Red Flannel Festival

Red Flannel Festival

First Saturday of October
During a cold winter in 1936, flannel shirt merchants in Cedar Springs, Mich., stumbled upon an opportunity to boost the sales of their warm garments. In response to an editorial written by Cedar Springs' local press, a national news story showed appreciation for red flannel longjohns. The welcome press helped elicit numerous orders from all over the country, and the town's subsequent windfall gave birth to a celebration of local industry known as the Red Flannel Festival, first held in 1939.
With the closure of the Red Flannel Factory in 1994, the fates of the local business and the festival were in jeopardy. But local business women kept red flannel production going, and dedicated volunteers managed to preserve the festival tradition.
The event, also called Red Festival Day, has its share of distinctive traditions. Scheer's Lumberjack Show celebrates Michigan's lumber legacy, featuring demonstrations by real lumberjacks who chop wood, speed-climb trees, and throw axes. The Keystope Kops, the icon of the festival, circulate the crowd to "arrest" offenders who do not wear the obligatory red.
Other festivities include a Prince and Princess Contest, a grand parade, a 5K run and walk, and a window decorating contest, in which contestants conjure up their best red flannel displays. Two other established traditions, the Horseshow Throwing Contest and the Red Flannel Queen Scholarship Pageant, date back to the inaugural festival.
CONTACTS:
Red Flannel Festival
21 E. Maple St.
P.O. Box 43
Cedar Springs, MI 49319
616-696-2662
www.redflannelday.com