Village's inaugural Bike Week called a success

Marie Havenga • Aug 30, 2018 at 3:00 PM

SPRING LAKE — Bike Week has wheeled out of town, but based on its inaugural success, organizers are already planning for next year.

The weeklong event, Aug. 20-25, was designed to promote community and local businesses.

“I'm happy to say that the community was extremely positive about Bike Week,” Spring Lake Downtown Development Authority Director Angela Stanford-Butler said. “People came up to me at every event so excited that this sort of thing was happening in Spring Lake. We live in such a beautiful place, getting the community to come out and enjoy it together just makes sense.”

Local business owners Michelle Hanks and Michelle Dixon came up with the idea for Bike Week, as well as the Village Adventure, which was held last spring in an effort to get people familiar with local businesses by visiting them for treats and giveaways.

As with any first-time event, Stanford-Butler said there will be “tweaking” for next year. The Bike Week planning committee will meet next week for a debriefing and to discuss plans for 2019.

“With each year, we'll definitely look for greater participation and even more fun,” she said.

The best-attended events coordinated with the weather, according to Stanford-Butler.

A sunny Wednesday brought many out for free bike inspections, hot dogs and gift bags at Tri-City Auto Repair. That evening, families packed the deck at the Front Porch for Cops & Cones, featuring local members of the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office, a police dog and discounted ice cream.

Despite a rainy start to the morning, more than 150 showed up for Saturday's grand finale, which included a scavenger hunt, bike parade, and games and giveaways at Spring Lake's Central Park.

Stanford-Butler said community members learned about local businesses, and local business owners learned about community members.

“I think it brought the community and the businesses together,” she said. “The people on those bikes were so excited. Their local businesses did that (the donations). The events were a great time for families — heading out each night with your kids to have fun. Their local businesses did that.

“People who don't live here sometimes think of Spring Lake as a drive-through to other places,” she added. “Those of us who live here and people who come to shop our businesses feel that it's more of a destination.”

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