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Press Releases

2014 LIGHTS, ART, ACTION! FESTIVAL

BLISSFIELD DDA/MAIN STREET IN ASSOCIATION WITH FOCUL POINT PRODUCTIONS PRESENTS THE 2014 LIGHTS, ART, ACTION! FESTIVAL

BLISSFIELD, MI –The Blissfield DDA/Main Street is proud to announce our partnership with Focul Point Productions in presenting a new art festival in our community. Key support of the festival comes from Midwest Energy Cooperative. The 2014 Lights, Art, Action! Festival takes place on February 22 from 6-8:30pm.

“We love supporting the communities we serve in new and creative ways, and this is such a great tie to our industry and history. We’re honored to partner with our friends in Blissfield to bring some light and fun to our Michigan winter,” said Patty Clark, community development specialist for Midwest Energy Cooperative.

“We’ve created a new event to combat the doldrums of the long winter nights,” said DDA/Main Street Director Patricia Rayl. “We are closing down Lane Street that evening. Artists from all over will bring their illuminated art to brighten downtown Blissfield.”

Artists can find the registration form at www.BlissfieldMainStreet.com. Artists are asked to supply a picture or video of their entry.

By supporting this new downtown Blissfield event, Midwest Energy Cooperative is making it possible for the event to develop and nurture new artists.

“We’re surrounded by amazingly talented people, and we hope many will come out to help showcase their own creativity and participate in the vibrant and colorful nature of this unique event for the public”, Clark said.

Call to artists: art pieces for display at Lights, Art, Action! are being sought. The deadline to apply is January 31, 2014. There is no cost to display artwork. To learn more, please visit www.BlissfieldMainStreet.com.

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About the Blissfield DDA/Main Street Program

In June of 2010, the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) designated downtown Blissfield as a Michigan Main Street. As such, downtown Blissfield and the stakeholders involved have bought into a four point approach for economic development. That approach centers on downtown Blissfield. To learn more about this approach and the Blissfield DDA/Main Street Program, please visit www.BlissfieldMainStreet.com.

 

Q&A PRESENTATION ABOUT CREATING A DOWNTOWN HISTORIC DISTRICT

BLISSFIELD DDA/MAIN STREET HOLDS Q&A PRESENTATION ABOUT CREATING A DOWNTOWN HISTORIC DISTRICT

BLISSFIELD, MI – The Blissfield DDA/Main Street invites local downtown building owners and the whole Blissfield community to a presentation about whether to create a downtown historic district. The presentation will be led by Kelly Larson, Design Specialist from the Michigan Main Street Center and the State Historic Preservation Office. The forum will be held in the auditorium of the Schultz-Holmes Memorial Library on Wednesday, Nov. 20 at 6pm.

“We would like everyone who is interested to come to the meeting,” said Patricia Rayl, DDA/Main Street Director. “This will be the best opportunity to hear from the experts about the benefits and drawbacks of creating an historic district for our commercial downtown buildings.”

Two buildings in Blissfield are already on the National Registry of Historic Places—the David Carpenter House, known as the Hathaway House, and the First Presbyterian Church of Blissfield. Several additional buildings are on the State of Michigan’s Historic List, including the Hervey Bliss House, Drew’s Hotel (known as Victorian Garden), the Joel Carpenter House, the Hiram D. Ellis House and the Erie & Kalamazoo Railroad.

“The presentation will provide basic information about what it takes to get on the state list and the national list of historic places,” Rayl said. “Then, we can talk about whether this is something Blissfield should do. We’ll have a good idea of the positives and negatives.”

“About two years ago, an ad-hoc committee of Blissfield residents worked towards evaluating historic district benefits. It seems the effort ran out of steam before coming to any conclusion,” said Rayl.

The presentation at the Blissfield Library on Wednesday, November 20 at 6pm is free and open to the public.

