Summerfest draws a crowd to downtown

Lillian Davis, of Big Rapids, has a heart painted on her cheek during Saturday’s Summerfest in downtown Big Rapids. (Pioneer photo/Brandon Fountain)

BIG RAPIDS — David Stricker grew up in Big Rapids and remembers a time when the downtown wasn’t as lively or vibrant as it is today.

Despite the threat of rain, Stricker and his kids were bustling around the several booths and other activities as part of Saturday afternoon’s festivities during the Big Rapids Summerfest.

David and Colton Stricker give their best efforts at the U.S. Marine Corps booth at Summerfest.

“This is wonderful to see so many people downtown,” said Stricker, whose wife is holding the grand reopening of The Pie Hole, was with his kids at the U.S. Marine Corps booth testing their strength. “We decided to come on down and check everything out here.”

Stricker and his son Colton challenged themselves, before hitting the pull-ups bar.

“There was a time when the downtown wasn’t that great,” he said. “You can tell all the businesses are putting an effort into bringing it back to something great.”

Stricker and his children joined hundreds of other area residents, families and Ferris State University students in the variety of festivities for an afternoon of fun, hosted by the Big Rapids Downtown Business Association and sponsored by several area businesses and organizations.

From Ferris softball players challenging young and old to “throw like a girl” to circus performers showcasing their skills, families also were able to learn about local organizations at informational booths, share their talents with the open mic at Quinn’s Music or listen to live music at Pocket Park.

A classic car show show filled the north side of Michigan Avenue, while Ferris athletes and supporters were out in droves, to take part in the Top Dawg sports contest and Where’s Brutus hunt.

Gathered around the inflatable basketball hoops, Hunter Schmelz and his family were busy taking their turns.

“This is something fun to do,” he said, after taking his turn tossing a few basketballs.

Attending other downtown events whenever they can, they said they enjoy the when they can spend time having fun as a family.

Ferris State University’s softball team tested others to “throw like a girl” during Saturday’s Summerfest. (Pioneer photo/Brandon Fountain)

 

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Posted by Brandon Fountain

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