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Chelsea hosts first Festival of Sandhill Cranes gather

Karen Nichols, a vendor at the first Sandhill Cranes Gather Festival.

There were a small number of large recycled Sandhill cranes lined up along Old US-12 Saturday, but about 5,000-6,000 of the live variety are expected to roost at Phyllis Haehnle Memorial Sanctuary in Jackson toward the end of October and beginning of November.

Recycled cranes gather

The first Chelsea Festival of the Sandhill Cranes Gather drew 10 vendors to the grass area next to Thompson’s Pizzeria, Saturday, Oct. 6.

“This will be the year for cranes,” said Pam Conn, the festival’s organizer.

She said the Chelsea event was the kick-off for a two-month long series of events that comprise the Sandhill Cranes Gather and Fall Color Tours.

Karen Nichols, who creates one-of-a-kind aprons, was one of the vendors. She said the Chelsea show was her fourth for her new small business, which began when she agreed to sew an apron for a friend. One apron lead to another and another, and her apron couture small business was born.

In addition to these events on Oct. 10, 13-14. on Oct. 20, the Cranes Colors and Cabernet Festival will take place in Jackson at the Sandhill Crane Vineyards beginning at 11 a.m. and lasting through the evening. A new Cabernet Sauvignon will be available for tasting and there were be a 4 p.m. talk about the beautiful birds in the Haehnle parking lot on Seymour Road before a crane watch tour.

Crane sign

Although the sanctuary is the place to view the most cranes, on Oct. 28, the Gerald E. Eddy Discovery Center on Bush Road in Sylvan Township will play host to a 2 p.m. film about Sandhill cranes. Bill Wells, a local expert, will lead a tour of the Waterloo Recreation Area where the birds are also expected to roost. Visitors are reminded to bring binoculars and cameras.  To register, call 475-3170 and there’s a $2 per person fee, $5 per family.

For additional events, check out these this link.




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