The Friends of New Troy Community Center will serve up guided tours of Weesaw Township’s newest scenic trail, fueled by warm drinks and donuts on Saturday, Jan. 8 – the first of a monthly Community Gathering, each to be paired with an activity or event.

This past Fall, the Weesaw Trailblazers installed two footbridges that help create an approximately half-mile path for a charming walk through the woodland and wetland areas behind the Community Center at 13372 California Road, New Troy.

Refreshments will be available in the gymnasium from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Jan. 8. The trail tours hosted by Weesaw Trailblazer Terry Hanover will take place at 10 a.m. and 11:45 a.m. The gathering will include a drawing to win a sampler pack of coffee from Red Arrow Roasters or a gift card from Baroda Tap.

Sponsored by Friends of New Troy and Red Arrow Roasters, this event is free to the public, and all ages are welcome. For more information, please visit us online at www.friendsofnewtroy.org or call (269) 426-3909.

Mobile food pantries

Feeding American Mobile Food Pantries are scheduled for: 3:30 p.m. Jan. 4 at Harbert Community Church, 6444 Harbert Road, Sawyer; 4:30 p.m. Jan. 5 at Woodland Shores Baptist Church, 3555 Shawnee Road, Bridgman.

For info on other upcoming Mobile Food Pantry visits, visit www.feedwm.org/ mobile-pantry-schedule.

Free Coats in New Troy

Friends of New Troy’s annual Winter Coat Drive has caused a lot of generous people to open their closets and bring their gently used coats to the New Troy Community Center. The center now has a wide selection of coats, hats, scarves, gloves and mittens available. Anyone in need is invited to stop by the center at 13372 California Road, and select something they like. Items are located on a rack in the hallway. Proof of income or residency is not required.

Normal Center hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to noon and Monday through Thursday, 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, call the center at (269) 426-3909.

New Year’s Day hike

The Harbor Country Hikers will lead a walk through Robinson Woods and Flynn Woods Preserves at 2 p.m. Saturday. First Day Hikes is a national initiative to encourage people to get outdoors on New Year’s Day. Robinson and Flynn Woods Preserves, both Chikaming Open Lands properties, are across the street from each other, and parking is available at both venues. Robinson Woods is at 8016 East Road, Three Oaks.

Following a 10-minute introduction, Hikers President Pat Fisher will lead a two-mile hike through the combined 115-acres of the two preserves. Robinson Woods is a mature forest, dominated by beech, maple, tulip poplar and oak, with seasonal streams. Flynn Woods is a forested wetland complex. The hike will take about two hours, and is rated moderately physically difficult.

Most Harbor Country Hikers events are open to the public, though membership is encouraged. Children are welcome with an adult. An all-terrain Rollator – a wheeled walker with extra-large tires – is available on a first-come, first-served basis by emailing harborcountry hikers@gmail.com.

Those who plan to attend this event should dress for the weather and be prepared for muddy or icy patches along the trail. The hikers follow federal and state COVID guidelines, and use of face masks currently is optional. For more information, visit harborcountryhikers.com.

Acorn shows

The following shows are scheduled at The Acorn, 107 Generations Dr., Three Oaks: 8 p.m. Jan. 8 – Brooklyn Charmers (Steely Dan tribute); 7 p.m. Jan. 19 – Jethro Tull’s Martin Barre celebrates the 50th anniversary of the release of the iconic and legendary album Aqualung. For more, go to acornlive.org.

Baroda Pageant

The 2022 Miss Baroda Pageant is scheduled for 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 8, in the Bridgman High School Auditorium. Doors open at 2:30 p.m. and admission is $20.

Contestants are: (Miss Baroda) Hannah Bogner, Ella Fogelsonger and Gabby Parker; (Miss Teen Baroda) Allie Rameriez and Deonna Cross; (Miss Junior Teen) Ava Campbell; (Little Miss Baroda) Zoe Sauder and Addison Leshman.

Blossomtime pageants

The Blossomtime Festival is excited to announce the 2022 Miss Blossomtime and Mr. Blossomtime Pageant. After a long hiatus due to the pandemic, community pageants are in full swing choosing their representatives to later compete for the titles of Mr. and Miss Blossomtime. The first Miss Blossomtime pageant was held in 1924, with Catherine Burrell being named Miss Blossomtime and the first Mr. Blossomtime was held in 1997, with Jake Belter being chosen as Mr. Blossomtime.

This year’s theme: “Past, Present, & Future” will be honoring the past of Blossomtime and Present with a salute to the future, has inspired two wonderful evenings of entertainment, music, and glamour. The Mr. Blossomtime and Showcase of Queens Pageant is Sunday evening, April 24th at 6:30 pm. Miss Blossomtime Pageant is the following evening on Monday, April 25th at 7 pm.

