September 2, 2014

Standish’s annual celebration of trains, historic travel returns

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STANDISH — Train cars, carnival rides, music and vendors – Depot Days is back on Oct. 10-11.

Curt Hillman, president of the festival’s host organization, the Arenac Heritage Route Authority, says the static train car display that was introduced at last year’s event will return, giving Depot Days patrons a chance to look at historic passenger and dining cars.

“There will probably be a light lunch served in the dining car by the Venture Crew,” Hillman said. He added the Standish Historical Dept and Welcome Center, and all the pictures, books and displays inside, which take viewers back to the days of crowded train depots and rail travel, will be open to the public.

But Depot Days isn’t solely about the rail industry that played an integral role in Michigan’s past.

Depot Days Entertainment Committee member Tim Dixon says bands are being booked to the Depot Days bill.

However, he says the recently completed bandstand in front of the depot, along with a second entertainment tent, will make for a smooth transition between acts, cutting down on time between performances.

“The bigger acts will be in the tent and they’ll (performers) go back and forth between the tent and the smaller acts on the bandstand,” Dixon said. “That way we can keep entertainment flowing kind of steadily.”

Dixon added another tent for spectators may be erected as well, in case of inclement weather situations, and that patrons are welcome to bring lawn chairs for comfortable entertainment enjoyment.

And when going between the static train display and watching musical acts, Depot Days attendees may even get a chance to do some shopping at vendor spaces.

“We have a lot of civic organizations, home party consultants and crafters (as vendors),” said Depot Days vendor coordinator Sue Stein, adding where vendor spaces will be set up hasn’t been nailed down yet, due to logistics in setting up around Schmidt Amusements rides and games. “We will be on the depot ground, we know that.”

According to Stein, 10 by 10 (foot) spaces are still available. The spaces cost $25 a space.

For more information on Depot Days, call 989-718-3021.

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