50th anniversary of ‘Runaway’ to be celebrated at Coopersville’s Summerfest

The 50th anniversary of "Runaway' - the No. 1 hit by Del Shannon - will be celebrated at this year's Summerfest and Del Shannon Car Show in Shannon's hometown of Coopersville. The festival is Aug. 8-13. Del Shannon, known to locals as Charles Westover, was a significant rock'n'roll singer and songwriter, and producer to many well-known artists - such as Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne. The Beatles were once Shannon's opening act. Westover died in 1990 at the age of 55.
Tribune Staff
Aug 3, 2011

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of Shannon’s best-known hit, “Runaway,” Summerfest planners have organized the following events for the public:

— The 50th Anniversary “Runaway” Quilt Raffle, sponsored by the Del Shannon Family, will be held Monday through Saturday, Aug. 8-13. The raffle will benefit the Miss Coopersville Scholarship and the Del Shannon Memorial Scholarship programs. Two quilts have been crafted by Shirley Westover, Shannon’s widow. Tickets will be available at the Coopersville Area Chamber of Commerce, 289 Danforth St.; at the Coopersville Area Historical Society Museum; and at the Charter Communications Information Booth on Aug. 13. The drawing will take place at 6 p.m. Aug. 13 (need not be present to win). For more information, call 231-799-9679.

— Visit the official Del Shannon Memorial at the Coopersville Area Historical Society Museum, 363 Main St. This extensive collection has recently been expanded and includes many personal and professional items of Coopersville’s most famous son. It is open from 3-7 p.m. Tuesdays, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesdays, 7-9 p.m. Thursdays, noon to 6 p.m. Fridays and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays. On Aug. 11, visitors can meet Shannon’s family, friends and fan club members.

— CAPS Summer Day Care “Runaway on the Roadway” on Wednesday, Aug. 10, 5-8 p.m. at Eastmanville and Main streets in downtown Coopersville. Children of all ages are invited to help “paint” a large “Runaway” record at the intersection, and then get their feet sprayed clean by members of the Coopersville/Polkton Fire Department. After that, they can enjoy the additional kids activities: waterball, soapbox derby, PTA Carnival, dancing in the street and tractor games at the Coopersville Farm Museum. For more information, call 616-240-7610.

— Del Shannon Car Cruise is Friday, Aug. 12. The lineup starts at 4 p.m. and the cruise is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. Cars will line up eastbound on O’Malley Street from 68th Avenue. The cruise ends at Coopersville High School near additional Summerfest evening activities.  The cruise map is available at www.coopersville.com. For details, call Gina Otterbein at 616-947-2055.

— Del Shannon Runaway Tribute is at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 12, at the Centerstage Theatre on the campus of Coopersville Area High School, 198 East St. The program will feature Johnny Carver and James Popenhagen. Carver was discovered by Del Shannon and has had several country hits. Popenhagen is a singer/songwriter who was influenced by Shannon. Len O’Kelly of WGVU Radio will host the event, which will include musical history of the era and photos of Shannon. General admission is $10 and students are $8. Tickets are available at the Coopersville City Hall, 289 Danforth St.; Coopersville Area Historical Society Museum; Comerica Bank in Coopersville; and at the door.

— The 21st annual Del Shannon Car Show is 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 13, in downtown Coopersville. Cars, trucks and motorcycles from every decade will line Main Street. Shuttle train rides provided by the Coopersville & Marne Railway will take visitors from one end to the other. Train shuttle wristbands are $4. Del Shannon Car Show T-shirts are available online and at show. For details, call Gina Otterbein at 616-947-2055 or e-mail info@delshannoncarshow.org, or visit www.delshannoncarshow.org.

A full listing of all Summerfest events is available at www.coopersville.com.

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