BELDING — While the world may be settling down for the final holiday weekend of the summer, the wheels are turning in Belding — as in ferris wheels and tilt-a-whirl carnival rides, which have transformed the city for the weekend as it celebrates the 108th annual Belding Labor Day Celebration festival.
Children of all ages, and many adults as well, began to filtrate into downtown Belding Friday evening, partaking in many various carnival rides and indulging in elephant ears, corn dogs and other festival treats.
Sisters Paris Yarhouse, 14 and Darby Stroud, 11, of Belding, wasted little time in jumping on the “Scrambler” carnival ride, laughing and screaming as they spun around at high speeds.
“We are having a great time, so far it’s awesome,” Stroud said. “I come here almost every year. We’re going to be riding a lot more rides.”
Yarhouse said she and her sister are going to try to take in as much of this year’s four-day festival as possible.
“We’re going to try to enjoy everything,” Yarhouse said. “We’ll definitely be watching the parades.”
Belding Labor Day Celebration Committee Co-Chairman Scott McNeal was putting the finishing touches on the new information stage at the intersection of Bridge and Main streets Friday as dance music blared from the speakers set up throughout downtown.
“It’s crazy,” McNeal said of the start of the festival. “This is our first time as a new committee running the festival so we don’t know what to expect, but we’re having a lot of fun trying to figure it out.”
McNeal encouraged visitors of the festival who may have a question about the many new events throughout the weekend to approach anyone at the information booth for information.
“Just come to the booth at the corner of the streets and we’ll answer any questions you might have,” he said.
A tractor pull, disc golf tournament, “Arts on the Flat,” event, “Candlestock” music festival and a revamped talent show highlight a list of new events this year.
McNeal added that children will be sure to want to get a picture with the new official Belding Labor Day Celebration mascot, Bang the Firecracker.
“Make sure you get a hug from Bang this weekend,” he said. “He’ll be marching along throughout the parade on Monday.”
The festival officially began with the opening of the carnival midway Friday at 5 p.m. and will continue through Monday with special events running each day.
For a complete schedule of events, visit www.beldinglaborday.com or pick up an official festival brochure at various Belding area businesses.