The Shepherd Maple Syrup Festival is proud to announce that Sharon Cole will lead the parade at the 60th anniversary Maple Syrup Festival on Sunday, April 29th. The parade will begin at 2:30 and will be centered around the theme “Celebrate 60”.

Sharon was born in Florida to a military family originally from West Virginia. When her father was discharged they moved to the oil fields of mid-Michigan and settled on Blanchard Road, west of Shepherd. Sharon’s elementary education took place at the Lincoln Center Country School (near the present Lincoln Township Fire Station). The children in this area then (and now) are in the Mt. Pleasant School District so she is a graduate of Mt. Pleasant High School.
Sharon worked for a few years at the Mt. Pleasant Regional Center but spent 33 years at UPS
moving packages. Many of us remember her as the secretary at Grim Publishing which she
did for the last 10 years of her career.

Sharon married ‘yooper’ Andrew Cole in 1964 and they eventually settled on South Isabella Road. Andy worked for the Vestaburg Silo Company and then Morbark but passed away in 2012. Sharon has two sons, Matt and Andrew (Patty) and four grandchildren: Ethan, Alana, Cara and Tricia. The family has had to balance their devotion to trout fishing with the Maple Syrup Festival as they usually overlap on the last full weekend in April.

Since 1972 Sharon has enjoyed volunteering in different areas of the Festival but proclaims that she always found working in the cafeteria to be a fun job. She might be best remembered by local families as the person to see to reserve a pavilion at the Little Salt River
Park for their annual reunion. For Sharon, this meant collecting the payment and placing reserved signs the night before. As she was nearly always available at her desk at the Argus Office, her services were very helpful to families and groups in the area. But that all changed
with the fire in Shepherd which destroyed the Argus building and adjacent property. As Sharon could not be at her post anymore, Festival chairperson Pete Alexander has taken on
that responsibility.

When asked what her favorite part of the Festival has been Sharon replied that she has always enjoyed the parades. This year it is hoped that Sharon likes riding in the parade and receiving the thanks of the community for all her contributions over the years. Thank you
Sharon Cole and family!