By: Aimee Bingham Osinski
On Oct. 2, 2021 Monument Park was filled with bounce houses, scarecrows, music, and vendor tents. The Dexter Lions Club hosted the return of Dexter Apple Daze. After losing everything in 2020, and witnessing how difficult it was to pull Dexter Daze off, I am extra grateful for each event. My daughter, after spending kindergarten in her house, saw the bounce house from a distance and shouted, “I love Dexter!”
Every time she joins me there’s something fun for her to enjoy. Before I could work, we were dragged to the bounce houses. The kind girl collecting tickets allowed her to start jumping while my husband went and bought tickets.
If you want to learn something about what makes a community really strong and special, watching Apple Daze is a great case study. The bounce houses were manned by a crew of volunteer girl scouts.
The games under the tent were manned by a crew of volunteer boy scouts. The Lions Club was selling tickets, running the hayride, and the car show. Dexter community members ages 8-80 were making sure Dexter Apple Daze was a great time for the whole community. It was. My daughter’s face was lit up like it was Christmas. The perfect weather and kind volunteers gave us a special day.
I finally pulled my daughter from the bounce house to get on a hayride. The man watching over the guests riding, acted as a tour guide. We had a family from Jackson who had never been to Dexter on the ride. I watched them closely to see their reaction. He pointed out the houses already decorated for Halloween. He explained to the Jackson family that we all wave to our neighbors here. And sure enough, as we waved to people who were outside they looked up, smiled big, and waved at us. It felt happy and kind and much needed after a difficult few years.
Though I’m not technically from Dexter, I felt proud to be part of such a warm, friendly place.
We learned about Dexter Little Foot and he taught the kids about the weather vein. If you know what happened to the cow across from the weather vein, email me and let me know. What happened to the cow?
We arrived at the Cider Mill and my daughter did not want to get off. She wanted to keep riding. I managed to persuade her with the promise of treats inside the cider mill. They had additional staff prepared for the influx of people from Apple Daze. They also had special products, including apple cider slushies, which were delicious, by the way.
We returned to Monument Park with our goodies and headed to the Dexter Bakery for additional treats. We’d enjoyed the donuts from the Dexter Cider Mill just one week earlier and we have a tradition of stopping by the bakery when I have a story to do. We purchased cider, slushies, and other treats from the Cider Mill so we were spreading the additional business around town.
My daughter found a Halloween decorated orange cat cookie she wanted and we found we wanted everything. We headed back to the bounce house and enjoyed breakfast on a bench in the sun. My daughter bounced off the sugar. After playing a few games in the tent my daughter had enough poker chips for some prizes. We enjoyed the trio playing in the gazebo. And browsed the vendor tents.
My daughter had a birthday party to attend and we had to head home. You know you’ve put on a great event when a seven-year-old does not want to leave to attend a birthday party and wants to know if we can come back when the party ends.
If the last year has taught us anything, it is to appreciate being out amongst smiling faces and to enjoy being able to be together. Thanks so much to the Lions Club, the Boy Scouts, and the Girl Scouts for giving my family a really wonderful day. Your hard work and willingness to volunteer is very appreciated.