Morning Buzz: 5 things to know for July 12

1. Today marks the start of one of the largest and longest running fairs in West Michigan, the 103rd annual Ionia County Free Fair.

New this year, the ticketbooth is now shaped like a popcorn box. The booth will be located right in front of the grandstands for people to buy tickets.

There will also be monster trucks, beer tastings, princess tea parties, and American Idol judges.

Also, there are special deals for seniors, kids, police officers, veterans and ladies. The fair runs through July 21.

 

2. The Earth minded folks at John Ball Zoo are "Parting with Plastics" to be more eco-friendly.

Volunteers at John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids have spent the last few weeks educating guests on how to cut plastic out of their daily routines.

It's all in effort to eliminate the use of plastic straws and bags, which the zoo says usually ends up in our waterways.

Last year, the zoo switched to paper straws, which employees say is just one way they're working to keep the environment clean.

Hear more about how the zoo is parting with plastic at the volunteer table in their Central Plaza.

 

3. One organization is giving kids with weakened immune systems a chance of a lifetime.

The Children's Healing Center in Grand Rapids is hosting a week long summer film camp.

Many of the kids aren't always allowed to go outside because of their weakened immune systems, so this camp creates a safehaven for them while allowing them to be creative.

The kids will be able to write, film, and edit their own movie, then get to walk down the red carpet on the last day of camp, and show off their work.

The camp runs through next Friday and registration is still open.

 

4. Known for their succulent cherries, but now they're known for burgers. Traverse City's Slabtown Cafe and Burgers ranked fifth on TripAdvisor's list of Best Burgers.

The website scoured millions of reviews to come up with the ranking.

The restaurant serves up to 800 pounds of burger daily. The signature burger is the "Slabtown Special," which is a double burger with American cheese, lettuce, grilled onions and "Slabtown Sauce."

 

5. If you really want your look to truly be old school, wear bright pink. The color of bubble gum, flamingos and cotton candy has been deemed the world's oldest color.

Researchers discovered ancient pink pigments in 1.1 billion-year-old rocks deep beneath the Sahara Desert.

According to a doctor who discovered the pigments as part of her PhD studies, the bright pink colors are more than 500 million years older than the next oldest known pigments and were produced by ancient ocean organisms.

If you're wondering how they determined the color, because after one billion years even the brightest colors fade, researchers crushed the rocks into powder, then extracted and analyzed the molecules.

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