Deadline for pageant sign-ups is approaching

ST. JOSEPH — Applications are still being accepted for the 2020 Little Miss Blossom and Miss Pre-Teen Blossomtime pageants, to be held Jan. 11 at 1 p.m. at St. Joseph High School. The deadline to sign up is Dec. 20.

The Little Miss Blossom pageant is open to girls who live in Southwest Michigan, between the ages of 5-8, by Jan. 11, 2020, with talent required. Miss Pre-Teen Blossomtime is for young women between the ages of 9 and 12 by Jan. 11, 2020, with talent required. Contestants will participate in the categories of private interview, onstage question and formal presentation. All participants will receive a tiara and an opportunity to ride in the 2020 Blossomtime Festival Grand Floral Parade.

Please contact the Blossomtime Festival office at, or call the Blossomtime Festival office at 269-982-8016. For additional information about each pageant and other pageants we offer, please visit our website at

3 Van Buren blueberry growers on state commission

LANSING — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has appointed three Van Buren County blueberry growers to the Michigan Blueberry Commission.

They are Robert Bodtke of South Haven, owner and operator of Cornerstone Ag Enterprises; Creela Hamlin of South Haven, owner of Lake Michigan Berry LLC and the Southwest Michigan representative and commodity development associate for Peterson Farms Ind; and Carly Jo Parsley of Bloomingdale, partner with Brookside Farms LLC.

The Blueberry Commission was created with the goal of improving the economic position and competitiveness of the Michigan blueberry industry by supporting research, education, and promotion program.

The appointments are subject to the consent of the Michigan Senate.