Crossroads Festival provides family fun, entertainment

REED CITY — Thousands of local residents converged in Reed City to take part in the annual Great American Crossroads Celebration from Aug. 14 through Aug. 17.

"It was very busy, we had a lot of people," said Reed City Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Suzie Williams. "Overall it was an action-packed weekend."

The four-day festival featured many events that both children and adults could enjoy, including sports tournaments, musical entertainment, food vendors, face painting, games, bounce houses and giveaways. Thousands visited the city's downtown and parks to take advantage of the fun.

Aug. 15 featured one of the newest events — Battle of the Bands — which attracted dozens of music lovers to watch live performances from Xplicit Citizen, Adrenaline, Livia and Guano Loco. Sitting on a judge's panel included John Szczerowski, Kathy Fleming and John Battle.

"It was such a fun night," Williams said. "Everybody was having a good time."

Following the competition, Livia was declared the winner. Williams said Battle of the Bands was a success and is expected to be included during next year's Crossroads Festival. In 2015, she hopes to include more bands and make some changes to the event rules.

Throughout the weekend, families could be seen at each event, taking the time to peruse many of the activities offered during the festival.

Hersey resident Kevin Lathrop and his family attended Saturday’s car show, hosted on Upton Avenue. His 3-year-old son, Chase, especially liked a 1956 Ford Pickup with a unique paint scheme.

“I’ve been into cars for a long time, and I thought I’d bring Chase,” Lathrop said.

The festival is an event he enjoys attending each year.

“It’s close to where we live and I see a lot of people that I know,” he added, noting he also likes the good variety of activities.

Other highlights of the weekend included a parade, health screenings, craft shows, a 5K Run/Walk, and the Miss Reed City Pageant, where Chelsey Gogolowski was crowned 2014 Miss Reed City.

Reed City resident Emberly Pontz also said it was her first time attending the Crossroads Celebration since she was a child. This year, she brought her own children with her.

“I always had fun when I was a kid, and now it’s fun to share it with them,” she said.

The family-oriented atmosphere and the opportunity for get-togethers are reasons Pontz enjoys the festival.

“It’s good to get out of the house, have fun and let the kids play,” she added.