It was a picture perfect day for a boat race on the beautiful banks of Bear Lake in North Muskegon.  August 10th saw the Cardboard Boat Regatta brought to you by J. Nedeau Realtor.  We were contacted months ago about the idea of being part of a build your own boat event as part of the North Muskegon Family Funfest.  We jumped at the chance because who doesn't love a tired and true event where a little innovation and some willingness to sink or swim can prove to be a pretty good time! north mkgCity of North Muskegon Online

It started off with a boat show at the beverage tent!  Competitors lined their boats up for the Peoples Choice Awards.  Not all of the boats were present, but a nice showing none the less while Yard Sale Underwear rocked the crowd.  Some boats had yet to even be built....so....that's another story.  Teams arrived, rules were set and we took a few minutes to meet up with the competitors, talk a little strategy and smack and then get ready meet up on the beautiful shores of Bear Lake.

We've put it all together in a little video that you'll have some fun watching.  Take a look at the Cardboard Boat Regatta sponsored by J. Nedeau Realtor at the North Muskegon Family Funfest.

 

 

 

 

The City of North Muskegon is filled with friendly and awesome people who really know how to put on a great time.  Events from the Art Fair, to the Taste of North Muskegon...the Foam Pit looked like a great time...the Beverage Tent the massive parade and more...the North Muskegon Family Fun Fest is a staple of our area when it comes to Summer fun.  Our thanks to the teams, the spectators, J. Nedeau Realtor and everyone involved in the fun!  We hope you enjoyed the recap of the Cardboard Boat Regatta!

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Summer is still in full swing. Even with schools starting early there is still so much for you to pack in before that first day back. Thursday August 8th North Muskegon will be kicking off there Northside Family Fun Fest with a Parade starting at 7:30pm. The parade will begin at Fleming St. head down Ruddiman dr. and end on Charles St. You will not want to miss this one because there will be over 100 entries.
 
Make sure not to make plans for Friday night on August 9th because you are not going to want to miss all of the yummy food that the Taste of Northside will have to offer. Not to mention there will be a beer tent, Live music (Yard Sale Underwear), pony rides, a car display and so much more.
 
The fun continues Saturday August 10th with the art fair in Walker Park from 9am-4pm. Along with the Art Fair, Walker Park with also be holding the kid’s expo, candy scramble and a Frozen Yogurt Eating Contest that is being sponsored by Yodels Frozen Yogurt. The festivities continue through the day with so many more fun activities for the whole family to enjoy including the nightcap with the fireworks at dusk over Bear Lake Beach.
 
 
For a full List of the events, activities and times throughout the whole Northside Family Fun Fest you can visit the links below.
 
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It was an awesome night in Downtown Muskegon!  The Frauenthal Center seemed to be the focal point with the US Coast Guard Band playing a huge and patriotic concert upstairs and Muskegon Tonight Live happening in the lower level of the building at the delicious and intimate setting of the Smash Wine Bar and Bistro!

Sure the July episode happened on the 1st of August, but July is a very busy month in Muskegon...so to have an extra week to exhale with all the July events going on didn't seem to matter to anyone. 

We talked about the Muskegon County Veterans millage that's up for renewal with Michael Baauw.  How they manage to provide more services to our veterans with less money than bigger counties and how the amount of the millage has not gone up in 25 years.  We also had some fun talking about the Burning Foot Beer Festival coming up at Pere Marquette in August, Allen Serio is the event director and came by with some free tickets and the North Muskegon Family Fun Fest is coming up quick!  North Muskegon City Clerk Lee Ann Clausen come on to talk about the events and fun for everyone!

Here's the show in it's entirety if you missed it!  We had a great crowd and a great time!

 

 

It was all done in an hour! (We're known to run over a little) We can't thank our guests enough and Smash is an awesome setting for such a great show!  We are however thinking that we might shake it up a little...stay tuned for some details on that...in the meantime...if you'd like to know more about what's going on with any of our guests, click on the links below and find their websites!  

