Applause: show support at the festival 2011.06.22

Written by David Green.

Let’s be clear from the start: This is nothing but an appeal for your help. We’re on our knees, begging you, please.

The topic is the entertainment stage at Wakefield Park this weekend during Morenci’s Town and Country Festival. Entertainment chair Kent Deatrick has lined up nearly non-stop musical groups and individuals every night of the festival, beginning Thursday. There’s never been this much entertainment at a Morenci festival.

Thinking back to some previous performances, there’s never been anything more embarrassing at the festival than the absence of an audience willing to listen. Soloists, duos and groups have bravely stepped onto the stage to show off their talents—sometimes raw, sometimes well developed—but many times few people have been present to listen.

The entertainers are doing their part; now do yours and give the singers someone to perform in front of. It must be rather disheartening to gaze out from the stage onto nearly empty bleachers.

Starting Thursday at 5 p.m., there’s a lineup of faces you should know or get to know—Jeff Elarton from Morenci, Terrance Reeves from Wauseon, Second Wind Band with several local members, the Randall Sisters from Fayette and now from Morenci, Mouth Sown Shut with Morenci members, Titus County Band from Lenawee County, Cody “HiZe” Long from Morenci. Local groups are among those competing in the Battle of the Bands, also.

Not every band is going to present a flavor of music that’s part of your listening routine, but show some support this weekend. Those on the stage will appreciate your presence.

  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.

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