Pigeon Farmer’s Summerfest hosts its first pickleball tournament


As with any event, there is a first time. This was the case for the inaugural Pickleball tournament which took place on Tuesday July 19 in Pigeon. This is part of the Farmers Festival, which runs until July 24.

The event was organized by Kent Tibbits. Karen and Matt Saia were the assistant organizers.

Nine teams took part in the challenge, with each team playing eight matches. Teams from East China Township, Port Austin, Ubly, Metamora Township, Pigeon, Bad Axe, New Baltimore, Harrison Township, Midland and Essexville participated in the tournament.

Ed Belcrest and Steve Krankoto won the tournament, while Kent and Lance Tibbits took second place.

“The turnout exceeded expectations,” said Kent Tibbits. “I’ve been playing tennis for years, but I learned pickleball about three years ago. We got a grant from the village of Pigeon for new pickleball courts. The grounds were completed in the fall.

“Sheila McBride, who oversees the Farmers’ Festival, asked me a few months ago if I could host a pickleball tournament,” Kent added. “Initially I said I couldn’t, because of the holidays. But I raced it on Tuesday so I could be there before my holidays.”

Kent said he and the group are looking to continue the tournament in the future.

“There were good teams there,” he said. “I was happy with Lance and I did well.”

Gari Hotton also commented on the event.

“Kent has worked hard with the village of Pigeon to have the old tennis courts replaced with pickleball courts,” she said. “Pickleball is one of the fastest growing sports in the United States, as well as in other countries.”

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