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I point out in this interview of White Lake area musician Tommy Foster that when I first met him when he was a teen, the first thought that came into my mind was that he would have a unique life path ahead of him.Not only has he confirmed this by his choice of career, but also when we met for the interview. He suggested sitting in the “seat” of a huge tree.  (I had thought we would sit in the gazebo by White Lake.) Neither of us could make the climb, so we ended up standing in front of the massive trunk.  No one else so far has suggested we climb into a tree for an interview!
 
I was truly honored to interview Tommy.  He is one of our area’s treasures, a homegrown musician, beloved by his hometown folks and well beyond.  He is known for being part of Foster and Popps, the Foster Kids, and being a solo performer for over a quarter of a century. He currently plays with the FAN Club, whose original members include: Tommy, Justin Avdek, and Scott Nesbit (FAN --from their last names).  Additional members are  Ezekiel Kinney, Eric Engblade, Rich King, John King, Mike Lynch, Mark Lavengood, Drew Howard, Chas Millican, Everett Domeier, and Jeffrey Niemeier. He is also a former member of the Echoes of Pink Floyd production.
 
Tommy says one influence has been his mother, Virginia Foster, who played the violin.  He’s painfully honest when he relays how he was flunking out of college and a guidance counselor helped him to determine his interests. The results indicated he should be a mortician or musician.  True . . .   He took music theory, found it held his interest, and the rest is history.
 
Tommy sings and plays many instruments, including acoustic and electric guitar, lap steel guitar, and he dabbles in pedal steel guitar, piano, mandolin, and bass guitar. He has been influenced by country music, blues, folk, bluegrass, R & B, rock, jazz, classical, and even heavy metal.
 
Life as a full-time musician isn’t easy.  It involves lots of time on the road. One week, Tommy might be in Chelsea, a few days later, back here in Whitehall, for a concert at the Montague bandshell like he was last week.  A lot of perseverance.
His advice to aspiring musicians is likewise, to persevere.  Keep the music going, and work at whatever job you have to as you build a musical career.
 
 
You can find Tommy Foster or the FAN Club on Facebook - Click on image below.  As I always tell folks, if you have not heard Tommy Foster yet for some strange reason, you should -- right away!  
 
 

 

The Summer Concerts at McGraft Park has been a Muskegon tradition for over 50 years. Today, the free family friendly concerts are still going strong at the beautiful McGraft Park Band shell.

Read more: McGraft Park Summer Concerts 2019

On of our staff member has recently rescued several vintage super 8 reels of Muskegon Heights Football motion picture. We've decided to digitize one of them and share with everyone on MuskegonChannel. This particular reel is titled Muskegon Heights dated 11-7-1981 on the cover.

Read more: Vintage Muskegon Heights Football Game 1981

  Muskegon Tonight Live! June- A monthly local talk show convering a variarity of local interest - was held on 6/27/19 Downtown Muskegon at Smash! Winebar & Bistro in front of live audience.

Read more: Muskegon Tonight Live! June 2019

 

It was a great night at Smash Wine Bar and Bistro May 30th.  Sold out crowd yet again and we welcomed some awesome guests in for the 5th edition of Muskegon Tonight Live!  Susan Shaw from WOOD TV 8 was up first and talked about her 25 years at WOOD TV plus the early years of her TV career.  Muskegon's Citizen of The Year Paul Billings came in next to talk about his extensive work with the Muskegon Heights Community and particulary young people there.  Pete and Walt Gawkowski along with Keith Williams came in to talk Muskegon Clippers Baseball and we wrapped up with the music of Chad Flores.  

We'll be back at Smash on June 27th with another show and more fun!  Stany by for the ticket release and guest list coming soon!  Thanks for coming out and if you missed the show, click on the video above and enjoy when you can.  

It's a huge event and it's a great source of family fun minus the beer tents and everything else that seems to be part of a "festival" anymore.  Nothing against a good beer tent, but to know that a town festival can be pulled off without one and that some of the good "old fashioned" fun things are still available to all, well, that's makes ya feel warm and fuzzy all over and to see a festival like that in a community like Fruitport..makes perfect sense for the beginning of Summer.  It's a huge undertaking for the Fruitport Lions Club and a source for them to help fund all the great work they do.

