HOWARD CITY — The 11th annual Harvest Festival will return to Howard City on Saturday and Sunday.
Harvest Festival Committee Chairwoman Cheryl Scott said she is excited about several new events this year, including a fireworks show sponsored by Mattson’s Hardware, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary.
Mattson’s Hardware opened in 1963 in Howard City. The owners and employees will celebrate their anniversary with an open house from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday, followed by fireworks at dusk.
Other new events free at the festival this year include the Patchwork Pear, a husband and wife team who offer music, mime, clowning, juggling and storytelling; “Stormy” the balloon twister; the West Michigan
Swing Kids Band; and a free vision screening for children sponsored by the Lions Foundation of Michigan and State Rep. Rick Outman, R-Six Lakes.
“The Harvest Festival is the largest event of the year and helps draw the community together,” Scott said. “It brings back people who have left the community, like the Tri County Alumni Banquet, which is celebrating its second year.”
Louise Culver will preside as grand marshal of the parade at 1 p.m. Saturday.
“I am thankful and humbled and honored to be the grand marshal for the parade,” she said.
Culver graduated from Howard City High School, then worked at Wolverine on Main Street in Howard City. She and her husband, Fay Culver, were married 56 years until his death in 2007. Together they have one son, two grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
After her husband’s death, Culver worked at Smith’s Grocery, Tri County Area Schools and The Rustic, all in Howard City, before retiring. She previously served as village assessor for Howard City, as a Reynolds
Township Board member and on the election board for Howard City, Reynolds Township and Tri County Area Schools. She currently serves as a member of the Howard City Planning Commission and rarely misses a local government meeting.
“The reason for selecting Louise Culver as our grand marshal this year was because she has been a resident of Howard City since 1956 and has been actively involved in public service for many years,” Scott said. “Our community appreciates all of the years of public service she as contributed.”
Visit howardcity.org online for a complete schedule of this weekend’s events.