The community of Weidman is celebrating 125 years of existence and it’s doing so in the way in which it always has, the Weidman Sawmill Days festival.
The festival goes back well over a century. Event organizers say records of an area "Field Day" even go back as far as 1847. It’s also been known as simply Weidman Days but has since been changed to Weidman Sawmill Days to celebrate the community’s heritage and the two sawmills in the area.
Whatever one may call it, Weidman Sawmill Days has been an Isabella County tradition for generations.
"I like to see the smiles on kids’ faces and see the community pull together," says Weidman Sawmill Days committee chair Melissa Chambers.
"It’s a big event every summer, a tradition I enjoyed as a kid and now I get to see the smiles on my own kids’ faces."
Many time-honored traditions will return to this year’s festival.
There will be craft, quilt, and car shows, a beer tent and concession stands, cornhole and horseshoe tournaments, and a 5K run, among many other attractions.
There will also be live music from the bands Black Out, Detour, and the Broken Glass String Band, an on-site karaoke stage, and plenty of kids’ games.
The fire department is planning a light and siren parade. The traditional parade will feature Aletha Chaffee as grand marshal. At 100 years old, Chaffee is the town’s oldest resident.
The traditional fireworks display is planned for Saturday at dusk.
Chambers estimates that more than 800 people attended last year’s festival. A truck and tractor pull has been added to this year’s lineup, an attraction that Chambers believes could attract an additional 100 or 200 people.
Weidman Sawmill Days is scheduled for Friday, July 12, through Sunday, July 14. Most events are free.
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