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My Town: Harvest on the Ridge returns Sept. 20 | Arts & Culture

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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.

Sparta is the gateway to Fruit Ridge or “the Ridge”, which was created by glaciers long ago.  The gently rolling slopes feature fertile clay loam soils which hold moisture well, providing the perfect terrain for growing fruits and vegetables and raising livestock.  The Ridge is 158 square miles, covering Alpine, Sparta and Tyrone townships in Kent County; Ashland Township in Newaygo County; Casnovia Township in Muskegon County and Chester and Wright townships in Ottawa County.  Fruit Ridge is responsible for 60 percent of Michigan’s apples.