More information, call Patricia Rayl, DDA/Main Street Director, at (517) 486-3642 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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About the Blissfield DDA/Main Street Program

In June of 2010, the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) designated downtown Blissfield as a Michigan Main Street. As such, downtown Blissfield and the stakeholders involved have bought into a four point approach for economic development. That approach centers on downtown Blissfield. To learn more about this approach and the Blissfield DDA/Main Street Program, please visit www.BlissfieldMainStreet.com.

 

BLISSFIELD YULETIDE CHEER FRIDAY, NOV. 8 TO SUNDAY, NOV. 10

BLISSFIELD YULETIDE CHEER FRIDAY, NOV. 8 TO SUNDAY, NOV. 10

BLISSFIELD, MI – The annual Blissfield Yuletide Cheer holiday weekend event will be celebrated Friday, Nov. 8 to Sunday, Nov. 10.

WHAT: Blissfield’s annual Yuletide Cheer weekend, presented by The Old Road Dinner Train

WHERE: Downtown Blissfield.

TIME: starts 5pm Friday, November 9; ends 5pm Sunday, November 11.

WHY: To have fun with Santa Claus in Downtown Blissfield, see the beautiful holiday decorations and shop the special stores only found in Blissfield.

On Friday, we welcome Santa and Mrs. Claus to town with our Santa Parade and Community Tree lighting at 6:30 pm. Join Santa, and Mrs. Claus as they travel through downtown to the Community Tree at the Bachmayer parking lot. After the lighting, the Blissfield Kiwanis Club invites everyone to come to the historic Depot for hot cocoa and cookies. The Old Road Dinner Train is hosting train rides with Santa Claus from 7:30-9pm. Tickets are $2.

“From hot cocoa and cookies on Friday to a Grand Prize Give-Away drawing on Sunday, there's something for everyone to enjoy during Yuletide Weekend in Blissfield!” said Gwen Dusa, Promotions Committee chairwoman.

Fun activities for the family are lined up for Saturday, Nov. 9, starting with Breakfast with Santa at Mexibilly’s Restaurant from 9-11am. The Yuletide Craft Show runs 9am to 4pm at the Blissfield Elementary School. The Old Road Dinner Train offers train rides from 11am to 2pm.

“It is important to show visitors that Blissfield remains to be a fun and traditional destination to visit if they want to experience that old fashion holiday charm,” said Janine Larson, owner of the Victorian Garden.

Be the first to have a picture taken with Santa & Mrs. Claus, sponsored by Gleaner Life Insurance Society. Be sure to stop and pet his reindeer at the historic Depot from noon to 4pm. Santa’s reindeer is sponsored by Blissfield State Bank and Bailey Family Chiropractic.

The Victorian Garden has invited two glass blowers who perform their art at the Toledo Museum of Art to Blissfield. When your feet get tired from shopping in our great stores and dining at our restaurants, carriage rides will take you on a short tour of Blissfield from noon to 4pm.

Sunday starts with lots of holiday shopping at noon. Everyone is welcome to have milk and cookies with Santa at Cakes ‘n Shakes between 12:30-2p.m. Milk and cookies with Santa is sponsored by The Andersons. Carriage rides are available between noon and 5pm. The Victorian Garden hosts the Alpacas of Cross Trails.

Neil Sauter, “The Michigan Stilt-walker,” will entertain the whole family with a show and balloon creations from noon to 4pm.

Larson said, “The Christmas events are sure to bring enjoyment to people of all ages, as there is something unique for everyone to participate in.”

Be sure to enter the Grand Give-Away for great prizes, including a 42-inch high definition TV, a weekend in Frankenmuth, an Apple iPad and more! Tickets are available from participating businesses. You have to be present to win. The Grand Give-Away starts at 3:3p pm on Sunday.

“The committee of downtown retailers who helped organize this event wanted to bring back the feeling of past Yuletide Cheer weekends,” said Patricia Rayl, Blissfield DDA/Main Street Director. “That’s why we want you to be present to win something from our collection of substantial prizes.”

Start your holiday season in our quaint hometown enjoy this unique homemade Christmas event, as we welcome you to Blissfield. See www.BlissfieldMainStreet.com for more details.

