Frank J. Ward History Hero Award

Since 2011, the BCHA has celebrated the work of businesses, groups, and individuals who have worked to preserve and share the story of Berrien County’s storied past.  From authors to historic preservationists, nominees have come from all walks of life, all age groups, and all over the county.  The winner and up to five finalists are named each year and receive their awards at the Annual Members Meeting in April.

2022 History Hero Award

The nomination period will open on February 16 and run through March 23 and can be made online or sent in via email/mail (links to come in February).  While nominees can live anywhere, the work they have done must be in Berrien County and self-nominations are welcomed!  Post-humous nominations not be accepted for those who passed away prior to February 16, 2021.  Previous winners are not eligible for nomination but finalists can be nominated again.

Previous winners include R. James Taylor (2011), Bob Cooley (2012), Daryl T. Schlender (2013), Donna Ochenryder (2014), Donald Ryman (2015), Barbra Kolm (2016), Cindy Young (2017), John Frombach (2018), Bob Meyers (2019), Emily Porter (2020), Al Butzbaugh (2020), Ken Ankli (2021), and Ruth Writer (2022).

Ward History Hero Award Nomination Form 2023

Digital Nomination Form


Michigan Log Cabin Day

On March 15, 1988, the state legislators declared June 26 to be Michigan Log Cabin Day.  Since then organizations like the BCHA and the Log Cabin Society have celebrated the history of the state’s oldest structures during the last weekend in June.  With different programs, workshops, and lectures hosted each year, the BCHA’s own Murdoch Cabin is the star of the weekend!

2022 Log Cabin Day 

Our celebration this year will coincide with our Lumberjack Weekend on June 25 & 26.  Events, games, demonstrations, and more will be hosted all day on the Courthouse Square grounds.  The event is free and family friendly!  Check back in the beginning of June for our Schedule of Events!


Thank you to Our Sponsors!

Friends for Berrien Springs

American Electric Power Foundation

Starks Funeral Home

Andrews University

Honor Credit Union

Allred Funeral Home

SS Website Solutions

Greenstone Farm Credit Services

Berrien Springs Public Schools

Jake & Amos

Deerpath Excavating

Flamm Pickle & Packing

United Federal Credit Union

Pickle Festival

In 1995, Berrien Springs was declared the Pickle Capital of the World by Pickle Packers International and soon the village became synonymous with the Christmas Pickle tradition.  After nearly a decade on hiatus, the festival has returned as the village’s 4th of July celebration! The inaugural festival in 2021 was a huge success with over 30 vendors and nearly 2,000 attendees!

The Festival is held annually on the 4th of July and will be hosted at the History Center at Courthouse Square.  The Schedule of Events will be released closer to the festival, but to stay abreast of all the latest news, visit our facebook page!

VENDORS:  Food, craft, and business vendors from 2021 will receive a notice in January for early bird registration through February 1st.  At that time, the registration will open to the public and run through June 10th.  No vendors will be accepted after this date.

SPONSORS:  Businesses and groups interested in sponsoring the Pickle Festival should contact committee member Kelly Ewalt at for more information.  Vendors receive a variety of perks and opportunities at each sponsorship level.

2022 Calendar of Events

Rotary Golf Outing [Partner Program]
Friday, June 17, Time TBA
Pipestone Creek Golf Course
Registration information here

Our fellow community organization, the Berrien Springs-Eau Claire Rotary Club is hosting their annual Golf Outing.  You’re invited to get
an early start to the Pickle Festival Preview Weekend with a walk on the green.  Door prizes and boxed lunches available.

Note:  This is not an official Pickle Festival event, please direct all questions to the Rotary Club.


Pickle Festival Royalty Pageant
Saturday, June 18 @ 6:00 p.m.
Contestant Registration HERE and Contract HERE
Mars Community Center
$5.00 Suggested Donation

Pickle Festival Preview Weekend goes glam with our first-ever Festival Royalty Pageant!  We will crown our first ever Miss and Jr Miss Pickle Festival queens and crown the next Prince and Princess!  Bring your spare change for our People’s Choice Award and cheer on our Dillmeister finalists as we sash them that very same evening.

Parties interested in competing can register above or join us at the 1839 Courthouse on Thursday, May 12th for a Pageant Information Night.  There is no fee for Miss or Jr. Miss contestants while it is $15.00 per entry for Prince and Princess.


In a Pickle 5K Walk and Run
Sunday, June 19 @ 8:00 a.m.
Registration OPEN
Andrews University Campus

Join fellow walkers and runners on the beautiful campus of Andrews University as we complete Pickle Festival Preview weekend!  Registration includes a t-shirt and the top three finishers in each age bracket will receive a medal.  Early bird pricing ends May 16 and day of registration will be available.

Pickle Fest Scavenger Hunt
June 27 – July 1
Form Found HERE or in person at the Courthouse Square, Library, or Village Hall
Berrien Springs

If you love to hunt for clues and love pickles then our Pickle Fest Scavenger Hunt is for you!  More details coming soon.

Pickle Festival
Monday, July 4 @ 11:00 a.m.
History Center at Courthouse Square & Berrien Springs Community Library

Courthouse Square

  • Vendor Alley
  • Pickle Recipe Contest
  • Pickle Decorating Contest
  • Stump Speeches

Library & Grounds

  • Pickled Piper Tasting Room
  • Old Fashioned Games
  • Pickle Decorating Booth

Other Events

  • Pickle Fling
  • Big Wheel Races

Final details coming soon!

Berrien County Youth Fair

For over 75 years, the Berrien County Youth Fair has been a staple in the area, with children and teens from all over the county participating in events ranging from animal husbandry to flower arranging.  The BCHA has hosted a booth since the 1970s, connected with fairgoers every year!

2022 Youth Fair

The Youth Fair will be held August 15 – 20 and the BCHA will be inside Commercial Building #37.  Booth number and the Schedule of Events will be released in early August.

VOLUNTEERS: The BCHA is seeking volunteers to support our fair booth!  Shifts last for 3 hours each and all volunteers get a day pass to the fair to enjoy before or after their shift.  To sign up, please email John at

Holiday Delights at the Square

Kick off the holiday season with the Village of Berrien Springs’ annual Kindle Your Christmas Spirit event!  Held the second Thursday of December, guests can enjoy activities throughout downtown Berrien Springs and up M-139 at the History Center at Courthouse Square.  A family and group friendly event, KYCS will spark joy in all who attend.

2022 KYCS

For a full schedule of Village-wide events, please visit the Village’s facebook page or pick up a copy of The Journal Era.  The BCHA will release its Schedule of Events in mid-November. New in 2022, the BCHA is seeking vendors for our inaugural Christkindlemart.  Vendors will be able to set up on the grounds of the BCHA to sell crafts, goods, and more to those seeking a little Christmas shopping time!  Vendor spots will open in July.

VOLUNTEERS: We welcome volunteers to join us as we host numerous events and activities on the Courthouse Square Grounds.  To sign up, please email John at