BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (June 14, 2014) – Nearly 70,000 people enjoyed a free bowl of cereal from the big-three of Battle Creek, Kellogg, Post, and ConAgra, which the community says have shaped the heart of Cereal City.
“There’s the great breakfast tradition that’s going on. We from the hunger movement really appreciate the notion on symbolic day where all are fed,” said Bob Randels, founding executive director of south central Michigan’s Feeding America Food Bank.
“We’re definitely morning people here. You go to work in the morning and you don’t say ‘good morning’ to your fellow workers, you say, ‘well, it’s Fruit Loops this morning.’ You always smell it in the air,” said Deborah Owens, Cereal Festival manager.
Started in 1956, the Cereal Festival has grown to host the “world’s largest breakfast table.” Many early risers say it’s a tradition that connects the community.
“What I love about this personally is just the great diversity of this celebration. You’ll see democrats and republicans, African-Americans and whites, Latinos and Asians, rich and poor; it’s just a great celebration where the community comes together. It’s my favorite tradition here in Battle Creek,” added Randels.
Yet beyond the bowls of Frosted Flakes and Apple Jacks, Cereal City’s strong history is one that locals explained continues to propel the economy.
“Battle Creek is known as the Cereal City: we’re very proud of that. There are still a lot of jobs between Kellogg, Post, and Ralston here. The fact that we can all come together and take pride in what built this community, and what is still a very important part of the community, I think is great,” said Mark Schauer, Michigan governor candidate (D).
Cereal Festival hosted bands, a classic car cruise-in, healthy lifestyle activities, and arts and crafts, like making ceramic bowls to sell to fundraise for local food banks. And, it’s all free.