PHOTO STORY: Cassopolis Beach Bash brings rural community together

Published 3:32 am Sunday, June 5, 2022

CASSOPOLIS — With music echoing through downtown Cassopolis and across Stone Lake, local residents gathered for two days of music, laughter and community bonding at the second annual Beach Bash over the weekend.  

Children splashed along the shore and played in the sand, while older kids and teens jumped off the pier and took turns on kayaks and paddle boats.  

Around town, local farmers and artisans sold wares at the farmers market, while adults enjoyed a beverage in the Sinclair Station as live music down below at the bandshell. 

With three BBQ vendors – Wood Stock and Grill, Drive Thru Q and Curly Q’s BBQ – on site on Saturday, nearly everyone who attended Beach Bash got their taste of smoked meat. 

For Tyler Haines, Cassopolis native and owner of the popular Niles restaurant Curly Q’s BBQ, seeing residents from across the area have a place to gather together made the day a success. 

“It’s a joy to see the kids enjoy themselves – that’s what I really like to see,” said Haines, who was a vendor at the Stone Lake pavilion both days. “It’s like our community is actually a community now. We’re always so far from each other because it’s so country and rural but this definitely brings everybody together. It’s multicultural – I just love it. I love what the village is doing.” 

Family and friends of Haines were drawn to the boardwalk by the acoustic jazz stylings of Adam McCray, who brought a modest mobile speaker setup and jammed for hours. 

Tips from the beer garden on Friday went to Cassopolis Little League to help fund new bathrooms. The two-day event also featured a small business pop-up event at the Pioneer Log Cabin Museum. 

(Photos by Ryan Yuenger / Leader Publications)