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Tuesday, August 14, 2018



R I D G EFEST Aug. 17-19, 2018


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Grand Ridge Fest

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Music, tributes and tractors in Grand Ridge this weekend ANGELA ACCOMANDO For The Times Following an absence of live entertainment at the 2017 Grand Ridge Community Festival, organizers are happy to bring music back to the town-wide celebration. The annual fest is Friday, Aug. 17, through Sunday, Aug. 19. Last year, mostly due to a lack of staffing, musical entertainment was eliminated “much to the dismay of some attendees and donors,” according to Co-Chairwoman Cindy Davis. The past will be present, though, when Snap Shot, a classic rock/pop band, takes the stage at 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 18, at the “usual spot” in downtown Grand Ridge. “We’re so very excited to bring the band back,” Davis said. “We’re glad we got the help and donations,” she added. A beer garden also will be available behind the fire department building. Wristbands will be available for $15 Contributed each and will be valMusic returns to the Grand Ridge Community Festival this year with a performance by Snap Shot, a classic rock/pop band, at 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 18, id from 4:30 to 10:30 p.m. in downtown Grand Ridge. “We have a great committee with three Ridge streets for decades. popcorn during movie night. fest that had fallen by the honored to be parade marnew members and it Davis added she and the com- In addition to the returning wayside for a few years. Hines shal. It’s a beautiful tribute is because of all of them — mittee are happy to provide music scene, Davis and other served for more than 10 years to an awesome lady,” Castro and the founders — that we many of the fest activities organizers are excited about as a Village Board member told the Times. can make this happen” Davis and events at no cost to atthe parade leaders who will and mayor. Both she and ConThe other set of marshals said. “It’s not a party but tendees. head up the celebration finali- treras are considered valued will include the “Triple Js,” more of a reunion for those “It’s not our goal to make ty Sunday afternoon. members of the Grand Ridge Judy Rowe, Judy Soulsby and who grew up and/or love “We have two sets of marCommunity Fest Committee Joanne Olson. The trio are Grand Ridge. It’s a chance for money from this. We are a nonprofit organization that shals. One set will be Lisa and several other community creators of the Grand Ridge us to give back. It’s all about Castro, daughter of longtime fundraising organizations. Pizza Burger fundraiser, and community and giving back.” gives back to many groups resident Sheryne Contreras, “Sheryne was such a good former Grand Ridge ElemenAnd giving back — whether within our community. I just love to see people hugging, and former Grand Ridge May- neighbor and so helpful tary School cafeteria chefs. it be through the entertainsmiling when they are at the or Kay Hines.” within the community, I’m Also being honored is Nancy ment, free kids’ corner, free fest,” she said. Contreras and Hines were so glad to honor her,” Davis “Dodd” Doughty. Doughty will movie and snacks or free-toThe Grand Ridge Volunsome of those who first apsaid. “My mom was so proud be honored as part of the 2018 join parade, organizers are teer Fire Protection District proached Davis several years of her work and loved her Grand Ridge Tractor Run on proud to continue the fest will provide free water and ago in hopes of reviving the community so much. I am Saturday, Aug. 18. that has taken to the Grand

Grand Ridge Fest

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Tuesday, August 14, 2018 3

Damien Morgan, 4, of Ottawa strolls through looking at tractors with his grandfather, Tracy Morgan, of Grand Ridge, in 2013 at the Grand Ridge Community Festival.

