Plainwell Days festival, 2017 (File photo)

Plainwell Days helps celebrate 150 years

Virginia Ransbottom, Staff Writer

Plainwell Days Festival will celebrating like it’s 1869, while the city marks its 150th anniversary year.

The festival kicks off Thursday, June 13, with carnival rides and food in the mill parking lot after 4 p.m., followed by three full days jam-packed with celebrations Friday through Sunday, June 14 -16.

Specific to Plainwell’s sesquicentennial is an 1869 period fashion show on Saturday where participants are invited to dress in their best period costumes for the day and then strut their outfits at 2 p.m. on the Community Stage in Fannie Pell Park.

A stagecoach from the period will serve as the backdrop for a photo opportunity. Also on Saturday is the quilt raffle with tickets available at City Hall, Bridge Street Gallery, Hart’s Jewelry, Envy and the library.

On Family Day Sunday, June 16, the good ole-fashioned fun continues with frog jumping and turtle racing in Fannie Pell Park along with a father/child pie-eating contest for Father’s Day.

The sesquicennial committee is also hosting a Silent Auction at Bridge St. Gallery, 111 N. Main until Saturday, June 15, at 3 p.m.

New for 2019, are bed races, the Not So Newlywed Game(for couples married a long time), Junk in the Trunk (yard sale from the car trunk), and Running with the Balls 50/50 (replacing the Bulls with golf balls).

“That’s where you buy a ticket with a number on it that correlates to the number on a golf ball,” said festival committee member Brandy Wheatley. “The golf balls will be dumped at North Main and Sherwood and will roll down the bridge over the river and the first to drop through the board with a hole it is the winner.”

Wheatley is in charge of the car show and said while they’ve typically had 78 to 90 vehicles, she’s hoping this year will be more than 100.

“There’s also a tractor and bike show,” she said. “And a huge anchor for this event is the Arts and Crafts show.

“Calico Rabbit does an amazing job promoting it and it not only has arts and crafts but home based businesses and contractors.”

Not new but changed this year is the Fishing with the DNR. Usually on Sunday, it has been changed to Saturday.


Here’s the the 2019 line-up:

Friday, June 14

All Day—Carnival, Mill Parking Lot

9 a.m.-3 p.m.—Junk in the Trunk, downtown

10 a.m.-2 p.m.—Senior Expo, Fannie Pell Park

10-10:45 a.m.—Fitness Demo, Fannie Pell Park stage

11 a.m.-2 p.m.—Jazz Band, Fannie Pell Park stage

11 a.m.-5 p.m.—Arts & Crafts, Hicks Park

1-8 p.m.—Bingo, Calico Rabbit

5-6 p.m.—Prince/Princess Contest, Fannie Pell Park stage

6-7 p.m.—Not So Newlywed Game, Fannie Pell Park stage

6 p.m.-?—Cornhole Tournament, downtown

7-10 p.m.—Free Comedy on the River, Fannie Pell Park stage with Andy Beningo, Scott Clow and Rob Bagley


Saturday, June 15

All Day—Carnival, Mill Parking Lot

9 a.m.-3 p.m.—Car Show/Bike Show/Tractor Show, downtown

9 a.m.-4 p.m.—Arts & Crafts, Hicks Park

10-10:45 a.m.—Fitness Demo, Stage/Fannie Pell Park

11 a.m.-2 p.m.—Smash-a-Car, South Main Street

2:30-3:30 p.m. Fishing with the DNR,

3-10 p.m.—Sips on the River beer and wine festival, Fannie Pell Park

3:30-430 p.m.—Crafts with Home Depot

4 p.m.—Running with the Balls 50/50, North Main Street

5-9 p.m.— Bed Race, North Main Street


Sunday, June 16

All Day—Carnival, Mill Parking Lot

7-8 a.m.—Sunrise Service/Tent Revival, Stage/Fannie Pell Park

8-10 a.m.—Pancake Breakfast, Fannie Pell Park

10 a.m.-3 p.m. FAMILY FUN DAY—Ghostbusters of Kalamazoo, Face Painting, Rock Painting, Games, petting zoo, Touch-a-Truck, downtown/Fannie Pell Park

12 p.m.—Zion Lion, Stage/Fannie Pell Park

2 p.m.—Pie Eating Contest, Fannie Pell Park

1 p.m.—Frog Jumping Contest, North Main Street

1:30 p.m.—Turtle Races, North Main Street

The Animal Rescue Project will be at the Festival Friday, Saturday and Sunday for those looking to rescue a pet.

For more information, visit


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