Belding area residents gather for first Historic District Block Party

By Cory Smith • Last Updated 10:19 am on Monday, October 17, 2011

Daily News/Cory Smith Nine-year-old Connor Magee of Belding gets his face painted by Belding High School cheerleader Shelby Nichoson at the first ever Belding Historic District Block Party on Saturday.

BELDING — With the wind blowing straw in her face and making matters difficult, seven-year-old Hannah Bristol of Belding managed to build her very own scarecrow with help from her mother and cousin.
It was just one of several events at the first annual Belding Historic District Block Party, which despite high winds and chilly temperatures, attracted many Belding residents to downtown Saturday afternoon.
“We came for the experience,” said Hannah’s mother, Kaci Harkrader of Belding. “Hannah wanted to decorate a pumpkin, but I think building the scarecrow was the most fun. We had never made one before.”
On Main Street between the Belding Bros. Building and the Gibson building, the block party was wedged in the newly adopted historic district in downtown Belding.
“I think the historic district is a good thing, I’m definitely for it,” Harkrader said.
Despite the rough weather, Silk City Preservation Society President Bobbi Bieschke said she was pleased with the turnout.
“It’s been pretty busy,” Bieschke said. “Scarecrow building has clearly been the biggest hit.
We’ve seen lots of families, but weatherwise the conditions aren’t great. So that’s impressive I think.”
The society offered donuts, popcorn and cider along with other activities and provided pamphlets and information about the societies objectives moving forward with the Gibson building and clock tower.
“I hope people who visited today have left a little more informed,” Bieschke said. “We’ve tried to make all of our information available, and I think people are taking notice.
“This was our first celebration and I already can’t wait to get started on our second for next year.”
For more information on the Silk City Preservation Society and historic district, visit

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