The Times | file

Grand Ridge Tractor Run to honor Doughty ANGELA ACCOMANDO For The Times If a photo is worth a thousand words, then a thousand words may have been exactly how many Nancy (Dodd) Doughty would have used to explain her photo-taking experiences as Grand Ridge‘s go-to girl for community events. Doughty will be honored as the 2108 recipient during the annual Grand Ridge Tractor Run during Grand Ridge Community Festival. Organizers expect more than 120 participants Doughty this year for the event, formerly known as the Ridge Runners, and are adding a third stop and lunch for participants. According to Doughty’s husband, Jim, Nancy had a love for the town, the tractors, their owners and all things Grand Ridge. “She was passionate about it. She was passionate about the town, passionate about the tractor owners and passionate about photos,” he told the Times. “She did it for almost a decade. We even traveled the route the day before so she could kind of

Tractors heading back to Grand Ridge Grand Ridge again will be filled with red, green, yellow, orange, blue, purple and maybe even another surprise color as tractors of all sizes, shapes and years gather for the annual Ridge Roundup Tractor Show and Ride hosted by the Ridge Roundup Tractor Club. The large tent will go up on the grounds of Farmer’s Grain Services at 550 Railroad Ave. Thursday night and the show officially opens at 7 a.m. Friday. Last year there were well more than 120 tractors and implements in the show. Owners travel from various local communities as well as from afar each year to join the festivities. The annual tractor ride will take place rain or shine. The route will be approximately 43 miles. This is a longer ride than usual due to an addition to the event. The first stop will be at Ruff Brothers Grain, 100 Tabor St., Leonore, with coffee, juice and doughnuts served and sponsored by Compeer Financial (First Farm Credit), Ottawa. Then the ride will continue west to Lukach Seed Agency, 520 N. 20th Road., Tonica, where a lunch will be served. After lunch a third stop will be made for homemade cookes and soft drinks sponsored by Covel Creek Farms. This tractor show and ride is a part of the overall annual Grand Ridge Community Fest. The streets of Grand Ridge will be filled with vendors on Saturday and Sunday and a food court also will be available. Saturday night there will be a pork chop dinner with a live auction to follow. After the auction, the band Snap Shot will take the stage and a beer tent will be available. Sunday at 1 p.m. the parade will step off to end the weekend festivities. Proceeds from both the tractor ride and the fest stay in the community with donations to the Grand Ridge Volunteer Fire Department and other local needs.

scope things out and know exactly where each stop would be to plan for the photos.” Jim will be leading the parade of tractors alongside Turbo, the dog he and Nancy adopted several years ago. Grand Ridge Tractor Run Co-Chairwoman Karen Ranger had good things to say about her longtime friend. “Doughty was a lifelong resident of Deer Park. She was our photographer for many years, taking hundreds of photos at our shows and an individual picture of each person on our rides,” Ranger said. She also took many parade pictures. She produced a CD each year of the ride with music added, and presented to each of the ride participants.

“The event will not be the same without her beautiful smiling face,” she said. “No one expected her (sudden) death, but this town has made things easier on me since then. Everyone, including the fire department and tractor club members, have been awesome,” Doughty said. “Many of them were pallbearers. Nancy would be so honored.” Whenever she would hear about an honor or fundraiser, she would go above and beyond to get extra photos and make sure the family got copies, Ranger said. The Grand Ridge Tractor Run is at 8 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 18. Some tractors from the run also will be featured in the parade Sunday, Aug. 19.

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Grand Ridge Fest

4 Tuesday, August 14, 2018

A Pontac Shriners member rides through the Grand Ridge Community Fest parade in 2015.

The Times | file

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We appreciate

Grand Ridge &Support Ag Fest Schedule Community the

The Grand Ridge Community Festival is Friday, Aug. 17, through Sunday, Aug. 19. The schedule is as follows:

u 8 P.M. TO 11 P.M.: Music by Snap Shot on main stage

Sunday, Aug. 19

u ALL DAY: Goodchild Bros. Miniature Circus, fire station u 8 A.M. TO 2 P.M.: Village-wide u ALL DAY: Ridge Round-Up rummage sale Tractor Show, Burlington Street u ALL DAY: Ridge Round-Up u 10 A.M TO 3 P.M.: Food court, Tractor Show, Burlington Street Main Street u DUSK: Free outdoor movie at Grand Ridge Bank, free popcorn and water

