St. Clair ShoresJuly 13, 2012
Aquafest is back
By Kristyne E. Demske
C & G Staff Writer
A summer tradition on the Nautical Mile, Aquafest will kick off July 19 on Jefferson Avenue.
“It’s a lot of fun, especially the triathlon,” said Sharon McMillan, a board member of the Nautical Mile Merchants Association. “The goal is just to bring more attention to the Nautical Mile because it is a great place to go and have fun, and a lot of different boaters from all over the area come to the Nautical Mile because of the restaurants and the activities, and it’s just great.”
McMillan said the Car Cruise and Bike Night itself attracts many to the area. This year, the main staging area will be at Mastro’s Ice Cream, 24445 Jefferson Ave., where there will be DJ entertainment. The cruise runs along Jefferson Avenue, from Nine Mile to 10 Mile roads, from 6-9 p.m. July 19.
“A lot of people from all over the metro area come to this event,” she said.
The Aquafest Casino Nights will be held from 6-11 p.m. July 20 and 21 at the Kolping Banquet Center, 24409 Jefferson Ave. Admission is $5, which includes $2 in chips, with additional chips available for purchase. The night’s proceeds benefit Wigs 4 Kids.
“We just have wonderful dealers, and they make it more of a ‘fun-raising’ along with the fundraising,” said Jean Russo, owner of A Touch of Fruit and a member of the Nautical Mile Merchants Association. “It’s just a great night out.”
There will also be a raffle, with prizes drawn July 21, for prizes that include a diamond bracelet from Maloof Jewelers, restaurant gift certificates and a package from the St. Clair Shores Country Club. Raffle tickets are $5 each or five for $20.
Food and drinks will be available for purchase and games will include blackjack and the Big 6 Wheel, along with “our own Vanna White.”
“We have ‘Wheel of Fortune’ and there’s a little bit of humor in it,” Russo said.
Saturday morning’s festivities will start early with the Shores-Pointes Adventure Triathlon at Blossom Heath Park.
“It’s actually a beautiful route,” said Lynda Charow, creator of the Shores-Pointes Adventure Triathlon. “I definitely encourage people — it is a spectacle to see all of the kayaks going out.”
Charow said spectators could gather along the fishing pier at Blossom Heath Park next to the U.S. Coast Guard Station to see the kayaks take off for the first leg of the race at 7 a.m. July 21.
“Just as the sun has risen … you can see all these beautiful kayaks,” she said.
The race then continues with the bicycle portion of the triathlon single file down Jefferson Avenue and Lake Shore Road before finishing with a 5k run down the Coast Guard Access Road and Lange and Revere streets, before returning to the park for the finish line.
“We encourage people to be at the finish line to cheer people on,” Charow said.
Saturday will also feature the Nautical Sale at Miller Marina in the boat sales showroom, 24770 Jefferson Ave. Sellers are welcome to rent a table for $10, with proceeds going to Wigs 4 Kids. They can set up on July 20 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and also the morning of July 21 from 9-11.
The sale will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 21 and Ann Miller of Miller Marina said they usually have close to 20 tables selling a variety of “trinkets and treasures.” Those looking for more information can call (586) 771-9000.
Donna Flaherty, president of the Nautical Mile Merchants Association, said there is a new addition to Aquafest this year, as well — a “sunrise service” at the Jefferson Beach Marina gazebo, 24400 Jefferson Ave., on Lake St. Clair will be held at 6:30 a.m. July 22. Those wishing to attend are encouraged to bring a chair and arrive before 6:30 a.m., as that is when the guard will close the gate to the marina.
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