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 About the Blissfield DDA/Main Street Program

In June of 2010, the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) designated downtown Blissfield as a Michigan Main Street. As such, downtown Blissfield and the stakeholders involved have bought into a four point approach for economic development. That approach centers around Design, Promotion, Organization, and Economic Restructuring of downtown Blissfield. To learn more about this approach and the Blissfield DDA/Main Street Program, visit www.BlissfieldMainStreet.com.

 

 

3rd ANNUAL BLUEGRASS ON THE RIVER FESTIVAL

BLISSFIELD DDA/MAIN STREET HOSTS 3rd ANNUAL BLUEGRASS ON THE RIVER FESTIVAL

BLISSFIELD, MI – Do you like Bluegrass music? If so, you’ll be happy to hear that the Bluegrass on the River festival is this Saturday, August 24 from 11am to 8pm in Blissfield’s Bachmayer Park. The event is free, and features music workshops, craft vendors, carnival-style food treats and lost art demonstrators.

The full day’s line-up of 9 bluegrass bands starts at 11am .

Main Stage Bands

11am   Deepwater Bluegrass Band
12pm   Fossil Creek
1pm     Hand Hewn String Band
2pm     The Clark Brothers
3pm     New Outlook Bluegrass Gospel Band
4pm     Fiddlers ReStrung
5pm     Bridge County Bluegrass Band
6pm     Bill Bynum & Co.
7pm     Nitro Hill

Event attendees are encouraged to bring their banjo or fiddle and start their own jam session in one of the side pavilions throughout the park. No prior registration required.

Workshops

12pm   Jews Harp/Mouth Harp

1pm     Banjo

2pm     Mountain Dulcimer

3pm     Mando

4pm     Fiddle

5pm     Guitar

“We are happy to host the 3rd Annual Bluegrass on the River festival,” said festival planner Ashley Bailey. “We know Blissfield is all about families, and to us Bluegrass is all about families, fun, and music. With our large park right on the banks of the River Raisin, it makes for a scenic setting to bring your lawn chair or blanket and spend the day out with the family listening to many talented musicians.”

The 3rd Annual Bluegrass on the River festival is presented by the Rotary Club of Blissfield. Country radio station Q-95 is the Main State sponsor. Eric Slusher Flooring is the Jam Session sponsor, and Squishy Tushy is the Kids’ Corner sponsor. The band sponsors are Bailey Family Chiropractic, Blissfield State Bank, The Farver Foundation, Garst LP, and Indian Ridge Recording Studios.

The Rotary Club of Blissfield is the presenting sponsor for the second year in a row.

“Rotary members are so excited to be involved in the bluegrass festival.  There is always lots going on: great music in the park, a kids’ corner for the young music fans, and old-fashioned fun for everyone.  We hope lots of people come down to the park to support this fun community event,” said Andy Borchardt, Blissfield Rotary club president.

The fun starts at 1pm in the Kids’ Corner with activities like scavenger hunts, making instruments, coloring books and bursting bubbles. The Blissfield Girl Scouts will offer face-painting at the Kids’ Corner.

For more information on Blissfield Bluegrass on the River, please visit www.BlissfieldMainStreet.com.

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 About the Blissfield DDA/Main Street Program

In June of 2010, the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) designated downtown Blissfield as a Michigan Main Street. As such, downtown Blissfield and the stakeholders involved have bought into a four point approach for economic development. That approach centers on downtown Blissfield. To learn more about this approach and the Blissfield DDA/Main Street Program, please visit www.BlissfieldMainStreet.com
 

RENTAL REHABILITATION PRESENTATION FOR LOCAL BUILDING OWNERS

BLISSFIELD DDA/MAIN STREET HOLDS RENTAL REHABILITATION PRESENTATION FOR LOCAL BUILDING OWNERS

BLISSFIELD, MI – The Blissfield DDA/Main Street invited local downtown building owners to a presentation on rehabilitating upper-floor space into apartments. The workshop was presented by Diane Karkau and Jim Davis of the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, and was held in the auditorium of the Schultz-Holmes Memorial Library on Friday, August 16.

