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Beacon Archive

March 2003
PDF Version

The Way it was: The Arranmore Connection

Rural Arts and Culture Grant Update

Beaver Island Transportation Authority News

Beaver Island Boat Company Response

News from the Beaver Island Wildlife Club

Thank You from the Bellamy Family

Landscape Options Improve

New Scholarship Fund will Aid Nursing Students

Students on the Slopes

Across the Ice

Jeanie Johnston Underway

New Ferries Crossing the Lake

Bellamy Memorial Service

Charlevoix County Community Foundation News

Beaver Island High!

Chili Cook-off

One Hundred Years Ago

Arranmore Twinning / A Beautiful Watercolor by Cindy Gillespie

News from the Townships

Road Rally Planned

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! (and a run-down of the planned events)

On This Date

The Grand Rapids Party

Charlevoix County Commission Meetings

Letters to the Editor: The New Medical Center

Classified Ads

The Grand Rapids Party

The 36th annual Grand Rapids – Beaver Island party took place on Valentine's Day this year, and drew just over 200 happy people to the Airport Hilton. Many arrived on Friday and stayed through Sunday to renew old ties or wander through a big city. The organizers secured a major discount on rooms and meals, and other partyers were content to revel in the Hilton's luxury.

Seventeen years ago this tradition was in trouble, with only the committee members showing up at the old Diamond Street Hall to listen to tapes and CDs. The possibility of having live music was put forward, and a handful of Beaver Island musicians, plus some of the stalwarts like Ed Sobey, showed up, pushed the DJ off the stand, and took over. The news had gone out, so that event was quite a success, and its popularity has increased every year since.
This year Hilary Palmer, the Island's premier yodeller, joined Cindy Cushman-Gillespie and her brother Danny, Rich and Mike Scripps, fiddlers Glen Hendrix and Glen McDonough, and Mr. Old-time Music, Ed Palmer– who on occasion jumped down off the stage to dance a jig but got back up in time for his solo. The portable dance floor, which will be even larger next year, was well polished by all the heels, including Lester Doney's (center picture); the Island's former “best dancer” had a good time despite being told he has only a few months left. The 50/50 paid $240, and the winner of the Basket of Joy is still nursing her memories of this wonderful night. At the end, a cry went up that was borrowed from the Tigers and Lions: “Just wait 'til next year!”

Thanks very much to Paul Cole, Cathy Kohn, and Ed Palmer for the photographs and the story!


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