2017-08-03 / Front Page

Pickford Looks to Future at Hay Days

By Debra Petkus

Pickford’s annual Hay Days theme is “Build a Better Pickford” and the community seems to be doing just that.

There is excitement in the small community because two new facilities are being built. The first is a health center that is under construction and slated to open in late-October or November.

Pickford Medical Center services will move into the building on M-129, which will provides more room for examinations, meetings, and offices.

“It’s very modern,” said Barbara Porrett, marketing and community outreach manager for Alcona Health Services. “It will have lots of room for more providers and services, and lots more can be offered to the community.”

Alcona Health Services became affiliated with Pickford Medical Center following its switch from the Mackinac Straits Health System last June to allow for more expansion.

The second development is an adult care facility for those who need assistance and can’t be in their homes. Plans call for a building with six beds, one that is designated specifically for hospice, according to Tracey Holt, president and chief executive of Superior Health Alliance and Hospice of the Eastern Upper Peninsula. Construction was scheduled to begin Monday, July 31, and be completed in December.

While small in population, Pickford knows how to throw a big celebration. It’s a township of about 119 square miles comprised mostly of land, much of it agricultural, and 11 acres of water. In the 2010 Census, the population count was 1,595.

As with most small-town celebrations, Hay Days is a time for classmates, friends and family to gather together and have lots of fun. Most of them have a parade and Pickford Hay Days will, too, but not just one parade, they will have three.

The six-day celebration began Tuesday, August 1, and runs through Sunday, August 6, with a jam-packed schedule.

The parades take place on three separate days. The first one is a “Horn Honkin’ Parade” Wednesday, August 2, in which everyone is invited to take a noisy cruise through Pickford. It starts and ends at the school and will be led by the fire department.

The second parade is the Friday, August 4 Kids Parade. It will line up east of the bridge on Main Street at 6:30 p.m. and begin at 7 p.m.

The third and final parade will be Saturday, August 5, and have the theme “Build a Better Pickford.” Lineup will be at the township park by 10:30 a.m. using the west gate. The parade begins at 11 a.m.

Call Dr. Richard Morrison to register a parade entry, at 906-647- 9201 or 906-647-9395. The Pickford Area Historical Society will honor area World War II veterans with a presentation of colors, American Legion float, and veterans float.

Food and fellowship can be enjoyed throughout the six-day celebration, including the Hay Days dinner at the township hall Wednesday, August 2, from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Picking up on the theme, this dinner is called “Build a Better Potato Salad Night.” Brats, sauerkraut and hotdogs will be served and everyone is invited to share their favorite potato salad.

A farmers market will be held Thursday, August 3, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the parking lot of the Nazarene Church. Wholesome, locally produced food and natural products will be for sale.

The Pickford alumni picnic will take place Friday, August 4, from noon to 2 p.m. The cost is $5 per person, free for children younger than 5. It is a casual lunch, so alumni can come and go as they please. Children must be accompanied by adults. School tours will be available and the class of 1967 will be honored with a display.

A lumberjack breakfast, hosted by Northwoods Christian Camp, will be held Saturday, August 5, starting at 7 a.m. Later that day, there will be a strawberry social and pizza at the Methodist Church. Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) will provide concessions at the community park.

And Sunday, August 6, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., the fire department will hold a chicken barbecue at the township hall. Tickets are available from any firefighter.

Plenty of physical activity and fun will take place during Hay Days. Thursday, August 3, at 6 p.m., there will be a children’s track meet at Pickford High School. Call Penny Kovacs, at 906-647-1395, for more information.

There will be a softball game at 7 p.m. at the park. It will be Pickford versus Kinross Fire Department.

Friday, August 4, a ping pong tournament begins at 2 p.m. at the Methodist Church for ages 10 and older. The Hale Bay Races, a crowd favorite and sponsored by The Old Mission Bank, starts at 6:30 p.m. in downtown Pickford.

Saturday, August 5, has a full slate of activities beginning with a softball tournament at 8 a.m. Games continue all weekend and for details, call Brad Bosbous at 906-440-1510.

Registration for the 10K and 5K run and a 2K fun run/walk is from 8 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. on Main Street. The races begin at 9 a.m.

Fireman’s competition begins at noon. Three-on-three basketball competition begins at 12:15 p.m. Register online at haydays.org or by calling Dr. Morrison at 906-647- 9201 or 906-647-9395.

Beach volleyball begins at 12:15 p.m. Advance registration is requested. Call Susan Edington, at 906-647-9013 or 906-440-6313.

A horseshoe tournament begins at 1 p.m. at the township park. The entry fee for a two-member team is $5. At 1:30 p.m., there is a Foam Treasure Hunt for children.

The Carl Reich Memorial Horse Pull, the 25th annual Hay Days horse pull, is at 2 p.m. at the township park.

On Sunday, August 6, the Tri- County Speed Horse Association will hold a speed-and-action competition at 1 p.m. at the Stalwart Fairgrounds.

Music and performances will be sprinkled throughout Hay Days. An old-time gospel music performance will start at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, August 2, at the park pavilion. Those attending should bring chairs.

On Thursday, August 3, a “good old-fashion ‘60s-style hootenanny and bonfire” will start at 8:30 p.m. across from the library, featuring music and sing-alongs.

At 7:30 p.m. Friday, August 4, there will be a local talent program on the Main Street stage. Those attending should bring lawn chairs. There will be a street dance from 8:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. with music from Travis Miller of Dance Commander DJ Service.

Saturday, August 5, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., local musicians will be “pickin’ and grinnin’” upstairs at the township hall. And from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., there will be live music featuring Denny’s Band at the Sundown Lounge and Restaurant.

A community church service will take place Sunday, August 6, at the Pickford High School football field.

Other notable events include used book sale from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the PAL center, held by the Friends of the Pickford Community Library. The Pickford Area Historical Museum on Main Street will be open and serve as the hospitality center of Pickford Hay Days.

Leading up to the events, the Friends of the Pickford Community Library and Sandridge Armed Forces Veterans are sponsoring a Hay Days youth writing competition, open to area and visiting students from grades 3 through 12.

In keeping with the Hay Days theme of “Build a Better Pickford,” the essay contest topic is “Pickford: Into the Future.” A two-page minimum, original, handwritten or computer generated essay must have been submitted by 3 p.m. Saturday, July 29, at the Pickford Community Library.

Prizes will be announced Friday, August 4. Awards will be presented to winners in elementary grades 3-5; middle school grades 6-8; and high school grades 9-12. The first-place winner in each category receives $100 and the second-place winner $50.

All entries must be accompanied by registration forms, found online at www.pickfordlibrary.org or picked up at the library. Call Pat Hunter, at 647-8801 or the library, at 647-1288.

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