CASSOPOLIS – With music echoing through downtown Cassopolis and across Stone Lake, local residents came together for two days of music, laughter and community bonding at the second annual Beach Bash over the weekend .
Children waded along the shore and played in the sand, while older children and teenagers jumped off the pier and took turns on kayaks and paddle boats.
Around town, local farmers and artisans sold wares at the farmers’ market, while adults enjoyed a drink at Sinclair Station to live music downstairs at the bandstand.
With three barbecue vendors – Wood Stock and Grill, Drive Thru Q and Curly Q’s BBQ – on hand Saturday, nearly everyone who attended Beach Bash got a taste of the smoked meat.
For Tyler Haines, a Cassopolis native and owner of famed Niles Curly Q’s BBQ restaurant, seeing residents from across the region have a place to gather made the day a success.
“It’s a joy to see the kids having fun – that’s what I really love to see,” said Haines, who was a salesman at the Stone Lake lodge on both days. “It’s like our community is really a community now. We’re always so far apart because it’s so country and rural, but it definitely brings everyone together. It’s multicultural – I love it. I love what the village does.
Haines’ family and friends were drawn to the boardwalk by the acoustic jazz styles of Adam McCray, who brought a modest setup of portable speakers and jammed for hours.
On Friday, tips from the beer garden went to Cassopolis Little League to help fund new bathrooms. The two-day event also included a pop-up event for small businesses at the Pioneer Log Cabin Museum.
(Photos by Ryan Yuenger/Leader Publications)