Great American Crossroads Celebration kicks off in Reed City

REED CITY – The eighth annual Great American Crossroads Celebration will kick off next week in Reed City, attracting friends, family and tourists to the “crossroads of Michigan” for a four-day festival packed with activities.

The festival, which runs Aug. 15 to 18, offers a variety of events each day, spread from Westerburg Park to Babb Ford to downtown Reed City.

“There will be a lot of activity and things going on,” said Suzie Williams, executive director of the Reed City Area Chamber of Commerce. “It’s a fun time for people to be out and about.”

Though the majority of activities begin Friday, the festival begins Wednesday with a Miss Reed City/Prince Pageant, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at G.T. Norman Elementary School, sponsored by the Reed City General Federation of Women’s Club.

On Thursday, the festival will host a fashion show from 5 to 7 p.m. at Westerburg Park. The show is a new addition to the festival and Williams expects it to be a hit.

“It’s going to be Head to Toe Salon and Spa doing hair and makeup and Nica’s Boutique supplying clothes,” she said. “Everybody can come and watch. We have models of all ages.”

Following the show, a teen dance will be held at Westerburg Park for students from sixth to ninth grade. The dance costs $5 per person and is sponsored by the Reed City High School Class of 2016.

The festival will continue on Friday with a quilt show from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Trinity Lutheran School gym.

“That’s always fun. They have beautiful quilts,” Williams said.

After the quilt show, the Great American Crossroads Celebration Grand Parade will be held in downtown Reed City at 6 p.m.

Softball tournaments also will start at 6 p.m. and continue throughout the weekend. The tournament is double-elimination and draws many teams and their families to the area, Williams said.

The day will culminate with a teen talent show from 7 to 9 p.m. at Reed City High School cafeteria and music at Westerburg Park.

“Saturday is the big day,” Williams said. “It starts off with softball tournaments and a pancake breakfast at the fire station.”

Following the breakfast at 8 a.m., the annual 5k run sponsored by Mosaic will be at 9 a.m. at Spectrum Health Reed City Hospital. Individuals can register early for $15 by visiting www.spectrumhealth.org/reedcity or register the day of the event for $20.

Another annual favorite, the Crossroads Car Show, will be held in a new location this year. From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Upton Avenue will be closed between Higbee and Chestnut streets for visitors to enjoy viewing classic and performance cars and visit downtown businesses at the same time. The Arts and Crafts Show will also be held on the street from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“I thought it’d be better to have the show downtown to have people (visit) the businesses too,” said Crossroads Car Show organizer Paul Lewis said. “Hopefully having it downtown will bring more people downtown. That’s the whole point.”

The car show also is taking non-perishable food donations for the Reed City food pantry during the show.

“Hopefully the weather turns out well and people come out,” Lewis said. “I hope a lot of people show up and bring food.”

While the cars and crafts are being displayed in downtown Reed City, a rock wall will be available from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Babb Ford on Maple Avenue, near US 10.

“Babb Ford and Eagle Village are working together for that,” Williams said. “That will be fun.”

For those wanting to enter an unusual sporting contest, the world’s slowest bike race will be held from 1 to 2 p.m. on Howard Street near the entrance to Rambadt Park. The event is sponsored by Together We Can! health initiative group.

“It starts at (the entrance to) Rambadt Park and goes up that hill,” Williams said. “Whoever comes up the hill last is the winner.”

Those interested in riding in the bike race do not need to register and can show up at the start of the race.

From new events, to popular favorites Williams estimates the festival will bring more than 1,000 people – alumni, friends and newcomers – to Reed City for a few days.

“People come home and visit their family,” Williams said. “They come to the beverage tent and see all the people they used to know. A lot of reunions happen.”

Most events at the festival are free to the public. For more information on the festival’s other activities – which include kids inflatables, cage fighting, softball tournaments, a chicken barbecue, live music and other fun-filled events – visit www.reedcity.org/great-american-crossroads-celebration.html.