Four Flags Area Apple Festival to last through Sunday

NILES — The 46th annual Four Flags Area Apple Festival kicked off Thursday afternoon.

Just after 3 p.m., dozens of people from across Michiana were already visiting the grounds, eager to check out the events.

The four-day festival lasts through Sunday and includes multiple carnival rides, a parade, fireworks, free entertainment, including musical performances and the opportunity to participate in apple-inspired games and activities, like seed popping and peeling.

For Kati Luke, a Niles native, attending the Apple Festival is a more than 25-year tradition. On Thursday, she visited the festival grounds with her son Gage Merrill, 4, in tow. Luke said every year that she and her family like to enjoy the fair food.

“We always get elephant ears, sirloin tips and they we take an elephant ear home for later,” Luke said.

Next, Luke said she is looking forward to attending the Grande Parade, which begins at 1:30 p.m. Saturday and proceeds through downtown to the Apple Festival grounds.

Luke said the festival symbolizes the start of fall, which she said is her favorite season.

Not far from Luke, Glen Peck, of Niles, kept his eye sky high on the hang-gliding ride, watching his grandchildren raise their arms in delight. He said coming to the festival is a more than eight-year tradition and looks forward to seeing his grandchildren have a good time.

Also on Thursday, the Four Flags Area Apple Festival board judged businesses who participated in the annual window decorating contest. The annual competition encourages businesses owner to decorate their storefronts after the festival’s theme, which this year was “Riding the Waves to Festival.”

This year’s winners are:

First place:  Four Flags Area Antique Mall

Second place:  Bellas Gifts and Memories

Third place:  Shelf Life Bookstore

To see a full schedule of weekend events, check out page 4.

Buchanan

Area schools offer virtual learning

News

When virus stunted west coast tour, Umphrey’s McGee returned home to perform

Berrien County

LMC discounts fall tuition by 10 percent, restructures class options, implements safety plans for fall semester

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Union Schools recognize retiring staff

Cassopolis HS

Senior bios: Cassopolis’ Malik Jamison

Newsletter Sports

Staten heading to University of Toledo

Dowagiac

Dowagiac, Cassopolis awarded NEP grants

Education

Former Niles resident aims to donate 500 backpacks with school supplies

Cass County

Lawless Park to celebrate Michigan Dark Sky Awareness Month by opening on weekend nights

Berrien County

Outdoor prom event set for Aug. 1

Business

5 Mile Drive-In offering free entry to first responders on Fourth of July

Berrien County

Gov. Whitmer closes indoor service at bars throughout lower Michigan, allows cocktails to go

Dowagiac

SMC to continue in person instruction during fall semester

Sports

Staten reportedly hired by Toledo

Cassopolis

URSCC purchases photo album of Calvin Township, Vandalia residents

Cassopolis

Underground Railroad Days canceled due to COVID-19

Columns

MATHEWS: FOC orientation program goes virtual

Columns

HAVLICEK: Michigan’s unemployment system is facing unprecedented filings

News

West Woods resident commemorates 100th birthday, one month COVID-free

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Fire Department offers Fourth of July safety tips

Letters to the Editor

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Advocates for education freedom, teachers back Brad Paquette for State House

Obituaries

Clare ‘Kay’ L. Richard, of Cassopolis

Obituaries

Ann W. File, of Vandalia

Obituaries

Willie Pasley