Fruitport, to me is were "Muskegon" begins.  In a lot of ways, it reminds me of my hometown of Sparta.  Trojans, or Spartans, our schools share the same mascot and colors.  Both communities share industry, agriculture and maintain the "small town" feel and since Mrs. O is a teacher at Fruitport High School, I get to see a lot of the people and families..and yes...I always feel right at home in Fruitport.  There are good people who take great pride in their home and they are a great link between all the major city's of the area.  Not to mention, they have Pomona Park which is becoming a site used more and more for incredible events like Dancing into the Sunset on Thursday nights and has been the home of the midway for Old Fashioned Days for years! fruitport lionsClick Here for the Full Schedule of Events at Old Fashioned Days in Fruitport

Everything for this years Old Fashioned Days gets underway May 22nd.  You'll find the midway and a list of events daily that will keep anyone entertained, well fed and coming back for more!  It's a 150th celebration in Fruitport too this year so the expanded festival time and events will be keeping everyone busy.  Of course, the save a few bucks on the midway, you can get a wristband in advance at the following locations.  Buy in advance and get your ride wristband for only $20!  Locations are,

Buyers Guide, 1781 5th st (at Laketon), Muskegon, MI Kangaroo Palace, 3524 Green St., Norton Shores Lakeshore Federal CU, 2182 Lakeshore Dr., Muskegon Mr. Quick: All locations Pin Crest Lanes, 6571 Airline Rd., Fruitport 49415 Prenger's Jewelry, 2264 Apple Ave., Muskegon 49442 Spring Lake Orchard Market Community Shores Bank, 5797 Harvey St Community Shores Bank, 1120 S Beacon - G H Community Shores Bank, 1030 Norton - N S Village Pharmacy 10 S 3rd Fruitport, 49415 Waypoint Dock & Spirits, 187 S 3rd Ave Fruitport Whitlow's Forerunner 4610 Airline Rd Fruitport Ye Old Tavern 24 South 3rd Ave (Park St), Fruitport.  

Heidi Tice is the Village of Fruitport Supervisor and we sat down to talk about the fun to come and the events you don't want to miss. Take a listen!

 

Fun! The old fashioned way!  Don't miss the celebration in Fruitport and be a part of a great annual community event.  Fruitport is truly a treasure in our area, and growing....quickly!  We are all living in a fast forward time in and around these parts...so, grab yourself a sno cone, maybe an elephant ear and a corn dog and do things the Old Fashioned way for a while in Fruitport!  For a completel list of events or the run sign up, click on the photo below.

old fashionClick here to see the full schedule and any updated information at Fruitport Lions Website

Let me start off by saying, this was one of the most fun interviews I have done in a while, and it could have easily gotten out of hand...quick as we sat down to reminisce about the photography gallery that's going to be on display beginning May 23rd at the Muskegon Museum of Art.  Tough as it might have been, the artist and myself managed to keep it together....for the most part and talk about the display and the work that went in to the gallery...30 years in the making.  Let's rewind to begin.

Way back when, I was just a lad getting started in radio.  There was the internship where I got my start, then the next step was to be hired on as a "board op".  The board op had to stick around the radio station and run the music, commercials and everything else when the actual air personality went out to broadcast live somewhere.  It was the second step to being "on the air" and it was a chance to get used to the mechanics before you drove yourself into the wall actually talking on the radio for the first time.  Which I did....and how.  Amazing the humiliation you'll put yourself though for $6 bucks an hour if you want something bad enough.  Anyway, Paul Jendrasiak was also a board op and if memory serves me right, he did some air work too back when.  Part time, weekend stuff and it was always good to work with Paul. lights camera leadLights Camera Rock and Roll Opening Event on Facebook

Paul on the other hand was a lot more eclectic in his focus when it came to all things media and music.  Ya, we were both a couple of "mullets" (his was WAY better than mine) but we loved the heavy and hard stuff and while I was out mingling with fans and bands, Paul was writing about them for the Music Review and gathering up photo passes to really capture some amazing moments from behind the lens.  Paul's photography and journalistic approach led him to a world of surreal experiences, much like I had, but just from a different angle and the amount of shared experiences we had over the years....the amazing events, the incredible people...it's truly the stuff dreams are made of.  Paul did have one distinct advantage though.