“We were pleased to see almost all the downtown building owners in attendance,” said Patricia Rayl, DDA/Main Street Director. “This is the same program that Bob and Kathy Valdez used to create new apartments above Cakes ‘n Shakes after their devastating fire.”

“Because we know from decades of research and observation that downtowns with residents living in the upper floors are economically healthier than those that don't, the federal and state governments created incentive programs to help downtown property owners,” Rayl said. “Working with downtown buildings that can be over 100 years old presents many challenges, which is why MSHDA has programs to help.”

The rental rehab program is open to any property owner in downtowns across the state. The requirements for MSHDA’s program are that 51 percent of the apartments are rented to people in the low to moderate income bracket for the first five years. After that, the property owner is free to charge what the market will allow. For the village of Blissfield, the MSHDA-approved monthly rental fee would be approximately $575 for a one-bedroom apartment.

For agreeing to rent at least 51 percent of apartments to low to moderate income residents for the first five years, the property owner receives a grant of up to $35,000 per apartment unit for creating new rental space. If a property owner is remodeling/updating old apartments, the grant limit is up to $25,000 per unit.

“The new apartments above Cakes ‘n Shakes were greeted with universal approval,” Rayl said. “Everyone wanted to live in these apartments. They were rented the same day as the open house showing off the completed project.”

More information on the Blissfield downtown rental rehab program call Patricia Rayl, DDA/Main Street Director, at (517) 486-3642 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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 About the Blissfield DDA/Main Street Program

In June of 2010, the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) designated downtown Blissfield as a Michigan Main Street. As such, downtown Blissfield and the stakeholders involved have bought into a four point approach for economic development. That approach centers on downtown Blissfield. To learn more about this approach and the Blissfield DDA/Main Street Program, please visit www.BlissfieldMainStreet.com.

 

3rd ANNUAL BLISSFIELD TRACTOR CRUISE-IN

BLISSFIELD DDA/MAIN STREET ANNOUNCES 3rd ANNUAL BLISSFIELD TRACTOR CRUISE-IN

BLISSFIELD, MI – Tractors in downtown Blissfield on a Tuesday night? Yep, that’s right! The 3rd annual Blissfield Tractor Cruise-In happens on Tuesday, August 13 in downtown Blissfield. Blissfield DDA/Main Street is proud to partner with GreenStone Farm Credit Services, the presenting sponsor of the event. The cruise-in runs from 5 to 8 pm.

The cruise-in, which attracted over 75 tractors to downtown Blissfield last year, will, again, feature tractors as its main attraction, as well as a DJ Chris Aaron playing your requests and fun trivia games. There will also be a 50/50 raffle hosted by the Blissfield Kiwanis Club.

In addition to that, register your tractor and receive a free cap. There will be lots of great door prizes, and if you don’t get one, event t-shirts are available for sale.

The 3rd Annual Tractor Cruise-In is made possible by sponsors Bill’s Service, Ottawa Lake Co-op Elevator, Al Smith Concrete, Terry Creque Excavating & Tiling, S & D Woodworks, H & H Repair, R&A Thompson Farms, and Hinde Insurance Agency.

Stephanie Thompson, organizer of the Blissfield Tractor Cruise-In, said “It is incredible to have a partner like GreenStone Farm Credit Services on board again to support our annual tractor cruise-In. To see GreenStone give back to our agriculturally community, especially after all of the business our local farmers do with them, is pretty neat.”

Blissfield residents will be able to admire the classic tractors, as well as see the latest in new features on several new models.

“Additionally, it’s heart-warming to see the outpouring of support from our other sponsors who make it possible for our participants to enjoy a great event showing off their tractors,” Thompson said. “Farming is a big part of our heritage, and it’s a good feeling to celebrate it.”

To find out more about this year’s Blissfield Tractor Cruise-In, visit www.BlissfieldMainStreet.com.

