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57th annual Richmond Good Old Days bows this weekend

See Michigan’s largest musical parade on Sunday

By Barb Pert Templeton

If you’re looking for something to do this weekend as summer’s last hurrah the Richmond Good Old Days Festival will be in full swing all-day Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 10-12, after opening night on Thursday.

Photo courtesy of richmondgoodolddaysfestival.com
The 57th Annual Richmond Good Old Days Festival returns this weekend after a pandemic break last year.

Celebrating it’s 57th year of bringing thousands of people to the city the weekend after Labor Day, the festival schedule is literally packed with activities for all ages. 

Tim Rix and his son, Matt Rix, are co-chairmen of the festival again this year, representing a family tradition that goes back to the birth of the festival in 1964. Their father and grandfather, the late Leroy Rix, was a founding member for the Good Old Days Festival and many members of the family have been involved with the city tradition since they were young children. 

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After canceling the festival in 2020 due to the pandemic, Tim Rix said they didn’t get the okay from the state that things could be at 100 percent capacity until late May. So, a festival that takes nearly a year to plan has been pulled together in just months. 

“It’s been a challenge but we’re ready,” Rix said. “We’re ready to go full bore and we are expecting huge crowds; the whole state has had festival with extremely large crowds this year.”

Photo courtesy of richmondgoodolddaysfestival.com
The Richmond High School Marching Band is a highlight of the Good Old Days Festival including appearing in the Grand Parade on Sunday.

Along those lines the festival committee has made sure to add lots of additional port-a-johns and garbage receptacles across the grounds.

A few longtime non-profits who setup at the festival have been lost this year due to a shortage of volunteers for their organizations. Hamlin Pub had hosted a second festival tent option, beyond the beer tent, that Rix’ dubbed the “over 40 tent” for eight years but due to a staffing shortage they won’t be onsite this year.

Instead, Rix said T’s Rockin’ Roadhouse from nearby Columbus, will provide food and drinks in the quieter tent located on the festival grounds in Bailey Park. 

“I think it’s going to be really nice; they’ll have a chef there all weekend and they have good food,” Rix said.

Impressive schedule of events

Photo courtesy of richmondgoodolddaysfestival.com
A midway packed with games and rides by Skerbeck Family Carnival makes the annual Richmond Good Old Days Festival a big hit with families across the area.

On Thursday night, following a Classic Car Parade and Cruise at 6 p.m. there will be opening ceremonies at the Festival Stage in Bailey Park at 7 p.m. Entertainment by the Richmond High School Band will be followed by the selection of Little Miss Richmond and a 5K Run called Running with the Devils that will benefit Richmond High School Boys’ Basketball.  

On Friday merchant and vendor food sales open at 1 p.m. followed by an afternoon that includes a midway by Skerbeck Family Carnival starting at 2 p.m. with wrist bands for the rides at a cost of $25. The beverage tent opens at 4 p.m. followed by the Outrageous Outhouse Races at 6:30 p.m. and the Figure 8 Derby at 7 p.m. The day concludes with entertainment in the beverage tent starting at 8 p.m. with D & J Productions. 

On Saturday the festival fun begins at 10 a.m. with a Horseshoe Singles and Doubles Tournament and an Antique Tractor Show. 

Photo courtesy of richmondgoodolddaysfestival.com
The Demolition Derby event is a major draw for those attending the Richmond Good Old Days Festival each year.

After that it’s an afternoon all about the kids with a Children’s Parade at 11 a.m. followed by the infamous Ping Pong Ball Blowout that awards prizes for balls collected in the street for children ages 10 and under. Children’s games will be hosted from 12:45 to 2 p.m. along with a sidewalk chalk contest and then from 2 to 5 p.m. there will be a petting zoo.

The much-anticipated Demolition Derby Championship will take place at 3 p.m. followed by a Fun Dog Show and Contest at the pavilion at Beebe Street Park from 4 to 6 p.m. Festival goers can round out the day with the Fireworks Show sponsored by Northstar Bank at 9:30 p.m.

On Sunday the schedule includes a Masonic Lodge All You Can Eat Pancake Breakfast, open house at the Historic Village, food and craft vendors and then the festival Grand Parade 

The parade, dubbed the largest musical parade in the state, steps off at 1:30 p.m. Rix said they will have 100 units this year including 18 bands. The route will be lacking pipe bands this year simply because the ones that have come to town for decades are from Canada and the border restrictions for COVID are just too much. 

“We’re really going to miss those pipe bands because they go into the beverage tent after the parade and play and it’s a big tradition here,” Rix said. “But I think some individual pipers might come into the tent instead so we’ll be okay.”

The festival beverage tent will also be open from 4 to 10 p.m. on Sunday.

For more information about the Richmond Good Old Days Festival including a complete schedule of events visit richmondgoodolddaysfestival.com or Richmond Good Old Days on Facebook.

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