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Charlton Park Day kicks off season with free fun

Local residents are invited to celebrate the official kick-off to summer at the 13th annual Charlton Park Day Saturday, May 25, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“In celebration of Irving Charlton’s legacy and all our supporters in Barry County, we will be celebrating the park’s 83rd year with activities and displays all around the village, along with crafts, and treats,” park director Dan Patton said. “Watch master craftsmen in action in the blacksmith shop and fiber spinning in the township hall. Sample cookies and bread baked on a wood stove in the Sixberry House and the Bristol Inn.

Popcorn and balloons, courtesy of the Hastings Rotary Club and Charlton Park Village Foundation, will be available outside of the Upjohn House.

The steam-driven sawmill will be in operation, he said, and the 1885 Westinghouse Steam traction engine may make a couple of rounds.

Cowboy Tommy and His Fancy Roping Tricks will be featured at 12:45 p.m. The park’s trams will take guests on rides around the park between noon and 2:30 p.m.

Barry County’s Central Dispatch, Transit, road commission, Commission on Aging, Mid-Michigan Color Guard and others will be attending with goodies and information. Fingerprinting for children will be provided by the sheriff’s posse. WBCH 100.1 FM will host a live remote broadcast, as well.

Representatives from the Michigan Longbow Association, Civil War re-enactment, Barry County Youth Day and Charlton Park Gas and Steam Engine Club will promote upcoming park events.

The mission of Charlton Park Day is to honor Barry County residents who have supported the park for the past 83 years.

“Thanks to generous community members and local businesses, the entire day is free to everyone,” Patton said. “Stop by for lunch and bring your appetite.”

Free grilled hot-dogs, chips, ice cream and bottled water will be provided to all visitors while supplies last.

“The park is now open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, so stop by to swim, boat, picnic or hike today,” Patton said.

Historic Charlton Park is southeast of Hastings at 2545 S. Charlton Park Road. Additional information is available online at charltonpark.org or by calling 269-945-3775.

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