Friday, Aug. 17

Saturday, Aug. 18 u 8 A.M. TO NOON: Ridge Round-Up Tractor Ride, begins and ends on Burlington Street. u ALL DAY: Ridge Round-Up Tractor Show, Burlington Street u ALL DAY: Goodchild Bros. Miniature Circus, Grand Ridge Fire Station u 10 A.M. TO 4 P.M.: Craft market on Main Street u 10 A.M. TO 4 P.M.: Food court on Main Street u 11 A.M. TO 5 P.M.: Art show and sale, all ages, Township Hall u 11 A.M. TO 3 P.M.: Kids Korner, Sullivan Street u 1 TO 3 P.M.: Kids water fights on Burlington Street u 4:30 TO 7 P.M.: Pork chop dinner with the Cheese Shop deli cooking at the fire station u 7 TO 8 P.M.: Live auction the the fire station u 4:30 TO 11 P.M.: Beer garden by the fire station

u 10 A.M. TO 3 P.M.: Craft market, Main Street u 11 A.M. TO 3 P.M.: Art show and sale, all ages, Township Hall u 12:30 TO 3 P.M.: Ice cream social, Methodist Church u 11 A.M.: Parade signup at fire station u 1 P.M.: Parade

See You At the Grand Ridge Community Festival!

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Grand Ridge Fest

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Tuesday, August 14, 2018 5

Grand Ridge kicks in funds for festival The village of Grand Ridge donated $1,000 to the community festival committee. Village Board members heard a presentation in June from Grand Ridge Community Fest President Cindy Davis. According to Davis, all profit from the three-day event goes back to the community to help wherever needs may be. Much of it goes to helping families during the holidays. Davis said the committee is glad to bring a band back to the stage. “I know people were upset we didn’t have music last year but we are really happy to bring it back this year, “ Davis said. Snap Shot will take the stage Saturday, Aug. 18. “Besides that, not much will change. We will still have all of the usual events, including the food and craft markets, Kids Korner, circus and parade.”


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ABOVE: Kenzie Jaegle (left), of Grand Ridge, and her brother, Mason, work together in a kids water fight during the 2016 Grand Ridge Community Fest in Grand Ridge. This year’s activities will run Friday, Aug. 17, through Sunday, Aug. 19. LEFT TOP: The Ridge Round-up Tractor Show is Saturday, Aug. 18. LEFT: This year’s parade is at 1 p.m. Sunday.


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6 Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Grand Ridge Fest

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Grand Ridge Fest Q&A Q. Are strollers allowed? A. Yes. This is a family-friendly event.

Q. Can I bring in a cooler? A. No coolers are allowed. Food and beverages are available for sale.

Q. Are a shirt and shoes required at the fest? A. Yes.

Q. Can I bring my pet into the fest? A. Service/guide dogs are welcome. Pets are allowed on a leash. Please clean up after your pet if you choose to bring them to the fest. If your pet is disrupting individuals or becomes a nuisance, you may be asked to leave the premises with them.

Q. Are bicycles allowed at the fest? A. Yes, bicycles and scooters (used by the handicapped) are allowed. Skateboards, hoover boards and rollerblades are NOT allowed.

Q. What other items can I bring into the fest? A. The following items are allowed: u Still camera u A shirt and shoes (or at least comfortable shoes)

The following items are not allowed: u Food and beverages (Items are available for purchase onsite) u Glass or cans u Laser pointers u Weapons or contraband u Any item found by police to be inappropriate or offensive Source: Grandridgefest. org

The Times | file

ABOVE: Damien Morgan, 4, of Ottawa, shows his grandfather, Tracy Morgan, of Grand Ridge, a tractor he wanted to sit on in 2013. LEFT: Kids battle it out with fire hoses to get a barrel on a wire to the opposite side using the force of water during a water fight in 2013.

