The community of Fennville, in Allegan County – Southwest Michigan, is ramping up to celebrate its Silver Anniversary Goose Festival, October 9-11, 2009.
Locals and visitors alike are invited to celebrate Fennville’s historic ties to the thriving geese population at the 25th Annual Goose Festival. Attendees are treated to a wide variety of activities throughout the weekend, including a craft show, parades, carnival, Loose Goose Trolley, Wild Goose Chase 5k Run & Gosling Run, live entertainment, pet show, dog show, car show, and much more.
Highlights for the Silver Anniversary include:
• The first ever Goose Festival Queen & Gosling Princess (Announced on Friday, October 9)
• Diego Soulz & Rhythm (7pm on Friday, October 9)
• The Scotville Clown Band (Marching in the parade and then two 45-minute stage performances on Saturday, October 10).
• Funktion (6-9pm on Saturday, October 10)
• John Dudley - Magician & Balloon Animal Artist Extraordinaire (Noon on Sunday, October 11)
• Goose Calling Demonstration with 5-year-old Tyler Schut (3:30pm on Sunday, October 11)
• Los Bandits (5:15pm on Sunday, October 11)
A complete schedule of events is now available online at www.FennvilleGooseFestival.com.
While the first Goose Festival wasn’t held until 1984, Fennville – affectionately referred to as “Goosetown” – has been a haven for the migratory Canada geese as far back as the 1930s. During that time, the geese would stop to feed and rest at what was then the A.M. Todd Farm. Albert May Todd was the world-leader in the production of mint and other oils; the property just south of Fennville was one of his multi-acre mint plantations.
In 1949, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources purchased the Todd Farm, acquiring additional farms in the area up through 1970. Their intent was to establish The Farm Unit, which included a hunting area and a wildlife refuge, serving as a waterfowl management area.
In the 1930s, the estimated number of Canada geese to congregate at The Farm was around 1000. In recent years, fall counts have exceeded 25,000 birds at one time. Through the course of a single season, the refuge serves more than 100,000 geese. These migrating geese usually begin their occupation of the refuge in early September, with the greatest visitation occurring from October to early November. Some, however, have found The Farm Unit a suitable setting to spend the winter. Between 10,000 and 20,000 geese have been known to winter here, in central Allegan County.
The Farm, located at 6013 118th Avenue in Fennville, today boasts a total 3650 acres – of which 1300 acres are maintained as a refuge. The Farm Unit provides a unique opportunity view large numbers of geese flying, feeding and resting in a natural setting. Few places allow people to mingle so closely with wildlife such as this.
For more information:
25th Anniversary Fennville Goose Festival: www.FennvilleGooseFestival.com
City of Fennville: www.GreaterFennville.com