Reed City's Great American Crossroads Celebration returns Aug. 18-20

Kailing: "I think everyone’s going to be pretty happy with what we’ve come up with"

REED CITY — The Great American Crossroads Celebration is set for another year of family-fun festivities Aug. 18-21 in Reed City. 

The festival has been around since the 80s, when it was originally called "Derby Days."

Born and raised in Reed City, Jesse Kailing,  board president of the Great American Crossroads Celebration, said it "brings the whole community together."

"I'd hate to see it go away. It acts as an all class reunion. Our city is working really hard at bringing things to town that bring everybody together," Kailing said.

The goal of the event is to be for all ages, which means it has events for everybody, including a beverage tent, car show, kid's carnival, a softball and a kickball tournament, a cornhole tournament and a parade, as well as a 5k race to support the Coyote Cross Country program.

"There’s just a little bit for everybody," Kailing said.

One new thing about this year's festival is a comedy show Thursday evening put on by the Reed City General Federation of Women's Club.

"We’ve never done that before, we’re gonna see how it goes, maybe it’s something we’ll do every year," Kailing said.

Kailing also mentioned how good the event is for the city's businesses, as "every storefront, every gas station, every convenience store benefits when you bring that many people to town.”

Getting staffing for this festival was more difficult than past years, according to Kailing. Turnover for the board is high, and getting all the volunteers (who work full time jobs) together to make decisions has been challenging. Some aspects of the event have had to be cut as a result, but they have made sure to keep the children's carnival intact, despite having to pursue a new carnival company due to the past one falling through.

"We’ve worked very hard to keep that active, it gives the kids something to do. We look for sponsors to make sure every kid can come to the carnival for free, and not have to worry about how they're gonna have the funds to do it," Kailing said.

Kailing said the event has a special significance for him and a lot of others in the Reed City area, especially those who have grown up with the festival every year.

"For me, when I was younger, I was involved in the softball tournaments. I'd always get a chance to see my old classmates that came back for the Crossroads festival. Again, it just brings the whole community together. Everyone has a great time, and you have stories to tell for the rest of your life, usually after this weekend," Kailing said.

For more information, visit gaccreedcity.org or facebook.com/gaccreedcity.