Downtown Big Rapids will hold a “re-re grand opening” as the last grand opening was canceled because of inclement weather conditions.
Rex Schuberg, president of the Big Rapids Downtown Business Association, said the activities that took place at the last re-opening will not be taking place at the up-and-coming re-opening, which is set for Oct. 1 at 5 p.m.
“We had a grand opening event planned,” said Schuberg of the last event.
He said the front patio of the Blue Cow Café was going to be extended across the street with an 18-piece band performing, but when poor weather conditions arrived around 4:30 p.m., the decision was made to cancel the re-opening.
Schuberg said they are “giving it another go.” He said there will be another band, which will be “bigger” than the 18-piece band from the last event.
“It’s going to be a marching band,” said Schuberg.
The re-opening will take place with the ribbon-cutting ceremony followed by Big Rapids High School’s homecoming parade at 5:30 p.m., which will be in the Pocket Park area located between Chemical Bank and Pepper’s Café downtown.
Schuberg noted, “It is just going to be the ribbon-cutting ceremony.” In addition, Big Rapids Mayor Mark Warba will be speaking at the ceremony, as well as Cynthia Glazier.
The last re-opening ceremony contained inflatables, downtown sidewalk sales from local area businesses, and restaurants were “packed,” noted Schuberg.
Schuberg said in comparison to the last event, this event consists of taking time to reflect on the changes of downtown Big Rapids, in addition to including its history and the history of its buildings.
“We wanted to show off what we have here in Big Rapids,” said Schuberg. At the end of October, Schuberg said they will be having a fall festival with Ferris students involved. The plans for the project began three years ago, which started out with a $3 million matching grant, which “secured the money so that we could be able to do this to begin with,” said Schuberg.
Schuberg also helped with the planning of the Streetscape project, which includes the new curbs and pavement for downtown. The lights on the trees and seating areas in the corners were a part of the project as well.
Carlleen Rose, owner of The Old Pioneer Store and Emporium and Kilwin’s Chocolates, Ice Cream and Fudge, said, “We want to turn our downtown into an outdoor history and art museum.”
“We really enjoy our university students and we hope this new Streetscape will say that we are proud to be a university town,” said Rose. n