The Region of Three Oaks Museum (TROTOM) is teaming up with the School of American Music to present an evening of “Songs of the Pioneers” via Zoom on Thursday, Feb. 25, at 7 p.m. Eastern.

The songs, played by a quartet of local folk musicians, depict the subjects that occupied the minds of Southwest Michigan’s 19 th Century settlers, including logging, farming, domestic work, the railroads, Great Lakes sailing and celebrations.

Program host Nick Bogert, a TROTOM board member, provides the historical context in which the songs were sung. Bogert creates a brief pictorial background using old photos and paintings of lumberjacks, railroad crews and other appropriate illustrations.

“It’s infotainment at its most infotaining,” Bogert said. He also has produced other TROTOM videos including “Lifestyles of the Mich(iana) & Famous,” “Lights! Camera! Three Oaks! The Making of Prancer” and “The Pokagon Band: More Than Just a Casino.”

Local musicians include Garth Taylor providing guitar, dulcimer, vocals and arranging; Dan Moser on vocals, banjo, guitar and percussion; Tara Dodge on vocals, flute and percussion, and Daniel Rodriguez on upright bass. To join this Zoom program, email TROTOM at trotommuseum@gmail.com for login information.

Library garden

The 2021 Bridgman Library Community Garden opens to new gardeners March 1.

Available plots are rented on a first come, first serve basis. Come to the library and receive a copy of the Handbook, fill out a registration form, and pay $10 for each 4x8-foot plot. Returning gardeners, please remember to fill out a new registration form for 2021.

The Bridgman Public Library is offering an all-ages A Zoom Event on “Out-Smarting the Scammers” by Douglas Wall is scheduled for 2 p.m. Feb. 23. Get expert advice on how to identify and protect yourself from fraudulent activity. (www.bridgmanlibrary.com).

Broadband survey

The Berrien County Broadband Internet Task Force is seeking to bridge the digital divide in Berrien County by asking as many people as possible to fill out its survey at MichiganMoonshot.org/Berrien.

Grand Mere hike on tap

Grand Mere State Park is the destination for the Harbor Country Hikers’ (HCH) on Saturday, Feb. 20, beginning at 2 p.m. Eastern.

The history of this nearby state park, designated a National Natural Landmark, will be discussed by HCH President Pat Fisher.

Long considered an outdoor laboratory for natural resources study, Fisher will explain how a combination of natural forces formed the unique Grand Marais Embayment. Protected from Lake Michigan by the dunes to the west, the park has many natural features not found throughout the rest of the state.

The 2.5-mile hike is rated moderate difficulty and should take about two hours. Hikers should dress in layers, wear a warm hat and bring water along. Depending on the weather, there may be some muddy or icy areas.

HCH hikers observe social distancing and the use of face masks is required. From Red Arrow Highway, drivers should head west on John Beers past the I-94 westbound exit to a southbound turn onto Thornton Road. The parking lot entrance road is about a half-mile on the right.

For complete details or HCH membership information, visit harborcountry hikers.com.

Old Mill Run Mexican Fiesta Night

The Bridgman Foundation for Educational Excellence (BFEE) is proud to partner with Classic Catering to host an Old Mill Run Mexican Fiesta Night from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 20. This give-back night will help raise funds to provide enhanced learning opportunities for Bridgman students, staff, and community.

For just $40, a family of four can enjoy a delicious meal consisting of eight chicken and cheese enchiladas, eight ground beef soft-shell tacos, Spanish rice, refried beans, and chips and salsa. Cheese, lettuce, tomato, salsa and sour cream will be provided on the side. Tickets are being sold in advance online only through Feb. 17 and can be purchased now at www.bridgmanfoundation.org/mexican-fiesta.

To ensure the health and safety of everyone during the pandemic, ticket holders can pick up their Mexican Fiesta dinners via a drive-through pickup process at Bridgman High School, 9964 Gast Road, on Feb. 20 between 4 and 6 p.m. Upon arrival, patrons will simply show their PayPal receipts and volunteers will load the hot meals into their vehicles. Everyone can enjoy the tastes of Old Mill Run in the comfort of their own homes.

Classic Catering is owned and operated by Brett and Melissa Boyd, who owned the Old Mill Run restaurant in New Troy several decades ago. Old Mill Run was well known for Taco Night every Wednesday.

