September 20, 2018

Black bears to be celebrated at annual festival


CURRAN –– The 13th annual Curran Black Bear Festival will return Saturday, Sept. 30, with a classic car show, parade, arts and crafts show, a cake walk and many other activities for the whole family.

Visitors come from all over to see the Black Bear Capital of Michigan during the festival, which is scheduled to open at 9 a.m. and will run until 4 p.m.

Door prizes, raffles and other prizes will be available, according to festival Chairman Maxine Small, who has coordinated the event for several years.

“We have the car show and we’re going to have Twister Joe and three girls will do a dance,” she said. “We’re going to have the regular raffles, which are for a black bear quilt, a bear carving and a garden bench. We’re going to have a car show, the parade at 1 p.m., a search and rescue canine unit, door prizes, a cake walk and a bake sale.”

Small said while she did not have an estimate of how many attend each year, the weather tends to affect the crowds. She believes this year there will be a larger crowd.

“We didn’t have as big of a crowd as we did the year before, but I think it has a lot to do with the weather and that kind of stuff,” she said. “I know it does for the car show because if it’s rainy and not a nice day, the car show people just don’t come and they don’t want to get their expensive cars in the rain, and I don’t blame them.”

The car show will be judged by attendees and trophies will be awarded to the highest-rated cars in the show. Car enthusiast Paul Hegwood will be leading the parade with his car and the grand marshals in tow.

“We’re going to have classes of cars and we number them all, and people vote and we hand out trophies at the end of the day,” he said. “I’ll be handing out the trophies and announcing the winners.”

Hegwood said the trophies given will depend on how many classes of cars there are. The classes are split up between styles, years and other classifications.

“It’s a nice little up north festival for locals or visitors,” he said.

The event is free to attend and will feature kids activities and games, a bouncy slide, wildlife displays, food and music throughout the day and more. The annual parade will take place on M-65 at 1 p.m. and will include emergency vehicles and floats.

The car show will be judged by the coordinators and the top winners will be awarded trophies at 3 p.m.

For more information, visit the Curran Black Bear Festival 2017 Facebook page or


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