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Wednesday, February 5,2014

New rodeo in town

Organizers will promote river activities with Lansing summer fest

by ALLAN I. ROSS

The Grand River flows north and west from Hillsdale just south of Jackson, through Lansing and out to Grand Haven, where it dumps into Lake Michigan. It’s about 250 miles long, but it’s only the milelong stretch running through downtown Lansing we’re focusing on here.

“Lansing has so many events that take place near the river, but none of them actually promote the river,” Terry Terry said. “This summer we’re going to take full advantage of this amazing resource and make it the center of attention.”

Terry is one of the co-founders of the Grand American Fish Rodeo, a first-time festival to be held June 12-14 in various locations along the shore of — and in some cases, actually in — the Grand River. Most activities will be focused around Adado Riverfront Park. It will consist of a variety of events held over the course of three days, including games, contests, concerts and food vendors.

“We’re going to have kayak races, casting competitions, fishing contests — basically anything we can think of to show off all the ways you can use the waterways,” Terry said. “We’ve got the full support of the Michigan (Department of Natural Resources) to find out what kind of things we can do.”

Terry said he hopes to bait crowds with nationally touring acts and fishrelated movies at night, such as “Jaws” and “Finding Nemo.” He said he hopes to attract about 5,000 people for the first year, with plans of eventually luring 50,000 to downtown.

“We’re trying to attract national attention with this,” Terry said. “One of the activities we have planned is a bucking bass instead of a bucking bronco.

But it’s still the first year — we’re just testing the waters.”

The Grand American Fish Rodeo

June 12-14 Adado Riverfront Park and various locations in downtown Lansing along the Grand River grandamericanfishrodeo.com

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