Preparing for tax day has taken on a new meaning for many Michigan residents.

Instead of collecting receipts, a group of West Michigan residents are getting signs together in anticipation of their April 15 tea party rally in Grand Rapids.

About eight tea party activists from TEA Party of West Michigan got together Saturday in Sparta to create about 30 signs for their April 15th event. The group is having a tea party event on April 15 at Ah Nab Awen Park next to the Gerald R. Ford Museum. The group hopes to draw 4,000 activists to the event. It will be one of many tea party events all around the country.

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On Saturday, Rachel Kreitzer of Wyoming, Mich., hoped to make four signs in the four hours she was working. She said the group will get together again in a couple weeks to make more signs.

“It is sort of a Betsy Ross sewing bee,” Kreitzer said. “Except we are making signs instead of flags.”

One of Kreitzer’s favorite signs: “Government doesn’t give you rights. It secures them.”

She said the country has reached a tipping point away from individual freedom and towards European socialism.

“We are people who go to work every day. We take care of our family. We are busy living our lives,” Kreitzer said. “We are not typically waving flags in people’s faces. … But there is a limit.”

Cyndi Kuhlman of Wyoming also came to Sparta to make signs.

“We are here saving our country,” Kuhlman said. “We don’t like the direction it is going.”