Out and About – Week of August 30th

“There’s nothing to do in the Three Rivers area”. As I get Out and About, I hear this phrase more than I’d like. It’s simply not true. There’s plenty to do if you know where to look. Granted, you may have to check this newspaper or listen to the local radio station. If you do so, you’ll discover that there is indeed something for everyone, and in a lot of cases, it’s free, or very inexpensive. Please read on, if you will.

This past weekend, there was a recital at the Riviera Theatre in historic downtown Three Rivers. The participants were all members of the Three Rivers High School Vocal Music Department. The recital lasted about two hours and featured many talented students. Some were veterans of performing on stage, in front of an audience. Some had never performed in public before. My wife and I enjoyed each performer and were reminded of just how much talent exists here in the Three Rivers area. Kudos go to each of the people who had the courage to get up on that stage and sing. Accolades also go to Danielle and her staff at the Riviera for providing the venue at no cost. This was a fundraiser for the Vocal Music Department, so those attending could make a donation to a very worthy cause. Did I mention that admission to the Riviera was FREE?

Because this past Saturday was the last Saturday of the month, the Spirit Rhythms Coffee House, inside St. John’s Lutheran Church on Buckhorn Road, north of Three Rivers, hosted an evening’s worth of entertainment featuring The Gratitude Steel Band. The band out of Rochester Hills, Michigan entertained an audience of about twenty people for a little over two hours. I was even lucky enough to join the group and play a steel drum. I think I’d better stick to writing this column and driving a bus. Oh yes, delicious desserts and fair trade coffee and tea were available for purchase, but the concert itself was FREE. Prior to the concert, there was a fundraising dinner held at St. John’s for Spirit Rhythms. A more delicious meal would be hard to find. Of course the meal wasn’t free, because it was a fundraiser. The only unfortunate thing about the entire evening was that attendance at the dinner was minimal to say the least.

Next Sunday afternoon, September 5, from 1 until around 11 P.M., HarmonyFest takes over the downtown business district in Three Rivers. Main Street from Portage Avenue to Michigan Avenue will be filled with lawn chairs, picnic tables and lovers of good music. Countless entertainers will perform from the stage at Main Street and Michigan Avenue. Music lovers will clap their hands, sing along, and dance together to the music being played. This is an annual event that is held the Sunday before Labor Day. It is a celebration of the universal language called “Music”. Oh yes, this event is also FREE.

The Three Rivers Community Players present about four or five shows a year at the Players’ Theatre on Millard Road, just behind Dairy Queen. The productions are as good as, if not better than, any production you’ll find in the Kalamazoo area. Are they FREE? No, they aren’t, but if you’d like to see them for free, all you have to do is volunteer to usher, work the box office, or be a part of the backstage crew. If you’ve never volunteered for a theatre group, you have no idea of the fun you can have giving of your precious spare time.

I’ve also heard people say that they didn’t hear about an event that was about to happen. You have two options to choose from. You can purchase this newspaper, which sells for 50 cents at any newsstand, or you can listen to WLKM-FM, which is located at 95.9 on your FM dial. The Community Calendar is broadcast three times a day, seven days a week on WLKM.

It’s difficult to find anything free in this world. Even freedom was paid for by someone who paid the ultimate price. Next time you see an Armed Forces Veteran, thank her/him for the freedom you enjoy.

See you Out and About!

Submitted by Norm Stutesman

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