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 About the Blissfield DDA/Main Street Program

In June of 2010, the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) designated downtown Blissfield as a Michigan Main Street. As such, downtown Blissfield and the stakeholders involved have bought into a four point approach for economic development. That approach centers on downtown Blissfield. To learn more about this approach and the Blissfield DDA/Main Street Program, please visit www.BlissfieldMainStreet.com.

 

BLISSFIELD DDA/MAIN STREET ADVERTISES “365 DAYS OF BLISS-field”

BLISSFIELD DDA/MAIN STREET ADVERTISES “365 DAYS OF BLISS-field”

BLISSFIELD, MI – The Blissfield DDA/Main Street is proud to announce a coming change to the billboard on US-23 to advertise “365 Days of Bliss-field.”

The billboard currently promotes Blissfield’s well-known businesses, and has had the same artwork for many months. The DDA Board of Directors decided to freshen up the billboard, and promote all of Blissfield at the same time. The theme is “365 days of bliss,” and promotes the welcoming attitude of our community.

“The Blissfield DDA/Main Street Board is pleased to unveil the new design for our billboard on south-bound US-23.  The layout and warm, vibrant colors used should help draw more visitors to Blissfield benefitting our merchants and events,” said Organization Committee Chairman Jeff Juby. 

“We are excited about the new artwork,” said DDA Board member Gwen Dusa. “You'll see a catchy little phrase, "365 Days of Bliss-field" and some photos encouraging passers-by to make Blissfield a destination to visit and shop.”

The billboard is owned by CBS Outdoors, who will be putting up the new artwork in the next few weeks.

Juby said, “I’d like to personally thank the board, our director Patricia Rayl, members of the various committees, and Dino Piccinini for their ideas and hard work in developing the new design.”

For more information on the Blissfield DDA/Main Street, visit www.BlissfieldMainStreet.com.

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 About the Blissfield DDA/Main Street Program

In June of 2010, the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) designated downtown Blissfield as a Michigan Main Street. As such, downtown Blissfield and the stakeholders involved have bought into a four point approach for economic development. That approach centers on downtown Blissfield. To learn more about this approach and the Blissfield DDA/Main Street Program, please visit www.BlissfieldMainStreet.com.

 

NEW “BUSINESS RESOURCE GUIDE”

BLISSFIELD DDA/MAIN STREET’S NEW “BUSINESS RESOURCE GUIDE”

BLISSFIELD, MI – The Blissfield DDA/Main Street is proud to announce a new tool for small business owners. The Business Resource Guide compiles into one place a listing of programs and opportunities for small businesses in our community.

The BRG is available for free by calling the DDA/Main Street office at 486-3642. Members of the Economic Restructuring Committee will also be delivering copies in the near future.

“You may recall there was a town meeting about a year ago to talk about business development strategies,” said Patricia Rayl, DDA/Main Street Director. “The ER committee put this information together with the recent market study, and created a handy folder stuffed with useful information. This is geared toward the current small business owner and also at anyone wishing to start a business in Blissfield.”

The complete 52-page Blissfield market study is available on the DDA/Main Street website at www.blissfieldmainstreet.com. There is a summary included in the new guide. The market study is useful in business retention and attraction, as it points out the opportunities for new businesses and expansion of existing businesses. The marketing study was done with the help of consultants at the Michigan Main Street Program and the firm Downtown Professionals Network to assess the business conditions in Blissfield.

“Ultimately, the BRG and market study data will be used to create strategies aimed at retaining and developing a quality mix of businesses to help everyone succeed in Blissfield,” Rayl said.

For more information about the BRG, the Economic Restructuring Committee and volunteer opportunities, contact the Blissfield DDA/Main Street at (517) 486-3642.

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 About the Blissfield DDA/Main Street Program

In June of 2010, the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) designated downtown Blissfield as a Michigan Main Street. As such, downtown Blissfield and the stakeholders involved have bought into a four point approach for economic development. That approach centers on downtown Blissfield. To learn more about this approach and the Blissfield DDA/Main Street Program, please visit www.BlissfieldMainStreet.com.

