05-25-2017 Kick off summer at the Hartford Strawberry Festival, June 9 and 10; Hartford Lions host s

Kick off summer at the Hartford Strawberry Festival, June 9 and 10

By Nancy Albright

Get ready for two days of fun at the 2017 Hartford Strawberry Festival, Friday and Saturday June 9 and 10. The festival, organized by the Hartford Area Chamber of Commerce, takes place in Hartford’s Ely Park on Main Street and features rides, races, renaissance, magic, music, parades, princesses, arts, crafts, karaoke, food and of course, strawberries.

Friday opens at 12:00 p.m. with rides provided by Vertical Edge Entertainment, a variety of food vendors and the annual craft fair. The kids will meet at Red Arrow Elementary at 5:30 p.m. to decorate their bikes and line up for the Kiddie Parade which begins at 6:00 p.m. All kids are invited to walk in the parade, no matter where they live.

The official opening of this year’s festival is at 6:00 p.m. followed by the crowning of the Strawberry Prince and Princess and Sweetest Strawberry Baby at 6:45 p.m. Master Magician John Dudley will perform his many tricks; amazing kids and adults alike beginning at 7:30 p.m., and Friday evening will be topped off with classic rock and rhythm and blues by the Harbor Town Band. Bring your dancing shoes!

The Hartford Lion’s Club 39th Annual Strawberry Run kicks off Saturday’s activities. The One Mile Fun Run begins at 8:00 a.m., and the 5K walk, and 5K and 10K runs start at 8:30 a.m. All races will begin and end at Hartford High School. The Hartford Band Boosters will provide racing fuel for those that come early at the annual Pancake Breakfast beginning at 7:00 a.m.

At 9:00 a.m., classic cars will be on display at The Bob Hall Memorial Car Show and a mini-Renaissance Fair will begin at 10:00 a.m. Line up for the Strawberry Parade at noon at Hartford High School and strut your stuff down Main Street beginning at 1:00 p.m. Parade winners will be announced at 2:00 p.m. Members of the Alley Kat Dance Studio will perform from 12:00 – 12:30 p.m., followed by the presentation of the Community Hero Awards.

The Bed Races begin at 2:30 p.m., and get front row seats at the annual Strawberry Pie Eating Contest beginning at 3:00 p.m., a competition that is without a doubt fun for all ages. Look mom, no hands!

Ely Park will resound with music beginning at 2:15 p.m. with the Hartford High School Music Department, followed by a Karaoke contest, and the sounds of Elvis, rock and country.

Visit the Hartford Chamber of Commerce at hartfordmichamber.org for more information.

2017 Strawberry Festival Schedule of Events

Friday, June 9

12:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. – Rides, Vertical Edge Entertainment

12:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. – Food Vendors

12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. – Craft Show

5:30 p.m. – Kiddie Parade Line-up/Bike Decorating, Red Arrow Elementary

6:00 p.m. – Kiddie Parade down Main Street with Grand Marshalls Zoe Phillips and Timmy Dibble

6:30 p.m. – Opening Ceremony

6:45 p.m. – Crowning of Strawberry Royalty

7:30 p.m. – John Dudley the Magician

8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. – Harbor Town Band, Classic Rock and R&B

Saturday, June 10

7:00 a.m. – Pancake Breakfast Sponsored by Hartford Band Boosters, at Hartford High School Cafeteria

7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. – Strawberry Run Sponsored by Hartford Lions Club, Hartford High School

8:00 a.m. – Start of One mile Fun Run, Hartford High School

8:30 a.m. – Start of 5K Walk, 5K Run, 10K Run, Hartford High School

9:00 a.m. – The Bob Hall Memorial Car Show on Main Street

10:00 a.m. – 9 p.m. – Rides, Vertical Edge Entertainment

12:00 p.m. – 9 p.m. – Food Vendors

12:00 p.m. – 5 p.m. – Craft Show

10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. – Knightwinds Renaissance Group, Mini-Renaissance Fair

