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Harvest Fest takes over Rockford

Harvest Fest takes over Rockford

ROCKFORD, Mich.-  Rockford is buzzing this weekend as Harvest Fest 2013 gets underway.

“Heritage Weekend” runs September 27, 28 and 29 throughout the city.  On Saturday, visitors can build scarecrows, watch puppet shows, shop for art, check out antique tractors and classic cars and sample a variety of foods, from chili to barbeque. A Delorean will also be on display before a free showing of “Back to the Future” at dusk.

Harvest Fest 2013 returns October 5 and 6 with “Family Fun Weekend.”  Families can shop for used books, sample smokehouse meats and root beer, check out a petting zoo, jump on a pony for a ride, shop for art and compete in contests.  A free showing of “Epic” will take place at dusk on Saturday, October 5.  

Former school site to be transformed into new neighborhood

Former school site to be transformed into new neighborhood

SPARTA, Mich.—  What was once home to Sparta’s Central School will soon be transformed into a new neighborhood.

Rockford-based Sable Homes will break ground on “Central Town Square” at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, October 2. The development’s name is derived from the former Central School.  The 20-home neighborhood will be located along North Union, between Grove and Alma. 

Construction on Central Town Square is expected to create more than 60 temporary jobs.  Crews will begin by building three new homes immediately.

Auction September 28 to transform courthouse into museum

Auction September 28 to transform courthouse into museum

ROCKFORD, Mich.— Organizers are hoping for a bidding frenzy Saturday as the Rockford Area Historical Society holds a silent auction to help pay for the new Rockford Area Museum.

Bidding in the silent auction will begin at 10 a.m. at Rockford City Hall.  A live auction will kick off at 1 p.m. under a tent in the City Hall parking lot.  The entire event is expected to wrap up by 3 p.m. 

Organizer of Christian music summer concert series hopes to expand next year

Organizer of Christian music summer concert series hopes to expand next year

ROCKFORD, Mich.-- "The old adage, 'You build it - they will come' is spot-on when describing the huge success of Rockford's 2013 Praise in the Park summer concert series," said Rockford city council member Steve Jazwiec during the September Rockford City Council meeting.

Jazwiec was responding to a recap presentation by former Rockford city council member Rich Moll, who organized Praise in the Park. 

The event is staged in the beautiful confines of Garden Club Park adjacent to the Rogue River and the iconic Rogue River Dam every summer Sunday evening, from June through August. Praise in the Park, in its second season, has seen attendance grow week after week.

'Rock City BMX' track to take shape in Plainfield Township

'Rock City BMX' track to take shape in Plainfield Township

PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich.—A new BMX track in Plainfield Township will begin taking shape as early as next week.

Township Superintendent Cameron Van Wyngarden says on September 3, the Plainfield Township Board unanimously approved plans for West Michigan BMX’s new track, dubbed "Rock City BMX".  The track will sit on approximately 2.5 acres located within 10 Mile Park, adjacent to the Art Van Sports Complex.   

Van Wyngarden says West Michigan BMX plans to begin sculpting the track next week before bringing in a professional track designer around September 23.West Michigan BMX would like to finish most of the work on the track this fall so it will be operational by spring 2014.  

Sable Homes to build 20 new homes to help spur Sparta's economy

Sable Homes to build 20 new homes to help spur Sparta's economy

SPARTA, Mich. Rockford-based Sable Homes announced Thursday that construction on their newest development will begin in late September.

The land, located in the Village of Sparta near the intersection of North State and East Division, will feature 20 homes, along with a new model and housing design center which will help continue the economic growth in downtown Sparta. 

“Recently, Sparta has seen substantial growth in the residential, commercial and industrial sectors,” said John Bitely, president of Sable Homes. “We want to help stimulate this growth by bringing families downtown and boosting the village economy.”

Sable Homes reached out to the community via Facebook and Twitter to solicit help naming its new development opening in downtown Sparta.

City commission to consider Ford statue installation project

City commission to consider Ford statue installation project

EAST GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.— The East Grand Rapids City Commission is expected to vote on proposed landscape renovations to the plaza that will soon feature a bronze statue of President Gerald R. Ford.

The proposed project would costs about $15,895 and take place right outside the East Grand Rapids Community Center.  It would include replacing portions of concrete with clay pavers, adding a spotlight to the existing streetlight to highlight the statue, and adding a base for the artwork.

The city previously commissioned Mike Smith and Associates for the work, which will be paid for through the general fund.

The city commission will weigh in on the proposed project estimates during its regular meeting September 3.

City Manager Brian Donovan says he hopes to have the artwork installed by fall 2013.