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The County fair Connection/flickr.com
The County fair Connection/flickr.com
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Ionia Free Fair Fun July 19-28th!

The Ionia Free Fair is this Thursday and will continue through Saturday, July 28th!  The Fair has been a tradition here in Michigan since 1857 and has been ranked as one of the Top 50 Fairs in the nation.

Over the years lots of big names have graced the Ionia Free Fair stage.  Some of the old timers include  Gabby Hayes, Les Paul, Buster Keaton, Sonny and Cher, and world renowned country artists Reba McEntire, Tim McGraw and Willie Nelson.

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Muskegon Man Sentenced for Beating Puppy

While we at The River often try to make your day better by sharing fun videos of animals being their adorable selves, we also want to update you on cases in Michigan involving the mistreatment, or possible endangerment of our animal companions

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monoel petry/flickr.com
monoel petry/flickr.com
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Grand Rapids Restaurant Week Has Moved From November To August

Grand Rapids Restaurant Week has moved from November to August!  I like that!  The weather is still warm, it's a nice break right before the kids go back to school.  November always seemed to be a bit busy what with Thanksgiving and the December holidays.  Experience Grand Rapids VP of Marketing Janet Korn said that last year's Restaurant Week generated between $500,000 and $700,000 in revenue for the 37 downtown restaurants that participated.

The organizers of Restuarant Week Grand Rapids are trying to attract more people from outside of the immediate Grand Rapids area.

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wilson_keona/flickr.com
wilson_keona/flickr.com
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Grand Rapids/West Michigan Home Market Stabilizing

I have a couple friends who are real estate agents and they have been echoing the same thing.  However, I have had a cute little house next door, more than reasonably priced, that has been for sale for over a year now; so these statistics do make me wonder?  But the statisticians say the West Michigan housing market is seeing some healthy signs.  The number of housing listings went down 19% last month. Compare that to an 8% decrease from last year.  So does that mean the houses were actually sold or does it mean they were "rented or leased out"?

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ArtFestival/flickr.com
ArtFestival/flickr.com
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51st Annual Grand Haven Art Festival Kicks Off This Weekend

We're only a few months away from ArtPrize so look at this as the warm up!  The 51st Annual Grand Haven Art Festival is this weekend, June 23rd - 24th.  Washington Avenue will be turned into an outdoor art gallery.  There will be lots of local talent and it will also feature art from 150 of the nation's leading artists.  There will also be a Family Day Of  Fun, June 23rd, 10am-2pm, with arts and crafts activities for the kids.   Admission and parking are free and open to the public both days.

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stevendepolo/flickr.com
stevendepolo/flickr.com
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West Michigan Chalk Art Festival 2012 In Byron Center

When I first heard about the West Michigan Chalk Art Festival, or really any event that involves chalk, what person do you automatically think of?  If you were living in Grand Rapids in 2009, Rob Bliss, of course!  Remember Chalk Flood? It's the same thing that happens every time I hear American Pie by Don McLean on the radio, on my iPod, wherever; my mind starts streaming images of the American Pie lipdub video (almost 5 million view so far!).  It's still as brilliant as it was the first time I watched it.  It's poetry in motion.  Kind of strange how big events and good music,  have a tendency of cementing memories inside the brain.

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Huffington Post/flickr.com
Huffington Post/flickr.com
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June 22nd Is Take Your Dog To Work Day!

I guess instead of asking you ,"Are you taking your dog to work on Take Your Dog To Work Day?" I should have asked "Can you take your dog to work on Take Your Dog To Work Day?"

June 22nd, is Take Your Dog To Work Day and this is the day that every dog in America gets to see how hard their masters work to put food into their dog bowl, provide shelter over their little heads at night, and always have a fresh bowl of water ready to drink. 

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Facebook
Facebook
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What Is Your Favorite Vacation Spot In Michigan? – Poll Of The Day

Summer is vacation time, we are blessed in Michigan to have dozens of amazing vacation locations in our state.  Whether you are visiting Lake Michigan nearby or taking the long drive to the Upper Peninsula, you're sure to find something for everyone.

What is your favorite vacation spot in Michigan?

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walker festival
walker festival
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Are You Up For The Walker Michigan Bike Parade?

Happy 50th Birthday, Walker!  The Walker Festival is this weekend, June 16th at City Central Park, behind City Hall on Remembrance Road.

Calling all kids ages 12 and under!  Pedal your bike over the the Walker Festival Parade, Saturday morning and learn bike safety, get fitted for helmets, play some Bike Bingo, then join the parade and show off your decorated bike, you can win some great prizes! 

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SMU Alumni/flickr.com
SMU Alumni/flickr.com
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West Michigan’s Wine-A-Palooza Is A 3 Day Wine Tasting Event June 15-17

Have you ever lived in a city this size with so much going on?  Especially during the summer, weekends are jam packed with something to do.  Some are family friendly and some are more adult oriented.  This is one of those!

Wine-A-Palooza is a three day wine tasting event that starts on June 15th and runs thru the 17th.

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77krc/flickr.com
77krc/flickr.com
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Michigan’s “Jim Crow Museum”, In Big Rapids Showcases Largest Collection Of Racist Artifacts

Back in the day, there were plenty of strange, racist artifacts that you would never see these days. And one man has decided to showcase them.

Well, if you have only read about such things or watched them in movies now is your chance to see what early America was really like, the full picture.  It will help you understand a bit more of how we got to where we are today and maybe help you understand that racism in many forms is still alive.

Big Rapids has a new museum but be prepared, it's not for the faint of heart.

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spintar/flickr.com
spintar/flickr.com
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West Michigan Farmers Markets Open

The Fulton Street Farmers Market is officially open!  A couple weeks ago  the Holland Farmers Market is opened and I found a list of various Farmer's Markets in our area that you can visit both during the week and on weekends too.

I'm trying to eat more and more local, and it's easy with all of the farmers' markets right here in West Michigan.

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