Children, Families Enjoy Autumn Apple Days in Downtown St. Ignace
Downtown St. Ignace welcomed the cooler temperatures and changing colors with its annual Autumn Apple Days. Children and families participated in events hosted along North State Street Saturday, October 1.
The festival began this year with a new event, the Crabby Apple Road Race. Hosted by All Saints Fitness club, the event brought 130 runners to participate in one mile, 4K, or 8K races.
Event volunteers set up registration and the race path at American Legion Park by 7:30 a.m. Though the cold wind was enough to make anyone crabby, organizers Rich and Mary Cullen felt the Crabby Apple Road Race was a success for its first year.
“It went great. Nothing went wrong,” said Mr. Cullen, “I’m so … proud of my crew.”
Participants who were among the top three finishers in their age groups also received a medal. Some age groups that had a larger participation received medals for the top five finishers. (See sidebar story for race results.)
The community also supported the new event by hosting fundraisers to coincide with the races. The St. Ignace school cross country teams participated in the run, and each athlete was required to find a partner who would either run or walk in the race with them.
The St. Ignace Middle School hosted a penny war to help pay for new jerseys for the junior high school cross country team. The contest is based on race times for school staff who took part in the 4K and how many pennies the class raised. The winning class will receive a pizza party, the second highest will get an ice cream party, and the third will celebrate with a popcorn party.
“It’s fun for the kids because they see their parents getting medals, too,” Mrs. Olsen said.
All Saints Fitness will make a $1,000 contribution to help needy tudent athletes pay for school athletic fees. Mr. Cullen also said he hopes to host two races every year, one in October with Apple Days, and one in the early summer.
The St. Ignace PTO hosted multiple events on the corner of Mc- Cann and State streets, including a seed spitting contest, rock painting, bounce house, and a chance to guess the weight of a painted pumpkin. The pumpkin was decorated to look like a red bird from the “Angry Birds” video game.
At the Gangplank, team members of the St. Ignace seventh grade volleyball team offered face painting to raise funds for the team.
“They’ve raised so much money they had to empty their collection jar four times,” said Marcy Bentgen of the Gangplank. “I think they made more money than the Gangplank did today.”
A larger-than-life replica of Smokey Bear towered over the fire station and city hall. Families and children received pamphlets and coloring books to help raise awareness of fire safety at home. They also had a chance to walk through the fire hall open house.
“Everything we give out today is for fire awareness,” said Paul Downey, a volunteer firefighter from St. Ignace. “It’s informative to parents, and it’s informative to children.”
Gros Cap PTO sold pumpkins at the Gros Cap Pumpkin Patch in the parking lot of Doud’s Market to raise funds.
Pumpkins were provided for The Great Pumpkin Roll down Goudreau Hill. Children rolled their pumpkins down the hill Saturday afternoon and received a prize.
Results of the Penny Wars fundraiser and the Scarecrow Competion will be published at a later date.
A video and photo slideshow of Apple Day activities is posted online at www.stignacenews.com.