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Cannons, mud, base ball, Jeeps and Santa here this weekend

  Cannon fire, base ball, mud, Jeeps and Santa Claus will all be a part of a busy weekend in Frankenmuth, July 20-22.

  The southeast portion of the city will be a destination for many, as the annual Cass River Colonial Encampment will take place, along with the Frankenmudder, a Vintage Base Ball Tournament and Jeep Fest at Schaefer & Bierlein Chrysler Dodge Jeep.

   The weekend forecast looks perfect for all four events.

  Two of the four events will be held at Frankenmuth River Place Shops, while the Mudder will begin at Michigan’s Military and Space Heroes Museum and travel north along Weiss Street, to Heritage Park.

  Visitors to River Place can experience military life in the 18th century, complete with battle reenactments and weapon demonstrations during the Colonial Encampment, Saturday and Sunday, July 21-22.

  The free, two-day event will take place 9am until 6pm on Saturday and 9am until 4pm on Sunday. Over 250 actors portraying British, French and American soldiers will be taking part in tactical reenactments from the Revolutionary and French and Indian wars.

 Other actors will depict voyagers who explored the 18th century American wilderness and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, Benjamin Franklin.

  The camps and battles are very realistic in nature, from the sounds of gunfire, smoke from campfires and cannons, music, accents from the actors and the uniforms and period clothing.

  Sunday morning, the Holzbruecke is temporarily closed as two different armies do battle to capture the bridge. The two armies meet in the middle of the bridge before one overtakes the other, with soldiers being “shot” and falling to the ground. The din from the gunfire is quite loud.

  Family-friendly activities include period musical concerts and games, a fashion show, colonial-inspired vendors and tours of authentic campsites set up by reenactors on the east side of River Place Shops and the area near the Holzbruecke.

  The Cass River Colonial Encampment has been a window to the past for visitors for 12 years and provides a fun, learning experience for the whole family, Michael Keller Zehnder, vice-president of Bavarian Inn, Inc., said,

  “One of my favorite parts of this event is to see parents and their children interacting with the actors and gaining a new appreciation for history and what life was like over a century ago,” Zehnder said. “I know my kids enjoy the event and I am glad Frankenmuth River Place Shops can offer this kind of experience to families around the region.”

  Each day’s schedule kicks off with Flag Ceremony and March from the pedestrian bridge between the River Place Shops and Covered Bridge and Leather Gift shop on South Main Street.

   Those interested in participating in this event may still do so. Reenactors can contact Brent Kemmer at Voyagers can contact Merlyn Hodge at

  The Frankenmudder will take place 8am until noon on Saturday. Approximately 650 participants will take to the three-mile, 18-obstacle course. The Mudder is a fundraiser for the military museum.

  For more information, call the museum at 652-8005, email at or visit their web address at  

 The Bavarian Base Ball Club of Frankenmuth will host three other vintage base ball teams for a small tourney on Saturday and Sunday. All games will be played on the grassy lot located on the southeast corner of Weiss and East Jefferson streets.

  At 3pm Saturday, the Bavarians will take on Flat Rock and Franklin and at 5pm, the Bavarians will square off against Canton and Flat Rock.

  “Those are both Gatlin Gun matches which is a term given to three clubs playing at once,” Matthew Barnard, captain of the Bavarians, said.

  On Sunday at noon, Lapeer, Richmond and Frankenmuth will have a Gatlin Gun match.

  There is no admission charge to watch this brand of base ball, which dates back to the 1860s, played with no gloves and wood bats, and with some different rules not in place in today’s game. This is the first season for the Bavarians, who are always looking for additional players.

  SantaCon – Christmas in July! Will take place from 4-10pm in town, hosted by the Knights of Bavaria.

  The Knights of Bavaria are encouraging folks to dress in their Christmas best, in a Santa outfit or elf costume, and join them on this pub crawl-style event.

  All proceeds from SantaCon will benefit the future of Bavarian Prince scholarship and the Cass River Greenway. Tickets are $25 each and may be obtained by visiting their Facebook page, SantaCon – Christmas in July!

  The actual ticket is a specially-designed 2018 “Santa's Boot” coozie. The coozie will allow the bearer to get specially-priced holiday drinks at these venues: Dead Creek Saloon, Zehnder’s Tap Room, Tiffany’s Food & Spirits, T’ Dub’s Pizzeria & Pub, Prost! Wine Bar & Charcuterie, St. Julian Winery, Cass River Bar & Grill, Frankenmuth FunShips and more.

  The evening will end with a Best Costume, Holiday Spirit and Santa’s Elf competitions, followed by and after-party at a site to be determined.

  The Schaefer & Bierlein 2018 Jeep Fest will take place on Saturday from 11am until 4pm in Heritage Park’s Harvey Kern Community Pavilion.

  Vassar native, U.S. Army Sergeant Travis Mills of the Travis Mills Foundation, will be on hand to sign copies of his book, "As Tough As They Come” as well as his movie, “TRAVIS: A Soldier’s Story.”

  The event has been expanded to the north side of the pavilion. The S & B Jeep Trail will still be open at the dealership, located at the corner of Weiss and Curtis roads.

  The event will also include vendor demonstrations, a scavenger hunt, raffles and awards, a mini food truck rally and music from the Monday Night Blues Band.

  By registering their Jeeps, Jeep owners will be able to park on the north side of the pavilion, have access to all of the Jeep obstacles and activities, receive a fistful of bucket raffle tickets from the vendors, a $5 food truck coupon, a drink coupon and a chance to win a Jeep trophy.

  The food truck lineup includes HQ Vigilante, The Cheese Trap, Tamale Rose and Kernel Benny’s Kettle Corn.

  The accessory vendors include Schaefer & Bierlein, Mopar, Jeep, ACE Engineering, Vehicle Accessories/BDS, Insufficient Funds Off-road, Barnum RG Auto Salvage and Great Lakes Four Wheel Drive Association.

  To sign up, visit their Facebook page, S&B Jeep Fest, or Joe Seckora or Adam Traver at Schaefer & Bierlein, 652-9965.



(c) 2006 Frankenmuth News