Hazel Park gets ready for Memorial Weekend

Five-day festival at Green Acres Park runs May 25-29

By: Andy Kozlowski | Madison - Park News | Published May 15, 2017

 Hazel Park’s Memorial Weekend festivities return May 25-29 to Green Acres Park. The event has historically been profitable for the city, drawing thousands of people each year.

Hazel Park’s Memorial Weekend festivities return May 25-29 to Green Acres Park. The event has historically been profitable for the city, drawing thousands of people each year.

File photo by Patricia O’Blenes

HAZEL PARK — Even during the tough times of the Great Recession, when just about everything else was subject to cuts, Hazel Park was able to hold its Memorial Weekend festivities. This is because it’s always been a popular — and thus profitable — event for the city, drawing people from all over with its carnival, live music and more.

The tradition continues this year May 25-29 at Green Acres Park and the nearby Hazel Park Community Center, 620 W. Woodward Heights Blvd. Green Acres is located just west of the Interstate 75 service drive, between Nine Mile and 10 Mile roads.

The schedule is as follows:

• Thursday, May 25: 4-10 p.m. Only the carnival is open on the first day.

• Friday, May 26: 4-11 p.m. The carnival and the Lions Club’s refreshment tent are open. DJ Mike Dalecke performs there 5-6 p.m., followed by Jukebox Junkies 6:45-10:45 p.m.

• Saturday, May 27: 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. A craft sale is at the community center from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Youth baseball games will be at Baseball Diamond No. 1 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Concessions will be sold at the community center 2-7 p.m. The carnival runs from noon to 11 p.m; the Lions Club’s refreshment tent is open at the same time. Children’s entertainment and the petting farm will be at Green Acres Pavilion No. 2 from noon to 5 p.m. Bingo will be held at the community center 2-5 p.m. DJ Mike Dalecke performs at the refreshment tent 1-2:30 p.m., followed by Common Ground 3-6 p.m., and Longneck Strangler & Friends 6:45-10:45 p.m.

• Sunday, May 28: The craft sale continues at the community center from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Concessions will be sold at the community center 2-7 p.m. The carnival is open from noon to 11 p.m.; the refreshment tent is open at the same time. Bingo will be held at the community center 2-5 p.m. Children’s entertainment and the petting farm will be at Green Acres Pavilion No. 2 from noon to 5 p.m. DJ Mike Dalecke performs at the refreshment tent 1-2:30 p.m., followed by GARP 3-6 p.m., and Too Many Cherries 6:45-10:45 p.m.

• Monday, May 29: The craft sale continues at the community center from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Concessions will be sold at the community center from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The memorial service will be held at City Hall at 9 a.m. The parade begins at John R and Eight Mile roads at 10 a.m. and runs until noon. The carnival runs from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. CityEdge Splash will be at Baseball Diamond No. 2, from 11 a.m. to noon. The refreshment tent is open 1-10 p.m. The car corral will be at Green Acres No. 1 Field 1-6 p.m. Children’s entertainment and the Barnyard Express will be at Green Acres Pavilion No. 2 1-6 p.m. Parade awards will be announced at the same location at 1 p.m. The band 3 Hour Tour will perform at the refreshment tent 1-4 p.m., followed by Arizona Son 5-9 p.m.  

The park then closes at 10 p.m. Monday night.

“Last year’s attendance was the second highest ever recorded,” said Sareen Papakhian, recreation director for Hazel Park, in an email. “This event draws people from all over Michigan. I expect this year’s attendance to be higher. Last year’s weather may have been detrimental to hitting a record-breaking year. I am hoping for better weather.”

There is no entry cost to the festival, but there is an admission fee for the carnival. The city is selling pre-sale passes at the Recreation Department until 5 p.m. May 24. The pre-sale “mega-band” weekend pass costs $60; a pre-sale day pass costs $18. A pass gives you a wristband that allows you to access all carnival rides.

Regular-priced tickets cost $1 per ticket or $40 for 50 tickets. There will be $20 daily armbands available at the carnival May 25-26, and $23 daily armbands available May 27-29. The carnival is run by Skerbeck Family Carnival, based out of Escanaba, Michigan. Skerbeck will be bringing games, food, family rides and carnival rides.

The festival has been going strong now for more than 25 years. Its success is in part the result of groups such as the Hazel Park Lions Club, the Hazel Park Mobile Communication Support Unit, the Hazel Park Police Reserves and all others who help out during the event.

“This is a wonderful event that displays how community-oriented the residents of Hazel Park are,” Papakhian said. “It also shows how patriotic they are to their country and city. It shows the best of Hazel Park — civic groups, residents, city employees and volunteers working together for the betterment of the community.”

This year is also Hazel Park’s 75th anniversary, making it an extra special occasion.

The parade will begin at John R and Eight Mile roads, and travel up to Woodward Heights Boulevard and then westward to the Hazel Park Community Center. The parade is on Memorial Day.

City Manager Ed Klobucher said via email that the festival is always a good time.

“It’s a great place to reconnect with old friends and meet new ones,” Klobucher said. “We are looking forward to another fun and exciting Memorial Weekend celebration!”

Added Papakhian: “I really enjoy the hard work that goes into preparing and planning the festival. I get to see that hard work pay off by watching residents enjoy carnival rides, eat elephant ears, and spend quality time together in Hazel Park’s beautiful Green Acres Park. The event epitomizes the joy I receive by working in parks and recreation. It also allows for residents to truly honor the veterans of our country, who have sacrificed so much to keep our country safe.”

For more information, call the Hazel Park Recreation Department at (248) 547-5535.