Founded in 2009, the non-profit Bridgman Foundation for Educational Excellence strives to recognize innovation, foster excellence, and make a positive impact on the future of our community through education. To learn more, donate, or volunteer visit www.bridgmanfoundation.org.

Mobile food pantries

Upcoming Feeding America Mobile Food Pantry visits are scheduled as follows: 11 a.m. Feb. 19 at New Buffalo American Legion, 19139 U.S. Hwy 12, New Buffalo; 3:30 p.m. March 2 at 3 Harbert Community Church, 6444 Harbert Road, Sawyer; 4:30 p.m. March 3 at Woodland Shores Baptist Church, 3555 Shawnee Rd, Bridgman.

For more, log on to: https://www.feedwm.org/ mobile-pantry-schedule/

Michigan Reconnect

You can go to college or to a training program for free.

Michigan Reconnect will help pay the costs of in-district tuition, mandatory fees and contact hours for eligible adults who want to pursue an associate or technical degree.

In order to be eligible, applicants must: Be age 25 or older; have a high school diploma or equivalent; Be a Michigan resident for at least one year; Not have completed a college degree (associate or bachelors).

Michigan Reconnect pays the remaining balance of tuition and mandatory fees after other state and federal financial aid have been applied, up to the in-district price for all students.

Scholarship applications are now being accepted. We hear from employers that they can’t find enough skilled workers, and they offer good pay. If you finished high school or your GED, you already have what it takes to continue your education – stick with itness! If you had a less than great high school experience, you will likely be surprised how much more you will enjoy returning to school.

Neighbor by Neighbor stands by to help you. Why sit home and worry about bills-take your life into your own hands and apply to get the training you need to make more money and your family more secure. Let us know how we can help.

Call or text for help applying at 269-231-0648.

Fair swine classes

The Berrien County Youth Fair’s board of directors accepted the recommendation from the swine committee earlier this week to limit the upcoming swine carcass class to 15 animals.

Exhibitors in their last year of showing will have preference, as the class is open to 13- to 20-year-olds. Carcass animals will not be sold in the auction.

The 2020 swine rules will remain in effect for 2021, as ractopamine – in feed or top dressed – will not be allowed to be fed anytime during the growth of a hog to be exhibited at the fair.

The registration deadline is March 15.

Only paper entry forms will be accepted because the fair is not taking online registration for the swine carcass class.

Entry forms are available at the fair office from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday.

Completed entries can be placed in the drop box or mailed to P.O. Box 7 Berrien Springs, MI 49103, postmarked by March 15.

Market swine entries will be limited to one hog per exhibitor for the 2021 fair.

Exhibitors chosen for the carcass class may register the carcass and one live market hog.

There are no changes to the breed classes. Market swine registration deadline is June 1.

Brian Swiger Memorial Scholarship

The Twin City Players announces that application forms for the 2021 Brian Swiger Memorial Scholarship are available online.

The scholarship was established in 1996 in memory of former TCP member Brian Swiger. Scholarships of up to $1,000 are earmarked for seniors graduating from Berrien County high schools who have demonstrated a strong interest in theater-related activities during their academic careers.

Winners, however, can use the award money to pursue any field of study at any accredited college, university, trade school or arts education institution.

Applications are available at twincityplayers.org or by calling 269-429-0400 to request an application. Students at Berrien County high schools can also contact their counselors to learn more.

Mail applications to Twin City Players, P.O. Box 243, St. Joseph, Michigan 49085. Applications must be received no later than March 31, 2021.

The scholarship is awarded based upon school and community activities, TCP involvement, grade point average of 2.5 or better and a short essay. The recipient(s) are announced in late May.

Virtual Lecture Series

Fernwood Botanical Garden will offer Meet the Greats – a dynamic lineup of speakers discussing plant exploration, garden design, art, and architecture – through April.

Each presentation will take place on Zoom. Registrants will receive a link to each webinar before each lecture.

The series swill feature nationally and internationally known garden leaders, plant experts, authors, landscape architects, and garden designers including Daniel J. Hinkley, Keith Stolte, Michael S. Dosmann, Andrea Wulf, Bill Noble, and Piet Oudolf.

The series schedule, speaker and lecture information, and ticket details can be found at www.fernwood botanical.org. Registration can be taken online or by phone at 269-695-6491.

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