Buchanan offers free family fun

Published 9:17 am Friday, July 24, 2015

BUCHANAN — Buchanan is known both locally and nationally because of RedBud Motocross, but according to Randy Hendrixson, Buchanan has much more to offer, including things that lifelong Buchanan residents may not even know about.

Hendrixson is the executive director of the Buchanan Area Chamber of Commerce, and this Saturday, Hendrixson and the Chamber will proudly show Buchanan off to Michiana during the Second Annual Buchanan Open House Day.

“When I took over a couple years ago as director,” Hendrixson said, “One of the most revealing things that came to my attention was that we had quite a few people from in and out of town who called asking what was going on in Buchanan.

“We have so many cool things going on. It was a hard question to answer.”

His solution? Pick one day, have all Buchanan businesses open, offering discounts and tours, and end that day with a concert at Buchanan Commons.

“If you stumble into Buchanan on a Saturday at noon, you might get eight out of 10 places open,” Hendrixson said. “If you come in on Monday, you might get one out of 10.

“So one of the things that smacked us in the face was that we needed to do one day for people to come see Buchanan and get everything open all at once,” Hendrixson said.

More than 25 businesses will be participating in the Open House Day, including the Buchanan City Fire Department, which will have fire truck displays for children; Pears Mill, which will be giving tours and Bear Cave Resort, which last year sent out more than 100 free tours on Open House Day.

“You’ll be able to go and see the mill grind flour, then leave with a bag of flour that you saw ground that day,” Hendrixson said.

While the Open House Day will run officially from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., some local businesses are extending their hours even more.

“The Buchanan Area Senior Center has things going on at 8 a.m., including a nonprofit parade, line dancing, a free lunch provided by the Lions Club and even a concert from 2 to 4 (p.m.),” Hendrixson said.

The main concert, however, will be at the Buchanan Commons. New Orleans band Nathan and the Zydeco Cha-chas will be giving a free performance beginning at 7 p.m. This concert is part of the Last Saturday on the Commons Concert Series, where Buchanan features an up-and-coming national artist every last Saturday of the month in the summer.

“The whole mission of the Last Saturday on the Commons Concert Series is to bring in up-and-coming national artists and showcase them on the Commons for free for everyone to check out,” Hendrixson said. “Buchanan has a very cool little amphitheater.”

Even though Saturday will be a busy day across Michiana, Hendrixson is confident that Buchanan will be the place to be.

“We’re asking people to come visit us on our dime,” he said. “If a family is looking at going out and doing something family friendly for free, Buchanan’s the spot for sure.”

For more information, visit buchanan.mi.us or call the Buchanan Area Chamber of Commerce at (269) 695-3291.

Participating locations

• American Legion Post 51: Dean C. Swem Veteran Memorial Exhibit

• Bear Cave Resort: Free cave tours

• Buchanan Art Center: 10 percent off any gift shop purchase

• Buchanan Area Senior Center: activities/crafts, refreshments

• Buchanan City Fire Department: Fire truck displays and mascot for the children

• Buchanan District Library: Tours and refreshments *meet the new director*

• Buchanan Scarecrow Charities: Register to win a free scarecrow

• Buchanan-Galien Lions Club: Free lunch at the Senior Center

• Buchanan High School: Memorial Field tour (self-guided)

• Buchanan Masonic Lodge #68: Free hot dogs and refreshments and programming

• B&W Old Village Inn: Drink and food specials

• Bucktown Tap: Specials

• Dean Antiques: 10 percent off all merchandise

• Edward Jones: Refreshments, meet the team

• Fitness Industry: Specials

• McCoy Creek Tavern: Food and beverage specials

• Michiana Hot Dog: Free samples

• McCoy Creek Trail: Trail tours via all purpose vehicles, ribbon cutting at the guard shack with refreshments provided by Berrien Property

• Pears Mill: Mill tours

• Pure Rituals: Refreshments and register to win Aveda gift basket

• Redbud Hardware: Specials

• Rustica: Raffle for a furniture piece and free giveaways

• Slocum’s Gifts Decor & More: Giveaways, refreshments

• SL Consignment Gallery: 20% off all merchandise $300 or less

• Union Coffee House: Free samples and product displays