicken dinner. It will take place between noon and 3 p.m. or until 300 chicken dinners have been sold. Those dining can also enjoy the musical sounds of The Nephews featuring Tim and Byron Joseph.

The Carrol Swayze Gallery across from the park will be the location of a cornhole tournament. It will run between noon and 5 p.m. and this is a fun game where competitors toss a bag filled with corn toward a board with a hole in it. There is an entry fee for the tournament.

People who enjoy cars will not want to miss the All Corvette Show that takes place at 3 p.m. at Brethren High School. If they miss that event they will get the opportunity to see those cars in the Grand Parade that takes place at 4 p.m.

Music continues to fill the park throughout Sunday afternoon with Larry Bialik and the Ramblin’ Band playing from 4 to 8 p.m. and they will be followed up by Powerplay from 8 p.m. until 1 a.m.




Posted by Ken Grabowski

Ken is News Advocate’s education reporter. He coordinates coverage for all Manistee County schools and West Shore Community College. He can be reached by phone at (231) 398-3125 or by email at

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