Tickets are $30 each. Premier Seating is available for $45 each. Program prices will be $5.00. Open to the public, ticket sales will be available Monday, April 4th. The pageants, both nights, are at the Mendel Center Mainstage and are guaranteed to be wonderful evenings full of talented young ladies and gentlemen, and the coronation of the 2022 Blossomtime Royalty.

For more information on how to compete in the local community pageants please contact the Blossomtime office at office@blossomtimefestival.org or (269) 982-8016.

Dancers registration

Registration for the 2022-2023 school year is about to begin for Berrien County Dancers, a county-wide program in which students may earn high school credit for taking dance classes. Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced Dance classes are held during the school day at Lakeshore High School, 5771 Cleveland Ave., Stevensville.

Placement auditions, required for enrollment in Intermediate and Advanced Dance, will be held on Jan. 12 (Advanced) and Jan. 13 (Intermediate). Reservations are required to attend. Alternate arrangements are available for students who need them.

Students who plan to enroll in Beginning Dance may register through their guidance counselor. No prior experience or audition is necessary for Beginning Dance.

Contact Theresa Graziano, Artistic Director, by email at tgraziano@lpslancer.net for an audition reservation. Please include the student’s name, phone number, and experience level.

The Berrien County Dancers curriculum offers technique classes in ballet and jazz with its main emphasis focused on modern technique. Elements of dance composition, dance history and anatomical alignment are taught as well. With the help of Lakeshore Public Schools and the Lakeshore Excellence Foundation, students also receive opportunities to work with distinguished outside professionals. Additional information is available online at www.BerrienCountyDancers.com.

Showing at the Vickers

The Vickers Theatre, 6 North Elm St., Three Oaks, is showing “House of Gucci” and “King Richard” through Jan. 2. For more, go to https://vickerstheatre.com.

Childcare eligibility expands

The little things you do for your child in their early years make a big difference. More families now qualify for free or low-cost childcare for children up to age 12 through the Child Development and Care (CDC) program.

The CDC program pays childcare providers an hourly rate for care, but it may not cover the full cost. You may be expected to pay the remaining amount that the subsidy does not cover.

If you have questions about whether you qualify or how to apply, www.visit Michigan.gov/childcare or contact your local MDHHS office.

Food for Fines

This holiday season, the Bridgman Public Library will accept nonperishable food items, paper products and toiletries as payment for any amount of overdue fines. The program runs to January 8, 2022.

Donations will only cover overdue fines, not lost/damaged fees. Check in at the front desk with your items. All contributions will benefit the Lake Township/Bridgman Community.

No fines? No problem! Donations are accepted at the library any time of the year.

The Bridgman Public Library Winter Reading Programs will take place through Feb. 5. Complete the challenge and win a prize! Sign up by calling the library at 269-465-3663.

The Library will be closed Jan. 1, and open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 31.

LIGHTS at Fernwood

Fernwood, 13988 Range Line Road, Niles, will host the holiday LIGHTS event to January 2, Thursdays through Sundays. The event also will offer refreshments and gift shopping.

The event marks a return to a 15-year holiday tradition at Fernwood that paused in 2008. Tickets are available online for one-hour entries from 5 to 6 p.m., 6 to 7 p.m., 7 to 8 p.m., and 8 to 9 p.m. at www.fernwoodbotanical.org/lights. The price is $15 for the general public, with discounted admission for children. Volunteers may go to the website and sign up to help during the more than 400 time slots.

Silent Sky Auditions

Twin City Players will hold auditions for the drama “Silent Sky” by Lauren Gunderson.

Auditions are scheduled for 2 p.m.Sunday, Jan. 9, and at 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 10. The auditions will be held in the Mainstage at Twin City Players, 600 West Glenlord Road, St. Joseph. John Taylor and Paige Smillie direct the production.

A list of cast/characters needed and additional information to prepare for auditions is available on the TCP audition page at www.twincityplayers.org. All are encouraged to audition. If you have any questions, please contact Paige Smillie at paigesmillie87@gmail.com. Masks are required at Twin City Players. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination is required for cast and crew.

Silent Sky show dates are March 4-20, 2022 (Fridays & Saturdays at 7:30 pm and Sundays at 2 p.m.) Tickets available February 4, 2022. Silent Sky is presented by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc., New York.

For more information about TCP, call 269-429-0400 or visit twincityplayers.org.

Dancers Marathon

Berrien County Dancers will hold a Dance Marathon fundraiser event from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 22, at Lakeshore High School, 5771 Cleveland Ave., Stevensville.

Classes will be held in the Dance Room every hour, on the hour, with the last class starting at 2 p.m. Cost is $5 per class per person or $15 for unlimited classes all day. All registrations will be done on a walk in basis. Classes, for ages 6 through adult will be taught by Berrien County Dancers Artistic Director Theresa Graziano and BCD students.

Proceeds will help support guest residencies and costume needs for students enrolled in Berrien County Dancers. A class schedule and additional information is available on the Berrien County Dancers Facebook page. For more information, call Graziano at (269) 428-1402.

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