 

BLISSFIELD DDA/MAIN STREET’S ECONOMIC “Shot-in-the-Arm”

BLISSFIELD DDA/MAIN STREET’S ECONOMIC “Shot-in-the-Arm”

BLISSFIELD, MI – The Blissfield DDA/Main Street is proud to announce four façade grant recipients for this year. Anderson Funeral Home, D&N Upholstery, Focul Point Productions and the Hathaway House were awarded funding in the 2013 annual round of façade grants.

“We are so pleased to offer four different businesses the support of a façade grant,” said DDA/Main Street Director Patricia Rayl. “These grants run the whole gamut—from something as simple as fresh paint to restoration of windows on an important historic structure.”

The Hathaway House was awarded a grant for $4,500 for exterior painting, and D&N Upholstery was awarded $952 to replace the last old window on the building. Focul Point Productions was awarded $12,557, to be paid out over three years, for replacement of windows in the building formerly known as the location of Blissfield’s Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Anderson Funeral Home was awarded $4,650 for paint and improvements to the rear entrance of what used to be the Carpenter Hill medical building.

All construction must be completed in a year. Building owners must provide receipts for the work done, and are paid the grant awards after the DDA/Main Street Design Committee’s approval.

Façade grants are awarded annually. Applications are accepted from January 1 to March 1 each year. Since the DDA started the program in 2001, over $535,000 of private/public partnership money has been invested in building facades in Blissfield.

“In the last 12 years, the DDA has paid $145,000 in grants, which has leveraged another $390,000 in private and state funds to improve the ‘look and feel’ of our town,” Rayl said.

 For more information about the Blissfield DDA/Main Street, visit www.BlissfieldMainStreet.com.

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 About the Blissfield DDA/Main Street Program

In June of 2010, the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) designated downtown Blissfield as a Michigan Main Street. As such, downtown Blissfield and the stakeholders involved have bought into a four point approach for economic development. That approach centers on downtown Blissfield. To learn more about this approach and the Blissfield DDA/Main Street Program, please visit www.BlissfieldMainStreet.com.

 

2013 CAR & BIKE SHOWS

BLISSFIELD DDA/MAIN STREET HOSTS 2013 CAR & BIKE SHOWS

 BLISSFIELD, MI – The first Blissfield Car & Bike Show of the summer, presented by Iott Insurance, will be on Thursday, May 9th, from 5pm until 8pm. Knapp Motors is the supporting sponsor of the summer-long series. Participating in this month’s car & bike show will be Mexibilly’s restaurant, who will be giving away free samples to individuals who exhibit their car or motorcycle. 

“We are so pleased to partner with Iott Insurance and Knapp Motors as sponsors of the 2013 season,” said DDA/Main Street Director Patricia Rayl. “Both of these businesses have roots in the community that go back decades, and have established quality reputations. They are a perfect match with the quality and dedication shown in the classic cars and motorcycles on display.”

There will also be door prizes for exhibitors, and a raffle to support the Hospice of Lenawee. 

“The name of the event changed to Blissfield Car & Bike Shows because the organizers are big motorcycle enthusiasts,” Rayl said. “We want to encourage people to bring their bikes to town—to show off their bike, have fun and grab a bite to eat at the restaurants in Blissfield.”

The 2013 Car & Bike Shows take place from 5-8pm on the 2nd Thursday of the month in May, June, August and September. The dates are: May 9, June 13, August 8, and September 12. 

The Car & Bike Shows are free and open to the public.

For more information about the Blissfield DDA/Main Street, visit www.BlissfieldMainStreet.com.

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 About the Blissfield DDA/Main Street Program

In June of 2010, the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) designated downtown Blissfield as a Michigan Main Street. As such, downtown Blissfield and the stakeholders involved have bought into a four point approach for economic development. That approach centers on downtown Blissfield. To learn more about this approach and the Blissfield DDA/Main Street Program, please visit www.BlissfieldMainStreet.com.

 
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