Farwell Labor Day fest bigger and better!

Nine Area WW II Veteran memebers of the “ Greatest Generation” were recognized prior to this years Farwell Labor Day Parade: (Pictured left to right noting military branch and years served) Chuck Luce, U.S Coast Guard 1944 – ’47, Jesse Brasington, U.S Army 1942-’46, Richard Madary, Navy 1944 -’46, Al Hanner, U.S Army 1944 - ’46, George Maples, U.S Navy 1945- ’49, Robert Davis, U.S. Army 1946 – ’52, Bernie Robinson, U.S Coast Guard 1945 - ’46, Floyd Schmid, U.S Army 1944 - ’46 and Elton Marshall, Army 1944 - ’47.

Nine Area WW II Veteran memebers of the “ Greatest Generation” were recognized prior to this years Farwell Labor Day Parade: (Pictured left to right noting military branch and years served) Chuck Luce, U.S Coast Guard 1944 – ’47, Jesse Brasington, U.S Army 1942-’46, Richard Madary, Navy 1944 -’46, Al Hanner, U.S Army 1944 – ’46, George Maples, U.S Navy 1945- ’49, Robert Davis, U.S. Army 1946 – ’52, Bernie Robinson, U.S Coast Guard 1945 – ’46, Floyd Schmid, U.S Army 1944 – ’46 and Elton Marshall, Army 1944 – ’47.

By Steve Landon
Correspondent

Sun lovers and those who thrive in temperatures above 80 were no doubt shedding a tear as the vacation season unofficially came to a close this past Labor Day weekend.

Getting off to a soggy start in June with flooding and near record rainfall some wondered if 2017 would go down in history as the summer raingear outsold swimwear 10-1. Thankfully that proved not to be the case, for the next several weeks Mother Nature delivered plenty of sunshine and warm temperatures. Sadly the season flew by much too fast leaving only memories in its wake.

Vacationers began hitting state highways in droves Thursday evening, by Friday afternoon. Northbound traffic on U.S 27, Eastbound U.S. 10 and M-115 had become bumper to bumper in many areas as people fled the cities looking to grasp one last weekend of Northern Michigan hospitality and adventure.

Overall traffic and business was way up throughout Clare County. Restaurants, motels, campgrounds, grocery stores etc.… were exceptionally busy throughout the four-day holiday thanks in part to the splendid weather that kept people out and about moving around the area.

Yard sale signs were on virtually every corner especially in rural areas. Shoppers were plentiful and prices were more than reasonable. Boater’s kept lakes buzzing while beach lovers soaked up fleeting rays of warm summer sun.  The sweet sounds from old-fashioned family fun could be heard from campgrounds, cottages and resorts right along with the smells coming from barbeques and campfires. Summer was coming to an end but locals and visitors alike were not about to let it go without grabbing all the gusto they could.

Following the return of a carnival for the 2016 Farwell Labor Day Festival, hopes were high the midway and grounds would be full be of life again this year for the 111th festival, sadly it was not to be. While the absence of an active midway was a let down for some it didn’t mean the facility would set idle. On Saturday the ever-popular Labor Day Festival demolition derby topped off with the annual fireworks display kept the facility roaring. Back in town a non-denominational church service was held Sunday in the newly improved City Park followed by an old-fashioned ice cream social.

Monday’s Annual Labor Day Parade wrapped up another exciting summer in Farwell and Clare County. Considering the challenges our nation has faced most recently with the Texas hurricane it seemed only fitting the theme would recognize the Red, White and Blue and those who have given so much to this great nation in the armed services, work place and through volunteering their talents, time and services to their community and beyond.

In a special ceremony just prior to the parade American Legion Post 558 in Farwell introduced and thanked nine local World War II veterans – members of the “Greatest Generation”. Following introduction veterans and parade goers joined children in attendance in saying the Pledge of Allegiance followed by the singing our National Anthem by Army Veteran Robert Mulrenin.

Just prior to the start of the parade Post 558 held their annual raffle drawing. Funds raised go into the post building fund for maintenance, repairs and improvements to the facility. WW II Veterans Floyd Schmid and Elton Marshall drew the lucky tickets. Winners were; Richard Barry of Midland, MI, Chris Wolverton of Swartz Creek, MI and Dylan Molina of Clare, MI.

“At every event we do we try to honor those who served; it just seemed like a good time to remind our community that we still have some of the heroes that saved the world a couple of generations ago.  At least five more WWII veterans responded to our request to join us but they were not up to attending the parade. Next June at our golf outing we will be drawing attention to the 100th Anniversary of the end of World War I. While there are no remaining veterans from that war we still should not forget what they did” Post 558 member Kelly Morley said!

In addition to the opening program and drawing Post 558 provided free coffee, cookies and lemonade to visitors and guests prior to the ceremonies.

Overcast skies and slight breezes didn’t cut into the enthusiasm of this year’s parade goers. Several brightly colored entries, many armed with candy made their way down the street entertaining young and old. Two local churches captured top honors with impressive floats. The Farwell United Methodist Church took top honors followed by The Farwell Church of Christ entry in second place. American Legion Post 558 took third.

For the summer of 2017 Clare County had something for almost everyone’s interest; Vintage car, tractor, motorcycle and snowmobile shows, festivals, the best county fair in Mid Michigan, parades, Back to the Bricks and Historic Old 27 Motor Tours, Mud Day, Farwell Lumber Jack Festival and more! Clare County was indeed the place to be in 2017. In eight shorts months the summer fun will begin again in fact committees are already hard at work making plans for 2018.

Summer days are slipping away, however, the fun does not have to end. Fall color tours, farm fresh produce, fishing, boating, canoeing, kayaking, hunting, ATV/UTV riding, holiday craft sales, high school sports and holiday festivals will no doubt keep visitors and locals alike going every weekend. Winter 2018 is looking pretty good for snowmobilers, skiers, hunters and ice fishing enthusiasts so bundle up, get out and have some fun this fall and winter in Clare County.

To learn more about upcoming events and news in and around the area make sure to check out the weekly issues of the Clare County Review in print or online.

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