Bike celebration returns to Vicksburg Sept. 15-17

By Paul Selden

The 5th annual Fall Bike Celebration Weekend offers a Farmers Market Cycle-In event on Friday, September 15, a kid’s Bike Rodeo on Saturday and a route cycling event on Sunday.

On Friday, the first 30 shoppers riding in by bike to the Vicksburg Farmers Market can receive a $5 coupon good for purchases at the Farmers Market. The adjacent Vicksburg Historic Village is also offering guided 45-minute tours to anyone wishing to learn more about this re-creation of life in southwest Michigan at the turn of the 1900’s.

A free Bike Rodeo for children from the entire area is planned for the morning of Saturday, organized by Safe Kids of Kalamazoo County. This event, which aims to encourage kids to ride bikes safely, will be on a closed course set up with fun and realistic educational challenges. The Rodeo will include a helmet check, a bike mechanical check, and a chance to have fun and exercise while learning rules of the road. Saturday also features a tour of the Vicksburg Mill Project that is open to the public, additional guided tours of the Vicksburg Historic Village, a bicycle mural exhibit, and an Ice Cream Social at Apple Knockers Ice Cream Parlor for pre-registered riders.

On Sunday Sept. 17 the Fall Bike Celebration Bike Tour will offer routes that take cyclists back in time, starting and ending at the Historic Village while featuring views of the Vicksburg Quilt Trail paintings. Cyclists can pick from scenic destinations all the way to Shipshewana, with views of Michigan’s longest covered bridge, take in highlights of the Vicksburg Quilt Trail, visit Scotts Mill Park, ride through the village of Climax, as well as more bite-sized family-friendly routes. New for this year is a so-called gravel ride featuring a rest stop at the beautiful Rawson’s King Mill Park in Leonidas.

The weekend long event is organized by civic leaders, local charities and bike-related organizations, presenting dozens of reasons to ride, spotlighting local amenities while reminding the public to bike and drive safely.

Some activities are free, some require waivers and some require children to be accompanied by an adult. Bill Adams, former Vicksburg village president, is enthusiastic. “Vicksburg welcomes bicyclists and encourages everyone from the region to enjoy the Fall Bike Celebration. We are grateful for the support of the generous sponsors and wonderful in-kind supporters who make this fantastic fall bicycle festival possible.” For updates, see

Celebrating abundance at Vicksburg Harvest Festival

Kids, human and goat alike, love the Harvest Festival.

By Charlie Church

Just as the vibrant hues of autumn begin to dapple the landscape, just as the air takes on a crisp edge, anticipation of the 13th Annual Vicksburg Harvest Festival arrives.

The cherished event, a wonderful way to while the family’s time in the fall, is set for Sunday, September 24. Promising a weekend of festive flavors, family-friendly activities, and celebration of harvests past, the occasion will begin at 11 a.m. and end at 4 p.m. It is hosted by the Vicksburg Historical Society and takes place on the Historic Village grounds.

This year’s Harvest Festival promises a diverse array of activities. Among the attractions, the Village will come alive with doting docents in each of the buildings. Young and old will delight in horse-drawn hay wagon rides, a sawmill demonstration, tiny pumpkin decorating, face painting, and all sorts of neat animals to pet and appreciate. The Vicksburg Historical Society’s 1931 Ford Model A will be available to ferry folks on short rides. All along the gravel path, visitors will be able to see antique tractors and farm machinery up close.

As in preceding years, a secret word and picture search will get the kids scrambling all over the early 20th century village seeking clues to earn prizes. In addition, Generous Hands and South County Community Services will have those petite pumpkins to be decorated near the headquarters tent. There will also be a game to guess a gourd’s weight and a 50/50 raffle.

As a special treat this year, the pumpkin decorating contest will expand to allow teens and adults to compete. Ahead of the event, children aged 5 to 12, teenagers, and adults can enter a pumpkin decorating competition for prizes from Apple Knockers. The contest requires entries to be delivered to the Depot Museum on Saturday, Sept. 23 between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Applications for the pumpkin decorating contest will be available online at and at the Depot Museum on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. in September.

Central to the festival’s theme is the celebration of local agriculture. Up at the pavilion, vendors from the Farmers’ Market will showcase the area’s rich agricultural heritage and artisans and crafters from all over will have goods for sale. Food enthusiasts will be treated to a gastronomic journey, with a variety of food trucks and stalls offering delectable treats.

All the buildings in the Historic Village, relocated and restored, will be open for tours. Friendly and knowledge guides will be in each to explain the history of the print shop, general store, Doris Lee Sweet Shop, schoolhouse, township hall, garage, and farmhouse. The Vicksburg Historical Society and Historic Village are open during the fall on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. for researching and viewing the collection of artifacts at the Depot Museum and on the grounds.

The Harvest Festival is organized by the Vicksburg Historical Society, and we look forward to welcoming all, rain or shine, on the last Sunday in September.

Local futsal player competes internationally

Dylan Myers celebrates the trophy win with his teammates.

By Kathy Oswalt-Forsythe

Dylan Myers, age 10.

Ten-year-old Vicksburg resident Dylan Myers had the experience of a lifetime in August: the chance to compete at the International Futsal Tournament in Brazil as captain of an elite team with United States Youth Futsal.

Futsal is a fast-growing, fast-paced game, much like soccer. Dylan has played soccer since he was five years old, and like many parents of active children, his parents, Jenni and Derick Myers, were always looking for ways to keep him moving, especially during the winter. This is how they discovered the game of futsal.

Futsal teams consist of five players, one them the goalkeeper. The game is played indoors on a hard court with a size 4 soccer ball. This ball is slightly smaller and heavier than a soccer ball, with less bounce, which makes it a better option for playing indoors. Futsal has two 20-minute halves, with one time-out per half. Like soccer, players are not allowed to use their hands.

The name of the sport is a combination of two words in Spanish or Portuguese: “futbol” and “salon,” referring to its indoor location.

In the fall of 2022, Dylan began training with a futsal team in Grand Rapids, the Michigan Futsal Academy led by Coach Mark Barone. Dylan quickly took to the game. At the end of the season, the Myers learned about U.S youth futsal and an international team for children Dylan’s age. Dylan began the tryout process for this team.

In March, Dylan attended his first tryout in Wyoming, Michigan. It’s is a competitive process. Last year, tryouts for the national team included over 500 kids in 18 different locations around the country.

Next, he was invited to a second and final tryout in Kansas City with 50 other children his age. Dylan was one of the twelve athletes selected—10 player and 2 goalies—to complete in an international competition in Brazil. Dylan’s teammates were from all over the United States.

Dylan’s family was able to accompany Dylan and the team to Iguacu Falls, Brazil in August for the competition along with a delegation that included a boys and girls team for birth years 2011, 2012, and 2013.

There the young athletes followed a rigorous training schedule, along with some sightseeing excursions. The teams also visited a local elementary school where they donated gear and were able to interact with students. They played futsal, chess, and even rock-paper-scissors together, which reinforced the USFA emphasis on “human being over athlete.”

The teams also met and practiced with professional teams and players from Brazil and Argentina.

The United States has competed in these international tournaments for 11 years; Dylan’s birth-year 2013 team exceeded expectations as the first USFA team to defeat Brazil in the finals and win gold.

After this busy and fulfilling summer, Dylan is headed back to school and the fall soccer season.