Saturday evening, weather forecasters predicted widespread rain over the Portland area throughout the day Sunday. In response, Portland 150 organizers made the call to move all Sunday afternoon events from downtown Portland to the Red Mill Pavilion.
Under cloudy skies, Sunday’s festivities kicked off on a high note as dozens of area bakers dropped of their entries at the Red Mill, for the sesquicentennial baking competition official judging. Entries were accepted for cakes, pies, and cookies in categories for adults, 11 to 14 year olds, and 7 to 10 year olds. Grand prize winners were announced Sunday Afternoon and the grand prize winners were auctioned off to support the Portland 150 festivities expenses. Prizes were also awarded for second and third place winners. According to Dana Hengesbach, of the organizing committee, all entries had to be made completely from scratch.
Sunday afternoon, the party continued with the Farm to Table Dinner. More than 200 people attended the ticketed dinner at the Red Mill Pavilion. Dinner was served on an amuseingly eclectic collection of china and flatware and tables were decorated with fresh floral arrangements by the Portland Garden Club. Diners received commemorative glasses and coins. As the name suggests, the menu featured locally produced meat and dairy from Herbrucks, Moo-ville, and Dancing Goat Creamery; and vegetables from the Portland Red Mill Farmers Market, and Denny Farms.
Dinner started with bread by the Red Tomato, Butter by Moo-ville, and breadsticks by the Pizza Shop. The salad course featured a mixed green salad with apples, walnuts, and goat cheese with a balsamic vinaigrette courtesy of Fabiano’s River House Grille. Sides included homemade cinnamon applesauce by the Heartlands Culinary Arts students, chipotle maple butternut squash puree by the Wagon Wheel Grill, roasted brussel sprouts with local bacon and shaved parmesan cheese by Olivera’s Restaurant, hot german potato salad by Taste of Heaven caterers, and deviled eggs by Herbruck’s Poultry Ranch.
Entrees included: braised beef tips in a burgundy jus by the Wagon Wheel Grill, creamy parmesan chicken by Taste of heaven; three cheese, goat cheese, sundried tomato and spinach quiche by Fabiano’s River House Grille. The entree course was rounded out with homemade italian sausage pizzaiola marinated in Opening Day IPA from Conflux City Brewing courtesy of Olivera’s Restaurant. Beverages including coffee, tea, and lemonade were provided courtesy of Courageous Coffee.
During dinner, sponsored by Greenstone Farm Credit Services, Portland 150 organizers recognized the countless community members who contributed to the success of this weekend’s festivities. One memorable speaker was local property developer, Tim Fuller, who is in the midst of renovating and revitalizing the Opera Block properties on Kent Street. With microphone in hand and a well fed audience, Fuller shared how his experience working to revitalize the historic property led to what he called his “most important project,” referring to the fusion of his family with that of local dance teacher, Jeney Vroman. Vroman recently opened the Opera Block Performing Arts Academy on the second floor of the redevelopment project. To the delight of all in attendance, Fuller took the opportunity to get down and one knee and propose to Ms. Vroman. Our sources tell us she said, “yes!”
Following dinner, the winners of the baking competition were announced and auctioned off and remaining baked goods sold via a cake walk. In the adult category, Libby Barger won first place for her carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese buttercream frosting, Pat Kline for a peaches and cream pie, and Linda Fedwa for pumpkin cookies with brown butter icing. In the teen 11 to 14 year old range grand prize was awarded to Sophia Robbe for her snickerdoodle cupcakes. In the 7 to 10 year old group, Samantha Moore won with devil’s food cupcakes, and Evan Ferris for key lime cookies.
The day closed with a game of baseball played with vintage style uniforms and equipment, and officiated by 1864 rules. Notable, 1864 baseball did not include baseball mitts, with balls being caught after bouncing off the ground. The Portland Blue Socks went up against the Michigan Barnstormers, a team composed of vintage baseball club players from across the state. The home team lineup consisted of: Bry “Jeter” Pettit, Pat Trierweiler, Chris “Tree” Trierweiler, Jim “Barney” Barnes, Kelly “Big Mama” Grys, Sam “The Kid” Mauren, Bonnie Wieber, Ryan “Daddy Hacks” Lay, Mary “Gator” Scheurer, Jerry “Lucky Leftie” Johnson Sr, Robert “Rapid Robert” Baldayga, Pam “Retro” Minkley, Tutt “Ace” Gorman, Terry “Giant” Sines, Wes “Old Coach” Davids, Seth “Shoeless” Hoppes, Trevor “Big T” Trierweiler, Trenton “Bubba” Trierweiler, Bat Boy Easton Scheurer, Manager Jason “Doc” Williamson, and Publicist Mike “flea” Judd.
The contest began with a 4:30 PM gametime under cloudy skies but the rain held off for most of the game. Dr. Williamson, told The Beacon that the visiting team did not have enough players show up to field a team leading the Portland Blue Socks to spot them a few players. Despite having a lineup including several members of the varsity baseball team from St. Patrick Catholic School, the home team fought an uphill battle against the visitors who were more experienced playing by 1864 rules. Mercifully, the anticipated rain held off most of the game, providing a memorable event for the several hundred spectators in attendance. The final score after nine innings was Michigan Barnstormers 11, Portland Blue Socks 7.
DISCLAIMER: When not writing for The Beacon, Jordan Smith teaches high school science at St. Patrick Catholic School.