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Celebrate the Macatawa Watershed with WaterFest

HOLLAND, Mich.—Come celebrate the Macatawa Watershed during WaterFest August 6 through August 24.

The festival’s main event is a 5k family fun run August 17.  Participants can also check out a variety of exhibits and vendors, try out fishing and kayaking, and see the creatures living along the Macatawa Greenway and throughout the watershed.

WaterFest is meant to raise awareness of the Macatawa Watershed and improve its water quality. For the full schedule of events, click here. 

Hooves get heartbeats racing during Wolverine Futurity July 23

Hooves get heartbeats racing during Wolverine Futurity July 23

HOLLAND, Mich.— Race horses will fill the Ottawa County Fairgrounds Tuesday, July 23 as the Wolverine Futurity harness races return to Holland.

The participating racehorses are competing for nearly $100,000.  Race enthusiasts can also enter a pick the winner contest for a chance at $50.

Besides watching the races, visitors can meet a Spartan. Brian Nielsen, professor of equine exercise physiology at Michigan State University, will dress up as a Spartan gladiator and take the reins of a specially designed chariot.  Children can also meet and take pictures with “Happy Horse.”

The opening flag raising ceremony starts at 6:45 p.m.; the races should start around 7 p.m. Tuesday’s grandstand admission is $5 for adults, $2 for children ages 3-12, and free for children ages three and under. The first 500 paid guests will get a complimentary visor.

Libraries offer free passes to state parks

Libraries offer free passes to state parks

Now’s your chance to enjoy the “MI Big Green Gym” by picking up free state park passes at your local library.

The Michigan Recreation and Parks Association is teaming up with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan to offer free passes, allowing visitors to experience free recreation  programs many of the parks offer.

CPHS Performing Arts and Athletic Center nears completion

CPHS Performing Arts and Athletic Center nears completion

COMSTOCK PARK, Mich.—Comstock Park High School’s Performing Arts and Athletic Center is nearing completion.

Superintendent Ethan Ebenstein says construction on the facility’s exterior should be finished this summer.  The center is scheduled to open this fall.

Ebenstein says the facility, designed by GMB A&E out of Holland, is a hybrid of an auditorium and gymnasium. It features a full-size stage and retractable theater-style seating for approximately 700 people, but with the added functionality of a full-size gym with a parquet wood floor.   The new facility also contains two locker rooms, a trainer’s office, a lab, a school store and a large lobby.

Herman Miller volunteers install play structures in Fillmore Discovery Park

HOLLAND, Mich.—Fillmore Discovery Park’s second construction phase is over.

More than 200 volunteers from Herman Miller helped build park playscapes in May. The new playscapes are made out of natural materials like logs, sand and living trees.  The project was funded by a grant from the Natural Learning Initiative.

According to Macatawa Greenway, children who spend time in nature have been shown to have less attention problems in school and score higher on standardized tests.

 Fillmore Discovery Park is located at 5733 142nd Ave., on Macatawa Greenway’s nature preserve.  The park features a stocked community fishing pond and family picnic areas, and is free to the public.

'Gran Fondo' in West Michigan Saturday, June 29

'Gran Fondo' in West Michigan Saturday, June 29

There will be some “Gran Fondo” in West Michigan this Saturday, June 29.

Roughly 1,500 cyclists have registered to ride in the inaugural Gran Fondo, which will benefit skin cancer research by the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. Participants are coming from Canada and 15 states, including Oregon.

 Riders will choose between three courses spanning 12 miles, 40 miles and 80 miles. The 80-mile route takes cyclists through the Grand River Valley, which cuts through My Town Grand Rapids Central, My Town Walker, My Town Grandville and My Town Coopersville.  They’ll turn around near Lake Michigan at North Ottawa Beach.

Children invited to ride with Griff as part of inaugural criterium June 28

Children invited to ride with Griff as part of inaugural criterium June 28

ZEELAND, Mich.—Families are invited to watch Zeeland’s first twilight Criterium Friday, June 28th.

A critierium is a bike race on a short, closed-circuit course where riders complete multuple laps.  Participants will race for a specific length of time then complete a specific number of laps. 

The race course for the “2BContinued Zeeland Criterium” is a one mile loop through historic downtown.  The award ceremony will take place at the southeast corner of Main and Church streets immediately following each race.

Zeeland’s inaugural twilight crit begins at 6 p.m., when kids can ride for free with Griff from the Grand Rapids Griffins.  Helmets are required.  Each child will receive a ribbon.

Professional cyclists can register for the crit up to 30 minutes before the race. Registration is $55 for the first race and $40 for a second race.