Paul's memories are all preserved.  Photos...1000's of them, the best of which will be on display beginning may 23rd at the Muskegon Museum of Art.  It's a comprehensive gallery covering the three decades Paul has been on stage, or side stage with the biggest names in the business.  Moments just before a lot of bands really hit the big time, or some moments of when established icons came to West Michigan for a visit.  

Paul and I sat down for a chat in front of Metallica front man James Hetfield, a photo Paul took at the LC Walker Arena on November 1st 1991.  Paul was behind the camera, and I was in the center of the stage in the "Snake Pit" for the show that barely left the LC Walker Arena standing.  Take a listen.

 

His memories are in print...mine...all in my head.  I think in the long term, I had to give the win to Paul for his amazing work and his terrific approach to an industry we both grew up loving...and both found ways to dig in deeper than most anyone could.  It's been a great 30 years of friendship...and even the few minutes of getting together brought back so many memories.  Please join Paul for his gallery opening and photo discussion on May 23rd.  I will see you there to hear Paul's side of the story.  For more about the Muskegon Museum of Art, click on their logo below.

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It first got underway in 1972.  Motorcycle riders from all over Michigan converge on the small town of Baldwin and head to the airport grounds for their annual blessing on their bikes to keep them safe during the riding season.  It's a fun pastime for some, a lifestyle for others but there is a risk factor to the ride so what can any good luck or blessing hurt if offered to a rider, right? bb37Follow Camp 37 on Facebook

Flash forward to 2019 and the Blessing of the Bikes draws thousands and thousands and yes....thousands more bikers from all over the Midwest.  Every race color creed, ever club, gang and loner all coming together for some fellowship, to see what everyone else is riding and of course to welcome in the riding season.  The Blessing now brings vendors, bands, food trucks, camp sites and more.  Baldwin doubles or triples in size for the weekend and a good time is had by all.

Of course, bikers are known to be incredibly giving and amazingly charitable, so..it's only a matter of time until someone has the idea to put on an event really raise some money for important things.  In the case of Camp 37, it started 10 years ago and now, has grown to a two day party and camping opportunity that will be hard to beat anywhere.  The best part of Camp 37....the funds go to help benefit Veterans.

The funds raised go to the Ruby Creek Disabled Veterans Hunt Club which gives our veterans a chance to break free of what might hold them back and get them out in the woods to enjoy some R&R and the excitement of a hunt.  Camp 37 is a completely volunteer run organization and the passion put in by those who make the event happen is a way of saying thank you to those who were willing to make the ultimate sacrifice. 

I caught up with Marcella Henry and Shannon Mullaney at Hot Rod Harley to learn a little more about the event.  The camping is sold out, but there are plenty of day passes to be hand for a great time.  Take a listen! 

 

If you're heading up, ride safe.  If you're heading up and looking for a party with a little purpose behind it, make it a visit to Camp 37 and help them give a Vet or two a great experience and a thank you for what they did for all of us.  Below, you'll find the complete schedule of events and if you click on it, you'll be able to visit the Camp 37 website!  Ride safe this season, and if you don't ride....look twice and safe a life!!

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  Mona Shores Middle School Band held their 2019 Spring Concert featuring their 6th, 7th, and 8th grade bands at the high school auditorium, with special guest featuring the High School Jazz Band. Each grade performed three songs to a full auditorium with standing audience all the way at the back on both levels, the High School Jazz Band gave a strong finish with the theme from Peter Gunn by Henry Mancini. We have condensed the performance into a 7 minute video featuring one song for each grade / band, enjoy.

