Out and About – Week of June 10th

If you had placed a wager as to whether or not I’d mention the Water Festival this week, and said that I wouldn’t even mention the parade, you would have lost the bet. Water Festival is probably the biggest event of the year for those living in Wildcat country. It used to be called “Water Carnival”, but because of all the food and other events taking place during the three-day period, it has become more of a festival than just a carnival. From the food of the Ox Roast, the downtown classic car show, activities for the kids, main stage entertainment and of course, the fireworks finale, there’s something for everyone. We have it all, and most of the activities are FREE.

The Thursday evening parade starts the festival off in a grand way. Step-off time is 7 PM from the intersection of West Michigan Avenue and Douglas Avenue. It moves east on Michigan Avenue, turning left at Michigan Avenue and Main Street, where it will move north and end at North Main and Armitage Street. I strongly advise parents to monitor their children and make sure they stay on the curb and out of the street. The parade participants will come to them when it comes to passing out candy and other treats. Having a child hurt by getting too close to a fire truck or float can put a big damper on the fun that goes along with a parade. One final thing from my soapbox would be to mention how patriotic it is to stand and recognize the flag of the United States of America when it passes by. It’s just the right thing to do.

There isn’t too much we can do about the weather, but we can plan ahead just in case. When it comes to the parade, if we have light sprinkles or heavy dew, the parade will happen on Thursday. If there is the threat of thunderstorms and heavy rain, the parade will be postponed to Friday evening at 7PM. As of this writing, it looks as though Mother Nature will cooperate.

A lot of people have put in countless hours to make Water Festival happen. If you happen to see these volunteers, thank them for helping to put this annual event together. They do it out of love for the Three Rivers community.

In years past, we have been privileged to have the Kalamazoo Concert Band entertain us with a FREE concert in the park. This year, the concert will be a part of our Water Festival activities. The concert will take place at Scidmore Park on Saturday, June 15, beginning at 4 PM. Donations will be accepted to cover band travel expenses. This is another one of those times when, if you’ve never been entertained by the Kalamazoo Concert Band, this is the perfect opportunity.

I enjoy stopping by the Carnegie Center for the Arts from time to time. Most of the time, it’s to speak with Center Director Donna Grubbs, but before I leave, I always try to check out the art gallery to see what’s new as far as exhibits are concerned. There’s always something that catches my eye, and I wish that I had a least some artistic talent, but it was not meant to be. Did I mention that there is no admission fee at the Carnegie?

There also is no admission fee at the Three Rivers Community Center. If you don’t have a chance to visit the Carnegie Center, you might want to visit the TR Community Center, where they are currently displaying the works of art of Don and Deb Eiswald. The Eiswalds are both award-winning artists with their studios and gallery located in Constantine.

I must admit that I enjoy watching television. I can’t say much about the quality of what’s available anymore, but if I look hard enough, I can still find reruns of M*A*S*H. If you’re like me and are also concerned about saving a buck or two on the electric bill, you might be interested in knowing that you can save money by adjusting the brightness on your new HDTV. Many are shipped set at “retail mode” for optimum picture clarity in a showroom. Check your TV’s setup menu and look for “home mode” or some other way to tune down the brightness. If money is no object, don’t bother.

See you Out and About at the 57th Annual Water Festival.

Submitted by Norm Stutesman

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