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My Town Grand Haven: Chili Blues returns April 25-27

My Town Grand Haven: Chili Blues returns April 25-27

GRAND HAVEN, Mich.— A lakeshore tradition returns this month, bringing beer, blues and lots of beans to  Grand Haven.

Grand Haven’s Chilly Blues is April 25-27.  Visitors can sample a variety of chili soups while listening to live blues performances, including the national act, Big James and the Chicago Playboys.

"The longevity of the event is due to the quality of the music, the fun atmosphere, and the popular chili contest that draws people from all over the state.  It has come to signify the beginning of summer in Grand Haven!" says Steve Loftis who started Chilly Blues 22 years ago along with Greg Gilmore of the Kirby House.  “We are again hosting the beer tent for the Saturday night extravaganza!”

Admission to the entertainment/beer tent on Saturday night is $10 in advance and $12 the day of the event.   The chili cook-off begins at 10 a.m. Saturday at Snug Harbor.  For additional event information, call (616) 846-8400.

My Town Grand Haven: Grand Pizza & Beer Fest champs crowned

My Town Grand Haven: Grand Pizza & Beer Fest champs crowned

GRAND HAVEN, Mich.—The  Chamber of Commerce for Grand Haven, Spring Lake and Ferrysburg has crowned a new set of champions in the Grand Pizza & Beer Fest.

On Saturday, March 22, more than 400 people sampled the creations of six local pizzerias.  They then voted for the best classic and best specialty pizza.  Clover Bar took the title for classic pizza with their cheese pizza; Old Boys’ Brewhouse was runner-up.  In the specialty pizza category, Old Boys’ Brewhouse took the most votes; Clover Bar was a close second.  Mr. Scrib’s won the Best Booth Award.

My Town: Muskegon instructor wins pastry chef of the year

My Town: Muskegon instructor wins pastry chef of the year

MUSKEGON, Mich.--  Baker College of Muskegon is home to the pastry chef of the year in the 2014 Great Lakes Regional Masterpiece Chocolate-Pastry Competition.

This is the second consecutive year Justin Raha has won the honor.  Raha is an instructor at Baker’s Culinary Institute of Michigan.  He’s also the owner and executive pastry chef of Grand Finale Desserts & Pastries in Grand Haven.

All competitors had to create a chocolate display piece, a chocolate anniversary cake and plate presentation and a petite four presentation with eight bonbons, in honor of the event’s 25th anniversary.

My Town Grand Haven: Date set for Chilly Blues Music Festival

My Town Grand Haven: Date set for Chilly Blues Music Festival

GRAND HAVEN, Mich.—The date is set for the return of the Chilly Blues.

Downtown Grand Haven will host the festival April 25-26.  This is the 22nd year for the Chilly Blues Music Festival and Cook-off, which traditionally includes a mix of local, regional and national blues performances along with a chili cook-off contest.

Organizers plan to release additional event information next week.

Local restaurants serve up free meals to veterans November 11

Local restaurants serve up free meals to veterans November 11

Some West Michigan restaurants are honoring miliatry members  this Veterans Day by serving up free meals.

Lakeshore Partnership is also offering a free meal to veterans at 19 of its local McDonald’s restaurants.  Military identification is preferred, but not required.  Participating locations include:

Living ArtPrize entry to stay downtown

Living ArtPrize entry to stay downtown

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—An ArtPrize entry bringing the beauty of living plants to downtown Grand Rapids is sticking around.

“East of Eden” will remain outside the B.O.B. for at least another year. The 1,400 square foot piece has already been replanted with more than 2,000 winter hardy perennials.

Spring Lake resident and LiveWall employee David MacKenzie created the piece of green art.  “East of Eden” made it into the ArtPrize Top 25 this year. 

UPDATE: West Ottawa celebrates 'Spirit Bracket Challenge' victory

UPDATE: West Ottawa celebrates 'Spirit Bracket Challenge' victory

HOLLAND, Mich.-- Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar will reward the winner of its “Spirit Bracket Challenge” November 5.

The restaurant organized the friendly fundraising competition as a way to promote school spirit while helping a dozen local schools raise money for classroom supplies and school activities.

Kenowa Hills 6th grade/Alpine Elementary and West Ottawa High School were the last two competitors standing, besting ten other schools in the Teriyaki 12 and Spicy 6 fundraising rounds.  In the end, West Ottawa won the Flamin’ Finals.  In addition to the funds students raised throughout the competition, West Ottawa will get an additional $2,500 from Buffalo Wild Wings.  The school will be rewarded with a special check during its celebratory pep rally Tuesday, November 5.

“We were so lucky to have 12 upbeat and enthusiastic schools compete in th