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My Town: Harvest on the Ridge returns Sept. 20

My Town: Harvest on the Ridge returns Sept. 20

SPARTA, Mich.—  A celebration of West Michigan's agricultural Mecca returns to Sparta this weekend.

Harvest on the Ridge festival will unfold at Rogers Park Sept. 20. This year’s event includes a couch racing fundraiser, the Dirty Apple Obstacle Run, a cupcake baking contest, an apple pie eating contest, hay rides, corn mazes, kids’ activities and a farmers’ market.  Johnny Appleseed is kicking off the event with donkey rides and his tale of how  “The Ridge” became filled with apple orchards.

My Town: Breweries help battle cancer and Parkinson's with 'Hops for Hope'

My Town: Breweries help battle cancer and Parkinson's with 'Hops for Hope'

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Knock back a beer and help knock out cancer this month with “Hops for Hope.”

 

During September, several West Michigan breweries will be donating $1 from each “purple beer” purchase to Van Andel Institute’s Purple Community.  Proceeds from sales of Hops for Hope growlers and refills will also go to the cause.

 

“It’s good to give back to the community,” Bob Bonga, owner of the family-owned and operated Jaden James Brewery in Kentwood. “It’s wonderful that VAI is in Grand Rapids, and 100% of what we raise goes to research.”

 

My Town: Johnny Appleseed helps kick off Harvest on the Ridge Sept. 20

My Town: Johnny Appleseed helps kick off Harvest on the Ridge Sept. 20

SPARTA, Mich.—Johnny Appleseed is on his way to Sparta to share his story of how “The Ridge” became filled with apple orchards.

Johnny will bring his trusted donkey, Levi for rides while entertaining children with his story and song.    His tale helps kick off this year’s Harvest on the Ridge festival in Sparta on Sept. 20.  This year’s event will include a couch racing fundraiser, the Dirty Apple Obstacle Run, a cupcake baking contest, an apple pie eating contest, hay rides, corn mazes, kids’ activities and a farmers’ market, all located in Rogers Park.

My Town: Start of school filled with photos and well-wishes

My Town: Start of school filled with photos and well-wishes

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- The 2014-2015 school year is officially underway for West Michigan students.

On Sept. 2, which was the official start of classes for most schools, State Superintendent Mike Flanagan released this statement: 

"It’s a great day to be Back to School in Michigan !

Let me take a moment to wish everyone a positive and successful school year.

Our team here at the Michigan Department of Education, the State Board of Education, and I appreciate the hard work and daily dedication teachers, administrators, school board members, and other school staff devote to our children in Michigan.

My Town: New study debunks myths about those in need in West Michigan

My Town: New study debunks myths about those in need in West Michigan

COMSTOCK PARK, Mich.—An estimated 492,100 people rely on Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank to fill their plates and feed their families.

That’s according to a newly-released study, titled “Hunger in American 2014.”  The study found 46 million people nationwide count on Feeding America food banks each year.  In West Michigan and the Upper Peninsula, the need includes 58,200 seniors and at least 119,400 children.

“This study shows us that the face of hunger looks a lot like the one we see in the mirror,” said Ken Estelle, CEO of Feeding America West Michigan. “Most of us are one or two catastrophic events away from being in the same position.”

The study shows in roughly one-third of client households, at least one adult had worked for pay in the last four weeks.  Additionally, 40 percent had some education beyond high school.

My Town: Get a 'Taste of Grand Rapids' at Fifth Third Ballpark this weekend

My Town: Get a 'Taste of Grand Rapids' at Fifth Third Ballpark this weekend

COMSTOCK PARK, Mich.—Get a “Taste of Grand Rapids” this weekend, when the festival that’s all about food returns to Fifth Third Ballpark.

This is the second year Taste of Grand Rapids is being held at the ballpark.  Organizers moved the event to the Whitecaps’ home because it had outgrown John Ball Park Zoo.

Last year, Taste of Grand Rapids attracted thousands of foodies, ready to sample dishes from nearly two dozen area restaurants while enjoying live music and a barbecue competition.  This year, a second barbecue competition has been added to the lineup- the McCormick BBQ Challenge.

Taste of Grand Rapids 2014 runs from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, July 25 and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, July 26.  Admission is free but parking is $6.  Visitors must also pay for food and beer/wine tickets on site.  

My Town: Restaurant Week GR to include specials from 66 restaurants

My Town: Restaurant Week GR to include specials from 66 restaurants

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - Restaurant Week is about a month away, but you can start making your plans by salivating over the menus.

The 5th annual event runs from Aug. 13 to Aug. 24 at 66 Grand Rapids restaurants. This year, the theme is "Perfect Pairings" to showcase beverages that pair well with foods.

Restaurants are now taking reservations for Restaurant Week Grand Rapids. This year, 44 restaurants will offer 3-course locally inspired menus for $28 per person, including:

 

My Town Ada/Cascade