Vintage cars, kayaks, frogs bring hundreds of visitors to Marion’s Old Fashioned Days

August 10, 2017

By Steve Landon

Marion is without a doubt one of the nicest, active and enjoyable little communities you’ll find in Northern Michigan. Winter, spring, summer and fall the little village rolls out the red carpet for visitors and locals alike with a wide range of events from snowmobile racing in winter to the annual Marion Old Fashion Days, the biggest event of the year held this past weekend.

A ladies canoe team takes evasive action to get around an obstacle in the river.

A ladies canoe team takes evasive action to get around an obstacle in the river.

Festival activities officially kicked off Friday August 4th with area yard sales followed by the evenings popular Car, truck and bike cruise down Main Street.

Saturday the biggest day of the festival got up and running bright and early with the annual 5k run/walk followed by a golf scramble, fire truck display, softball tournament, children’s events, and more.

Back at the Marion fairgrounds/Veteran’s Memorial Park an incredibly beautiful display of cars, trucks and motorcycles from around the Great Lakes glowed in the early morning sun during their annual show. Enthusiasts from three states and Ontario proudly showed off their two, four and 18 wheeled gems of the road while happily chatting with camera tooting visitors and fellow motor head’s.

A short jaunt down river walk, men sent horseshoes sailing at a blister speeds looking to score a ringer in the annual horseshoe tournament. On the ball diamonds the cracking sound of bats and the roar of cheering fans could be heard throughout the park.

Low water levels – a problem during the 2016’s canoe and Kayak races was nothing more than a fading memory for paddlers who traversed the river this year. Near to above normal water levels from recent heavy rains made for ideal paddling. While there were a few obstacles overall racers came through in good shape.

Downtown was alive with street vendors, sidewalk and yard sales that kept shoppers busy while listening to the ever-popular music of Steve D ‘s one-man band. Kid’s enjoyed a children’s parade, penny scramble and the Marion Historical Society was also active at their annual open house.

Youngsters chased after the piglets for the greased pig contest.

Youngsters chased after the piglets for the greased pig contest.

Kids, frogs and toads where soaring to new heights and jumping up and down with excitement at the 10th Annual Frog and Toad Jumping contest. Seventeen of the very best competitors from throughout the Great Lakes invaded Marion to put on another outstanding show of strength and flight.

“I was more than just a little HOPPY when I TOAD the crowd about how for the last 10 years I could dePOND on each kid to BUGring their green friends to the competition and how I would never FROGet about the fun times we’d had so far. We are definitely KERMITted to continuing our Frog and Toad Jumping HOPeration for another 10 years of RIBBETing excitement! – A contest official said”

The 2017 champion, with a jump of 6’ 4”, was ‘Gray’ managed by Grayson Vesey. Second place wen to ‘Spotty’ coached by Ethan Mongar with a jump of 6’ 0”. Rounding out the top three was ‘Hero’ trained by Eli Alberts with a jump of 5’ 9”. All the frogs and kids did a great job! Start training now for next year’s competition!

The highlight of the day was without a doubt the spectacular grand parade. This year’s parade honored all First responders. Temperatures in the low 80’s and bright sunny skies greeted parade goer’s who gathered to see brightly colored entries come down the street. For youngsters the parade offered them a great opportunity to restock their candy supplies just in time to energize themselves for the fast approaching school year. Thanks to the many floats that threw candy along the route there was an ample supply of goodies.

Parked at attention with hoods open these cars await inspection from judges and car buffs.

Parked at attention with hoods open these cars await inspection from judges and car buffs.

Duck races, a greased pig competition and music in the park at the River Pavilion wrapped-up Saturday’s activities.
Breakfast at the VFW and a volleyball tournament at Veterans Memorial Park Sunday closed out another exciting Marion Day’s Old Fashion Days Festival

The 2017 Marion Days in now just a memory, however, 2018 will be here before you know so make plans now to attend the 2018 edition. For more information contact the Marion Chamber of Commerce by phone at 231-743-2461 or visit their website at

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