The Times - Delivering Your Community

Grand Ridge Fest

Tuesday, August 14, 2018 7

The Times | file

ABOVE: Children throw candy to other children as they ride battery-operated vehicles in 2011’s Grand Ridge Community Fest Parade. It was the first year children under the age of 8 were allowed to ride their vehicles in the parade. BELOW: Kids fish for prizes during the Kiddie Carnival at the 2012 Grand Ridge Fest.

8 Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Grand Ridge Fest

The Times - Delivering Your Community

Grand Ridge celebrates 75+ years of firefighting The Times Staff Where there is smoke, there will be the Grand Ridge Volunteer Fire Department. And it has been there for over seven decades. The department celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2017.

A bit of history The small-town, fully self-funded volunteer fire department was put into action in 1942 thanks to the efforts of “Ridger” Everett Walker and others, including Arthur Christiansen, Robert Hart, Lowell Seago and Ralph Schobert. According to a historical document from 2002, the department was formed after Walker, residents and village board members attended a meeting of the Tonica Fire Department. At the meeting, Ridgers were shown the value of a self-supported, in-town fire district. versus reliance on state-funded, traditional fire departments in larger, surrounding cities that may not have the ability to respond as quickly as needed. Following the meeting, the group set up a demonstration for the community wherein they displayed their findings and received overwhelming support that resulted in corporation of the department and volunteerism of many men to form a team of firefighters. Later in 1942, in addition to Walter, Christiansen and Hart, the board of directors expanded with the addition of appointments to Olaf Scott and Barney Novean. On June 14, 1943, a meeting was held to discuss whether or not the department should be self-funded or funded by the village. It was unanimously voted in favor of self-support — which remains today. It is the belief of many members and volunteers The Times spoke with that the fire department truly is a community effort and it is because of the support it receives from residents and business owners that it has endured and consistently become better through the years.

They built a firehouse —  and a fire truck? Back in the 1940s, housing

and equipment for the department were somewhat antiquated. As a new establishment, and one that was self-funded, it was left up to the same founders and volunteers that created the department to actually manifest the building — and provide the equipment that would be used to operate the safety-based organization so vital to the community. And so they did. The original department building was erected by volunteers from the fire department and community. It was located near the still-existing water tower close to the railroad. A fire truck was retrofitted from an old Chevy truck. Thanks to financial support from residents and business-based donations, the GRVFD proved successful — and who wouldn’t want safety at the ready? Eventually, the department found a new home. A new building was acquired in 1973. The cost of the building was approximately $65,000. The new station had a truck bay, radio room, office and meeting area. Even though members appreciated the new space, remodeling and revamping took place, resulting in additions to the building — including a new generator, lockers and more storage. And since 1942, the vehicle and equipment inventory has increased as well. In keeping with the “self-support” rule approved in 1943, the department has acquired several trucks and safety implements, including: u A 1987 IHC Engine/Brush

truck, four-wheel drive with 1400 gallons of water. u A 1992 IHC Rescue Truck — carries Jaws of Life along with other specialty tools. u A 2001 Pierce Saber CAFS Engine — carries 1,500 gallons of water, 60 gallons of foam and first responder medical equipment. u A 2007 Pierce Kenworth Tanker — carries 3,000 gallons of water. u A 2012 Pierce Velocity CAFS Engine — carries 2,500 gallons of water, 75 gallons of foam and first responder medical equipment. u A 2015 Ford Brush Truck, four-wheel drive — carries 400 gallons of water. u A 2003 and 2009 Ford Ambulance with advanced life support equipment. The GRVFD has seen many changes over the years, many of which you can read about in related articles included in this special section. All of the members The Times spoke with agree one of the things they are most proud of is the fact the department remains self-supported. Thanks to community support, donations and fundraising efforts the department hosts throughout each year, it remains a non-taxed, non-profit organization. Volunteers and board members also agreed the community and genuine care for the village add to the success of the fire protection, police and safety organizations within the “Little Town With A Big Heart.” This article originally ran in 2017 to celebrate the Grand Ridge Department’s 75th anniversary.

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