BIRMINGHAM — Summer is nearly here.
If you have any doubts, just head to Old Woodward this Sunday for the return of the annual Celebrate Birmingham Hometown Parade. The unofficial summer kickoff event will be back downtown with music, marchers and, of course, the famed basset hounds.
City Clerk Cherilynn Brown, who’s been in office just a short five weeks, jumped right into organizing the popular parade, which has been a tradition for more than 40 years.
“I knew this was part of (the job), but I didn’t quite understand the scope,” said Brown of the parade. “But it’s been very fun to see the enthusiasm my staff and residents bring to it.”
The festivities will kick off at 1 p.m. May 21 when residents line Old Woodward, at Daines Street, for the parade, which will travel north to Maple Road and west to Bates Street, ending in Shain Park. Lots of community groups will be part of the big day, including the Redford Township Unicycle Club, the Harmony Acres Arabian Parade Horses, local high school bands and, of course, Basset Hound Rescue of Michigan.
“I hear the hounds are the hit of the show, so of course I’m looking very forward to seeing them,” Brown said with a laugh. “And I’ve got a soft spot in my heart for kids, so I’m looking forward to the preschool groups, the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, and the kids from Goldfish Swim School, who are doing it this year. It’s just a lot of very cute groups.”
The real highlight of the event will likely be the police officers, the firefighters and the Department of Public Works employees — along with the military veterans — who will be honored as part of this year’s theme of Hometown Heroes.
Once the procession arrives at Shain Park, families can enjoy free children’s activities, inflatables, a DJ, face painting and more until 4 p.m.
“The (Celebrate Birmingham) Hometown Parade is a classic community event where we can all celebrate the greatness of our city,” said Mayor Mark Nickita. “It’s an opportunity to recognize and acknowledge many of the participants that make Birmingham such a special place to be.”
For more information on the Celebrate Birmingham Hometown Parade, visit bhamgov.org/parade or call (248) 530-1880.