October 01, 2008 The first annual Almont Fall Heritage Festival sponsored by the Almont Downtown Development Authority has promised a fun-packed week. If Saturday was any indication, it will be a great success. That was the main-event day but, Taste of Fall will continue all week. That's a promotion for downtown establishments featuring menu choices promoting locally grown fall produce and recipes.
The big white tent at the Farmer's Market was full of mouth-watering, homemade goodies as well as artisans and children's activities. I was asked to help judge the Scarecrows. What varied pieces of artwork! There were 24, far exceeding our expectations and it was hard to choose.
I had a nice chat with DDA Director Nancy Boxey and thanked her for helping put Almont 'back on the map.' Almont has been home to me all but four years of my life and I have watched it change from a feeling of family community to a bedroom community. I have a feeling that our Downtown Development Authority is striving to bring back the small town, family feeling.
The "Gypsy Faire'' at historic King's Mill, as we old-timers still call it, was well attended. Many more Michigan artisans. I enjoyed an iced mocha while browsing. I loved visiting with the gypsy from Leonard, with a covered wagon as a backdrop and sewing on a White treadle sewing machine. I treasure the skeleton of my mother's White sewing machine. I keep the lid clos- ed and display a few treasures. The four little side drawers still contain her sewing needs.
My feet gave out before I could visit all to see but, not before I hobbled back to the Festival site to choose some cookies from the Almont Historical Society and a hot dog from the Country Smoke House to take home.
The Almont Fall Heritage Festival will conclude the weekend of October 4-5 with the annual Country Heritage Color Tour. Most notable to me that weekend will be the visit of our own retired four star General Robert Shoemaker. On Sunday, October 5 at 5 p.m. it will be "Meet and Greet Bob'' at the Henry Stephens Library as Bob presents us with mementos, plaques, medals and a picture of himself. On Monday morning at 10 a.m. our Almont High School Band will greet General Shoemaker at Burley Park and play for him, and us, the "General Shoemaker March.'' The American Legion and National Guard will be on hand also. Bob's brother Jack Shoemaker will introduce him and tell a few stories about their life on the farm at the corner of Shoemaker and General Squier Roads. At one time their father Bob Shoemaker and Frank Ring owned a hardware at the location of the Pocket Park on the corner of Main and St. Clair Streets. Their mother Pomola Moran Shoemaker taught school in Almont.
It should be a great week in the ol' hometown. I hope you will make it a point to take in some of it. We will be proud to have you.