 

 

Index

0:00 6th Grade
1:28 7th Grade
3:30 8th Grade
5:21 HS Jazz band

 

What a night at Smash Wine Bar and Bistro!  It was the 4th installment of Muskegon Tonight Live on a very busy Thursday night in Downtown Muskegon.  We had a full house enjoying the great food, sampling the fine wines and other tasty beverages and as the cameras rolled, we had some pretty awesome guests drop by as well.

Our very own "Reporter Emeritus" Lauren Stanton came by to talk about life post retirement from WZZM 13 in Grand Rapids and how she and her husband John are building and growing their Retro Boat Rental business in Saugatuck and a few other locations this Summer.  Up next, the Muskegon County Central Dispatch Director Shawn Grabinski brought Sheriff Michael Poulin and Muskegon Heights Fire Chief Christopher Dean over to discuss the urgent need for a hand from all of Muskegon County to replace our antiquated 9-11 system with the vote coming up May 7th.  Up next, we shift gears a little and talk about Dancing into the Sunset in Pomona Park in Fruitport, then we talk to our show announcer Luke Lewis for a few minutes and we finish up the show with singer song writer Bri Baron and some of her soulful and amazingly good songs.

Lot's to talk about and lot's to follow up on!!  If any of the guests tonight sparked your interest, by all means, click on the images below to head over to their pages and learn more about what they are up to!

Our next show will be May 30th!  Guests include Susan Shaw from WOOD TV, Pete Gawkowski of the Muskegon Clippers Baseball Team and Country Music Artist Chad Flores!!  Keep your eye open for the free tickets coming soon!

retro boat rentalsRetro Boat Rentals in Saugatuck

 

911911 Central Dispatch

 

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briBri Baron Music

It's a long standing tradition.  I look back and there wasn't a fancy name like "Link Up" or anything, but I remember very distinctly the opportunity to head to DeVos Hall as a 5th grader and see the Symphony.  It was a huge treat for a bunch of kids from a small one hall school in Belmont.  It was exposure to a level of music that not many of us had even been a part of and it was an introduction to something other than the bubble gum pop and a few of us who had made the jump to Kiss records and were fans of the early beginnings of the disco era thanks to ultra hip parents who were out buying Bee Gees records after seeing Saturday Night Fever.  symphony rocksFollow the West Michigan Symphony on Facebook

Today, "Link Up" is a nationally embraced brand that brings kids and schools together, 54 schools in Muskegon today to be exact, to see just what happens when music is created without "autotune", and sampling of every other note ever written by someone else.  Actually, it goes even deeper than that.  The Link Up curriculum program comes directly from Carnegie Hall and the West Michigan Symphony was the first remote location to adopt the program as well as the only symphony to keep it going for the entire 16 years it's been around. There is actually more classroom based learning in the program than the one day concert experience, but there is also hands on application of what's been learned.  Students all brought recorders and were able to play along at points, it's all about music education and giving students a chance to dip their toe in the water a little as they get set to head to the 5th grade where they will have the opportunity to take some music classes for real for the first time.  It's the beginning of curiosity and like any interest sparked could lead to a life time of appreciation and enrichment.  

The West Michigan Symphony is a tremendous asset to have at the Frauenthal Center and they are still "in season" for a couple more shows until the Summer break.  To see the face of a young person light up when all of the different elements of a symphony combine, it's still priceless.  Music is a uniquely human endeavor, and from one violin doing a pizzicato to the entire ensemble combining for thunderous sweeping sounds like you'll hear, it's part of arts and culture that every kid should get a little piece of once in a while.

Andy Buelow is the Executive Director of the West Michigan Symphony and he invited me down to see first hand the Link Up program and talk a little about why it's so very important for young people to get a taste.  Take a listen.   

 

Did you go too when you were a kid?  There is so much placed on STEM education and of course college prep, skilled trades...on and on...but it's so important to remember what the arts add to the over all educational experience to balance out all of it.  Not everyone is going to be Beethoven, that's a given, but a level of appreciation for things other than what's on YouTube or on the soundtrack of Fortnite is essential to young minds....old ones too.  If you'd like to know more about the West Michigan Symphony Orchestra, click on their logo below to visit their website.

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