Harrison Shakes It Up for Street Fair


By Dianne Alward-Biery
Cleaver Staff Writer

HARRISON – It is considered rude in Helen Debakersome circles to randomly talk about the weather, but when weather dictates whether thousands of people do or do not attend an open-air event – it matters! Fortunately, the 2018 Harrison Street Fair managed to dodge a predicted thunderstorm bullet Saturday when the forecasted damp weather skirted the city. And skirted is the word, as reports were heard of rain in Hayes Township’s Ash Acres community while it remained dry in Harrison.

A busy Friday of fun opened with the popular Old U.S. 27 Car Tour as dozens upon dozens of vintage, classic and creatively restored vehicles rolled in to fill Main Street.

Steven D n KeysIn addition to the many vendors, kids’ games and artisanal creations, some creative entertainment was on the scene this year. A caricature artist sketched to the delight of patrons, free photos of willing subjects seated before a huge photo wall of old-town Harrison were available, and the unquenchable quest to sink the sitter returned with the Chamber of Commerce dunk tank (some truly good sports there…).

Of course, there was also entertainment, but this year there was LOTS of entertainment. The city set up two stages where throughout the day music and song were offered simultaneously, so that when attendees walked away from the sound field of one performance they were embraced by another.

Jacob Stuhr of S&S Collision was onsite during the Car Tour with his restored 1978 Corvette 2-door T-Top coupe which will be raffled off at a drawing to be held in Clare during halftime of the Sept. 7 Clare-Harrison football game. Proceeds from the raffle will be split between Clare and Harrison booster organizations. Tickets may be purchased at S&S Collision, 3865 N. Clare Ave., between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The winning ticketholder does not need to be present to win.

Sunshine String Band

Also on hand Friday was Dennis Mott of Smith/Mott Racing whose custom built snowmobile Money Train took down two records Aug. 7 setting the eighthcar show-mile elapsed time record of 4:56 and a speed record of 162.68 mph. He brought the Money Train with him and fielded lots of questions from racing admirers.

Of course, no one in attendance had any excuse to suffer from hunger because there was plenty of food truck treasure to appease the hangriest of fair-goers.


Car Cruise

Buttons the Clown Supports Library


By Dianne Alward-Biery
Cleaver Staff Writer

Buttons the ClownHARRISON – Buttons the Clown spent some time under the Harrison District Library tent Saturday during the Harrison Street Fair. Her goal was to make as many children smile as possible, and in the process accept lots of donations which she could then contribute to the library’s Surrey House Renovation Project.

With a smile and a flourish, Buttons inflated, twisted and shaped her long balloons into a multitude of shapes. Visitors could request a dog, flower, love birds, bee, mouse, orbit, hat, sword, parrot, giraffe, fish, apple or heart.

Not surprisingly, there seemed to be many short folks running around swinging pastel-colored sabers and sporting smiles of delight. And those smiles are apparently the most rewarding part of the experience for Buttons.

“It’s the kids,” Buttons said. “When they haven’t seen it before, there’s the look on their face [she indicated a child’s slack-jawed awe], and the adults are standing back there going ‘How did she do that?’”

Of course, this was not a new experience for Buttons, who said she has spent about 30 years doing her balloon fun for kids.

“I do birthday parties and I have a big craft show coming up down in Ohio [in October] that has about 300 vendors,” she said. “The second Saturday in October there’s an Apple Butter Festival, and I’ve got about a half-dozen Halloween parties coming up.”

In her down time, Buttons is actually Nancy Siferd. When Ken Weiler (previously of Detroit and now of Findley, Ohio) who has a cabin in Piney Woods, was in Harrison in June he read of the library’s Surrey House project and decided to make a sizeable donation to the effort. His $5,000 donation will lead to the naming of the new children’s area as “Buttons the Clown Children’s Area” after his friend Nancy Siferd. That donation was followed up by Buttons’ participation in the Harrison Street Fair.

Apparently, Buttons understands that donating dollars to a worthwhile cause is much like comprehending infinity: You can always add one more.


Market Hosts Kids Cake Wars


By Dianne Alward-Biery
Cleaver Staff Writer

HARRISON – The Harrison City Market

Cake Winners

held its first-ever Kids Cake Wars during last weekend’s Harrison Street Fair. The event was open to ages 8 to 12 and offered some enticing prizes: $100 for first place, $50 for second place, and $25 for third place.

To participate, all kids had to do was register and then show up at the Harrison City Market for a two-hour block of supervised kitchen time between noon to 6 p.m. Friday or 8 a.m. to noon Saturday to decorate their 8-inch square, single-layer cakes. The cakes, frosting and tools were provided, and competitors were allowed to bring additional edible decorative items. A $10 entry fee was collected while the kids worked on their masterpieces.

Twelve young decorators participated in the Kids Cake Wars, and 11 of them stuck around for the judging at 1 p.m. Saturday. Judges took care as they gave scores ranging from 1-5 in each of three areas, then the judges’ score sheets were tallied up. The three winners, first through third, were Olivia Pastotnik, Alivia Winters and Dyanne Andrews.

The winning cakes were creative and striking, however, with the wide variety of themes and courageous artistic execution, virtually all participants would have to be proud of their entries.

Keep an eye open for upcoming events by visiting www.harrisoncitymarket.com or by calling 989-854-5980.