12:00 p.m. – Parade Line-up, Hartford High School

12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m. – Alley Kat Dance Studio

12:30 p.m. – Community Hero Awards

1:00 p.m. – Strawberry Parade

2:00 p.m. – Parade Awards

2:15 p.m. – Hartford Public Schools Music Department

2:30 p.m. – Bed Races on Main Street

3:00 p.m. – Strawberry Pie Eating Contest

4:00 p.m. – Strawberry Karaoke Jr. Contest

5:00 p.m. – Strawberry Karaoke Sr. Contest

6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. – Sounds of Elvis with Steve Otto

8:00 p.m. – 10 p.m. – Tom Askey Project, Rock, Country and Alternative

Hartford Lions host summer fun

By Nancy Albright

Summer is near and the Hartford Lion’s Club has been working hard all year planning events to bring Hartford and surrounding communities together to celebrate the season.

Register for the 39th annual Strawberry Run

This year’s Hartford Strawberry Run is scheduled for Saturday, June 10 and registration is now open.

The 5K Non-Competitive Walk, 5K Run and 10K Run will begin at 8:30 a.m. All runs will begin and end at Hartford High School. Strollers are allowed for the 5K Walk as long as participants start at the back of the pack.

The Lions Club will award trophies to the first, second and third place male and female winners of the 5K and 10K runs, and medals for the top three male and females in all 13 age groups. Every finisher of the 5K Walk will receive a participation ribbon. The entry fee for the 5K Walk, 5K Run and the 10K Run is $20 for participants registering online by June 8, $30 if registering online by June 9, and $35 if registering on race day. Registration by mail or drop-off at City Hall is $20 if completed by June 6.

The One Mile Fun Run for kids will begin at 8:00 a.m. The Lions Club will award a Dog Tag Finisher Award to all. The entry fee for kids 11 and younger is $5, and kids 11 and older $20 if registration is received by June 8.

Pre-register online for the Strawberry Run at register.chronotrack.com/r/20219; all pre-registered walkers and runners will receive a free t-shirt. Credit cards will be accepted for online registration. If mailing your registration, it must be received by June 6. Mail the registration form and a check payable to the Hartford Lions Club to: Strawberry Run, P.O Box 633, Hartford, MI 49057.

For more information contact Hartford Lion’s Club member Kim Sinclair at (269) 757-2541.

Business sponsorship opportunities available

The Lions urge local businesses to sponsor the Official 2017 Strawberry Run t-shirt. Sponsorship in the amount of $500 earns each business a place on the back of over 700 shirts and each route marker sold. Each two-sided route marker measures 18” x 24” and each participating business will receive a marker with their customized business advertisement placed on the lower half of the sign. Each business sponsor will also receive four shirts or complimentary run entries for their donation.

Residents can purchase a marker for $30 to help ensure the run is well-marked. Each business or individual that purchases a route marker can keep the sign as a souvenir of this year’s race. Those wishing to purchase route markers must do so by June 1.

For more information contact Hartford Lion’s Club member Kim Sinclair at (269) 757-2541.

Concerts in the Park

The 2017 Concerts in the Park program features a line-up that caters to a variety of musical tastes. The program opens on June 8 with the Southwestern Michigan College Brass Band. Sounds of Elvis, 70s music, classic rock, Motown, early rock, surfer music, jazz, polka, barbershop quartet and the South Haven Men’s Chorus will also reverberate through Ely Park this summer. Jarod Knox will highlight the Community Picnic on July 6 and Mockingbird will accompany the Baby Boomer Class Reunion on August 10.

All shows begin at 7:00 p.m. and popcorn is free! Concert schedules are available at Hartford City Hall. This year’s Concerts in the Park are sponsored in part by The City of Hartford, Hartford Township, the Hartford Downtown Development Association, The Pokagon Fund and Medic 1 Ambulance Service.