Annual township open house promises fun for all

By: Robin Ruehlen | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published October 3, 2012

BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP — For the 26th year, the township will offer a day of free fun, entertainment and administrative services at its annual Open House Oct. 14.

Community Relations Director Leslie Helwig said the township open house has grown to be a major annual event.

“Last year it drew several thousand people, and for good reason — it was a lot of fun,” she said.

From noon to 4 p.m., visitors can nosh on free pizza, hot dogs, cider, doughnuts and candy as they tour the township campus. The Police Department and dispatch center will be open for tours, and the public can ride in police patrol cars and view K-9 team demonstrations. Police officers will conduct child safety seat inspections, and teen drivers can try their hand driving a golf cart using “drunk goggles” to simulate the effects of alcohol on driver reflexes.

Township firefighters will conduct two live fire demonstrations — one with a pan of cooking oil to show how stovetop fires occur, and a second in a mock living room to show how quickly fire can spread through a house.  In keeping with National Fire Prevention Week, children can see demonstrations on fire safety techniques such as “Stay Low and Go,” and “Stop, Drop and Roll.”  And back by popular demand, the University of Michigan’s Survival Flight helicopter will land on the township campus to allow visitors to peek inside.

Clerk Jan Roncelli said that in honor of the township applying to be named a national Tree City, officials will raffle off four 5-foot-tall white pines — the official tree of the state of Michigan. The Clerk’s Office will also offer passport and photo services throughout the afternoon, and hold mock elections for children to learn about the voting process.

“Kids can vote on presidential candidates and other favorite characters, and we’ll announce the winners at the end of the day,” she said.

Roncelli said she will be greeting visitors in her office and around the campus during the open house, which she has attended regularly for the past 16 years.

“The Clerk’s Office will be participating enthusiastically,” she said.

Other events include:

• Rides in plow trucks from the Department of Public Works and tours of road and water maintenance vehicles. DPW workers will demonstrate how even small water leaks can drive up water bills.

• The Assessor’s Office will be open to discuss property assessments with interested homeowners.

• The Senior Center will be open for tours and will offer a charity workout to support Meals on Wheels.

• Bloomfield Community Television will give tours of the TV production truck.

The Bloomfield Township Open House will take place noon-4 p.m. Oct. 14 at the Township Civic Center, 4200 Telegraph Road, south of Long Lake. Visitors should park in lots adjacent to the 48th District Court, off of Telegraph Road, and at the Bloomfield Township Senior Center, on Andover Road.