Annual Coloma Glad-Peach Festival this weekend
By Annette Christie The annual celebration of the gladiolus flower and peaches kicks off Friday, August 2 in downtown Coloma. The family-friendly festival features two stages of entertainment, a carnival, food and craft vendors, a car and motorcycle show, the Grand Parade, and a spectacular fireworks display. Vendor and food booths could open as soon as noon on opening day. Bake Fest and Gladiolus entries will be accepted at Soulard’s Bakery in downtown Coloma starting at 11:00 a.m. The winners will be announced at the opening ceremonies.
From 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. Mike Struwin will be on the Leonard Main Stage with the Alley Kat Dance Studio performing on the Showcase Stage at 5:30 p.m. The official opening of the festival is at 6:15 p.m. on Friday, August 2 and is held on the Leonard Main Stage. Soon after, the Prince and Princess of the festival will be crowned. Opening evening entertainment is the band “Hey Girl Hey”. Saturday, August 3 kicks off with the annual pancake breakfast at the North Berrien Fire Rescue Station starting at 6:00 a.m. It will last until noon and be repeated Sunday morning at the same time. Vendor and all other food booths will open at 10:00 a.m.
The Glad-Peach 5K Run / 5K Walk will start off from Salem Lutheran Church at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, August 3. Online registration can take place at www.runsignup.com. It is a part of the “Michigan Fruit Belt Series”. Registration cost is $25. Runners will be running across the Paw Paw River Bridge and around the scenic, historic Paw Paw Lake. Pre-registration race packets can be picked up on race morning starting at 6:30 a.m. The library will be hosting a book sale from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. The family art fair will be held in Laura Baker Park from 10:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. and again from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. The 52nd Annual Glad-Peach Festival Parade will be held at 1:00 p.m. and lead by Grand Marshal Carole Sternaman. The registration table will be open at 8:30 across from the Coloma Dollar General. Line-up could begin at 10:00 a.m. with judging at 11:15. All units are requested to use glads and peaches in decorating their unit. Trophies will be awarded 15 minutes after the end of the parade at the Main Stage. If a unit wins an award and are unable to be at the award presentation, they can be picked up at City Hall the following week. The Peach Pit Spit and the Chalk the Street events will be held following the parade. It is the 7th year for the Chalk the Street event which is held on Logan Street. Pre-registration is not required. The judging will be at approximately 7:00 p.m. The Peach Pit Spit is hosted by Mr. Coloma and his Court and is in the True-Easy Block at 2:30 p.m. The hotdog eating contest is on the showcase stage at 3:30 p.m. It is limited to the first 12 contestants and has a first prize of $100. The hotdog eating contest will be followed by a balloon toss and a Peach Pie Eating Contest. Entertainment on Saturday night includes the band “Dart Board Compromise” on the Leonard Main Stage starting at 5:00 p.m., followed by “Ginger and Her Baked Goods”. The night will be topped off with the Peach-Tac-U-Lar Aerial Fireworks Display downtown. Sunday will bring the car/motorcycle show, a Kids Fun Fair from 10:30 – 11:30 a.m., Community Worship Service on the Leonard Main Stage from 11:00 – 12:30, and the kids pedal tractor pull. The festival closes at 3:00 p.m. GRAND MARSHALL continued from Page 1 has volunteered for the Glad-Peach Festival, the Mendel Center and the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra. She and her husband Monte (who has since passed) helped to organize the Glad-Peach Festival parking project at the Church. “It has become a major fundraiser for the church,” Sternaman said. She is also in the choir and rings hand bells at the church. In her free time, she enjoys yoga and bridge at the North Berrien Senior Center. “They are a great group of people,” Sternaman said. Sternaman looks forward to the festival every year and seeing her returning students and the band that often finds her at the parking lot at the church during the event. This year the community of Coloma will be able to see her as she leads the parade that she is so fond of in the place that she loves.