Children, Families Enjoy Autumn Apple Days in Downtown St. Ignace

Text: T T
By Matt Mikus


Christopher and Kaiden Grove wait for their chance to roll a pumpkin at the Great Pumpkin Roll Saturday, October 1. Christopher and Kaiden Grove wait for their chance to roll a pumpkin at the Great Pumpkin Roll Saturday, October 1. 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.)


Dylan Shepard puts on a fire chief hat at the St. Ignace Fire Department Open House at City Hall. The volunteer firefighters allowed families a chance to walk through the hall and look at the fire trucks. They also gave away free pamphlets that encourage fire safety and preparation in case of a house fire. Dylan Shepard puts on a fire chief hat at the St. Ignace Fire Department Open House at City Hall. The volunteer firefighters allowed families a chance to walk through the hall and look at the fire trucks. They also gave away free pamphlets that encourage fire safety and preparation in case of a house fire. 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.


Families jumped on the hayride to head through downtown St. Ignace Saturday, October 1. Families jumped on the hayride to head through downtown St. Ignace Saturday, October 1. Trudy Olsen the St. Ignace junior high cross country coach, said the way participants included both the students and their parents was exciting for everyone.

“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.


Nick O’Brien, Sarah Doran, and Daneilius Engle try to catch pumpkins rolling down the hill in barrels. Pumpkins were collected and brought back up to the top so they could roll again. Nick O’Brien, Sarah Doran, and Daneilius Engle try to catch pumpkins rolling down the hill in barrels. Pumpkins were collected and brought back up to the top so they could roll again. A hayride also offered tours though downtown, giving families a sneak peek of everything offered at Apple Days.

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.”


Alyse and Mason Bird search through the Gros Cap Pumpkin Patch for the perfect pumpkin during Autumn Apple Days. Any pumpkins the Gros Cap PTO couldn’t sell during the day were used for the Great Pumpkin Roll. Alyse and Mason Bird search through the Gros Cap Pumpkin Patch for the perfect pumpkin during Autumn Apple Days. Any pumpkins the Gros Cap PTO couldn’t sell during the day were used for the Great Pumpkin Roll. As children and parents wandered through downtown, many donned balloon hats and toys made by the “balloon man,” Ken Anstice from Sault Ste. Marie.

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.


The St. Ignace PTO offered a chance to win a Guess The Weight of the Pumpkin contest. This year, they decorated the pumpkin to look like an angry bird, based on the popular video game. The St. Ignace PTO offered a chance to win a Guess The Weight of the Pumpkin contest. This year, they decorated the pumpkin to look like an angry bird, based on the popular video game. “We just take a donation,” said Kari Marshall, volunteer at the pumpkin patch, “anything that people want to give. That way we raise money, and everyone has a chance to have a pumpkin.”

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.



Kate Bentgen paints a flower on Maggie Massey’s face for Autumn Apple Day. Members of the St. Ignace seventh grade volleyball team raised funds for their team by offering face painting for donations. Kate Bentgen paints a flower on Maggie Massey’s face for Autumn Apple Day. Members of the St. Ignace seventh grade volleyball team raised funds for their team by offering face painting for donations.

Andrew Sjogren (left), Sarah Cullip, and Jacob Sjogren finished the 8K race in the top three places. Andrew took first in the men’s race with 32:12.27, Sarah took first in the women’s with 34:52.75, and Jacob finished second in the men’s race with 34:21.26 Andrew Sjogren (left), Sarah Cullip, and Jacob Sjogren finished the 8K race in the top three places. Andrew took first in the men’s race with 32:12.27, Sarah took first in the women’s with 34:52.75, and Jacob finished second in the men’s race with 34:21.26

2011-10-06 / News

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