Christmas in July


THOMPSONVILLE, MI – Christmas in the dog days of summer.

This fantasy will take on a life of its own on July 25th from 12 noon to 10 p.m. when the spectacular Iron Fish Distillery in northern Manistee County hosts a fund raiser for the Betsie Valley Community Center initiative. The goal: raise $4,000 to complete the feasibility study and design for a Community Center located adjacent to Betsie Valley Elementary School.

The Center will offer crucial services to residents in 10 rural townships spanning Benzie and Manistee Counties from its location adjacent to Betsie Valley Elementary School. The services encompass child care, a gym for kids, a work out center, access to medical and mental health services and much more.

The Betsie Valley Planning Team has tapped Illinois Facilities Fund (IFF) because of their experience as a real estate consultant and developer with rural experience to complete the feasibility study for the center. Rotary Charities of Traverse City and the Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation contributed $12,000 toward the IFF cost of $15,000, not including $1,000 in added contractor expenses.

“We’re super excited to host Christmas in July and help make the Center a reality,” said Iron Fish Co-Owner Richard Anderson. “From noon to 6 p.m., we’ll be donating the $10 tour fee of our facilities to the Center. We’ll also donate proceeds from the sale of a featured cocktail.” Anderson said that there will be a live performance by Drew Hale and fresh Mexican food served on the patio along with craft cocktails and farm distilled spirits that has attracted thousands of visitors from across the United States to travel down the back roads of Manistee County to Iron Fish since opening less than a year ago.

Iron Fish is Michigan’s first working farm dedicated to distilling small batch craft spirits. Tours encompass the milling, mashing, fermenting and distilling of grain through the farm production process, distillery and barrel room, ending with a round of tastings.

“Tours and tastings are scheduled on the hour, and no reservations are required! We hope our neighbors and visitors will use this opportunity to offer their philanthropic support for the Center in an amount comfortable for them,” said Anderson. It’s a great cause and we’ll have great fun in the true spirit of Christmas!”