MCBAIN — You don’t have to show up with any money to McBain Heritage Days to have a good time.
“You could show up without a dime in your pocket and spend the whole weekend there and have a great time,‘ said Doug Smith, chair of the Heritage Days Committee that organizes the event.
McBain Heritage Days will be from Friday, July 19, to Sunday, July 21, right in downtown McBain.
Smith said they are excited about all aspects of the event this year. They’ve added some new things, including a petting farm, balloon artist and kid’s tractor pedal pull.
The celebration kicks off with a pulled pork dinner Friday night that is sponsored by the Heritage Days Committee and various local churches. The dinner is free but people can offer a donation if they want to, Smith said.
After dinner, people can burn off those calories at Family Game Night at McBain Baptist Church. People can either bring their own games or use the games available at the church.
At 9 p.m. people can join McBain Mayor Joey Roberts out on the McBain Rural Agricultural School’s front lawn to enjoy the movie “Ralph Breaks the Internet.‘ Concessions will be available for purchase.
Saturday is a day full of activities, starting with a pancake breakfast in the fire barn parking lot at 7:30 a.m. Following that will be a volleyball tournament at 8 a.m. and if people are interested they can contact Shawn Murphy at 231-468-9059 to enter.
An antique tractor display will be on Main Street later in the morning and at noon a ton of shenanigans will ensue.
Roberts will be taking a turn in the dunk tank then and Smith said there might be a few city council members lined up for that one. Local pastors will also be taking their turn in the tank and elementary principal Kim VanderVlucht.
There will also be games for kids, bouncy houses, face painting, a bike parade where the three kids who have the best-decorated bikes get gift certificates to Twisted Cow, 19 street vendors selling cool stuff and much more.
At 1 p.m. they will have the cornhole tournament on Main Street and people can register the day of from noon to 12:45 p.m. The cost to enter the tournament is $5 per person and the entry fees get pooled together to create the prize money for the winning team.
During Saturday there will be a car wash to raise money for the school’s softball team at the library, but besides that and the cornhole tournament people don’t have to pay to participate in activities.
“Everything else is free,‘ Smith said.
It’s even free to get your name in the bucket for the Merchant Drawing, which Smith said is going to be “epic!‘
At 5 p.m. people can have their name put in a bucket and if their name is drawn they get a prize.
The prizes range from a sprinkler to a two-night stay at a condo in Charlevoix. Other prizes include a one night stay at Evergreen Resort with breakfast included, a 40-inch screen TV and various baskets with stuff for kids, for the beach or other themes.
There’s stuff for kids and adults and no separate buckets, so a 75-year-old could end up with a super soaker and a 12-year-old could end up with a free glider ride at the Wexford County Airport, Smith said.
“But you must be present to win,‘ he said.
There are around 125 prizes for the Merchant Drawing this year and last year there were around 600 names in the bucket.
Smith said they are able to put this event on through the generosity of local businesses. The Downtown Development Authority pays for insurance, port-a-johns and big expenses. Biewer Sawmill and Viking Energy and other local businesses participate and Smith would say 99% of businesses donate in some way.
“It’s crazy the stuff we get,‘ Smith said. “It’s phenomenal the support we get from the community.‘
Roberts said his wife grew up in McBain so he heard all of the stories of how McBain Heritage Days used to be.
He said it’s a great way for the community to get together and have people stop in and he’s just excited for people to come to McBain and celebrate the heritage days with them now the committee has brought it back.
“They’ve done an amazing job at bringing this back together and making it a couple day thing,‘ he said.
Smith said the event used to be called the Street Fair and older people have come up to him saying they were excited for it and he had no idea what they were talking about.
They then changed it to Homecoming Days, with the idea being people who had left the area would come back to their home to celebrate.
Then it was McBain Days where they would “celebrate who we are as McBain,‘ he said.
When he moved to town five years ago the celebration had faded away and people approached him to bring it back.
When he found out how much work it was, he said he couldn’t do it on his own but would put together a committee to do it, which includes city council member Lori Warren and city treasurer Heidi Heuker.
He said it was so good last year and people liked it, so they had way more support this year.
“Everybody loved it, it was a great weekend and it was a lot of fun to have old people talk about how excited they are to have it back.
“It’s a weekend where we celebrate who we are as McBain ‘Bainers’ as they’re called,‘ he said.
The following is the list of events for McBain Heritage Days:
Friday, July 19
5 to 7 p.m. Community Dinner at Grain Company Lot
7 to 9 p.m. Family Game Night at McBain Baptist Church
9 p.m. Moview with the Mayor, McBain School Front Lawn, “Ralph Breaks the Internet‘
Saturday, July 20
7:30 to 9:30 a.m. Pancake Breakfast in the Fire Barn Parking Lot
8 a.m. Volleyball Tournament
10 a.m. Antique Tractor Display on Main Street
11 a.m. to 3 p.m. McBain Lady Rambler Softball Team Car Wash Fundraiser in the McBain Library Parking Lot
Noon to 4 p.m. Games, Bouncy Houses, Dunk Tank, Craft Tent, Face Painting, Fire Truck Rides, Street Vendors
12:45 p.m. Bike Parade Lineup at McBain Grain Parking Lot
1 p.m. Corn Hole Tournament, Bike Parade
1 to 4 p.m. Balloon Artist
2 p.m. Homemade Pie Baking Contest (Pies can be dropped off from 1 to 2 p.m. at the announcer’s wagon)
3 p.m. Watermelon Eating Contest
4 p.m. Registration and Lineup for Grand Parade at Northern Michigan Christian School
5 p.m. Grand Parade
Following Parade: Merchant’s Drawing, Fireman’s Water Battle
Sunday, July 21
10 a.m. Community Worship Service at McBain Baptist Church