Saturday, January 1, 2011

FEATURE: New Year's Family Hayride


Tim Grzegorczyk, 54, of Midland smiles as he looks back at more than 40 passengers as he tries to steer around tree branches on a woodland trail during his family hayride on New Year's Day from their home on Doud Road, a tradition that has been alive for 50 years. He leads the ride while wearing Carhart bib overalls and a tuxedo shirt. "I've been riding since I was a boy, started driving the tractor at age 16 and now, here we are," he said. "It's great for the people, but especially the kids. We're just a big family having fun. That's what the holidays are all about." (Jake May | Midland Daily News)


Midland resident Margie Grzegorczyk, 79, sings numerous Christmas and holiday carols while playing the accordion at the front of the wagon Saturday with about 40 people, family and friends, during the 50th annual Grzegorczyk hayride. Margie Grzegorczyk has been on all 50 hayrides, this year's having the mildest weather, she said. The family will go on the ride from house to house in the neighborhood collecting candy, snacks and drinks on New Year's Day no matter the weather: ice, snow, rain or shine, she said. "It's never been this big," she said. "It started off with just the family riding, and from year to year more generations of the family joined in. Then their friends and neighbors heard, and now, it's something to look forward to every year. Everybody is so happy, singing songs and carols, and really just being together. It's all about togetherness, and to keeping family tradition." (Jake May | Midland Daily News)

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