Clinton TownshipJune 28, 2012
Clinton Township hosts free festivals for fireworks, Japanese visitors
By Nico Rubello
C & G Staff Writer
CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Two township-sponsored, free, festival-style events slated for July 11 are expected to attract thousands to the township grounds and library next week.
Besides marking its fifth annual fireworks show with a large-as-ever, family-friendly carnival outside the Clinton Township Civic Center, the township is also welcoming a dozen visitors from its Japanese sister city, Yasu-cho, with a culturally themed festival inside the neighboring Clinton-Macomb Public Library.
The Civic Center and library are located on Romeo Plank Road, between Canal and Clinton River roads.
“We always try to hold (the fireworks) while our guests are here,” said Clinton Township administrative aide Mary Ann Hosey, who organized the event with Parks and Recreation Director Linda Walter and Trustee Dean Reynolds.
Festival, fireworks larger this year
Clinton Township’s fireworks display, paid for through donations, will enjoy its fifth consecutive year, and to mark the occasion, event organizers have enlarged the pre-fireworks carnival, said Reynolds, chair of the township’s Parks and Recreation Committee.
Carnival rides and children’s inflatable “bounce houses” will run from 5:45-8:45 p.m. Rosco the Clown also will be present.
At 8:45 p.m., a concert by Fifty Amp Fuse, a Detroit-area rock band, will get under way.
National Coney Island will be on hand, and a variety of carnival concessions — shaved ice, elephant ears, corn dogs, popcorn and cotton candy — will be available for purchase until 10 p.m.
At 6 p.m., Clinton Township’s Historical Commission will open the historic village’s Moravian Hall and log cabin for demonstrations and tours.
Finally, at dusk, the fireworks show will begin. Reynolds said the show will be extended from recent years due to an increase in donations.
“We can continue to hold the fireworks because of the generous donations from our local businesses that look for ways to give back to the community,” Reynolds said. In all, about $17,000 in business donations were received to put on this year’s event.
“Because it’s the fifth year, we wanted to do something extra,” Reynolds said. “Because we had the funds available, we were able to not only make the fireworks longer, but also we were able to add things to the family time.”
Parking, which is also free, will be available at the township Civic Center, Budd Park, St. Paul of Tarsus Church and after 8 p.m. at the Clinton-Macomb Public Library. Shuttle buses will be shuttling people to the festival from Erie Elementary School, the township’s soccer fields just south of the Civic Center and from Budd Park. Handicapped parking will be available adjacent to the concession stand.
Visitors are urged to bring blankets and lawn chairs. Glass containers, personal fireworks and alcohol will not be permitted.
With the exception of concessions and glow sticks being sold by on-site vendors, the event will be completely free, Reynolds said.
“In these difficult economic times, it is important that special events like our fireworks display continue to be held at no cost to our families,” he added.
Township welcomes guests from Japanese sister city
Clinton Township will welcome 12 guests from Yasu-cho with a series of events from their arrival on July 6 to their departure July 15. The guests are all residents of the city, with ages ranging from an 11-year-old boy coming with his mother to a 67-year-old retired computer programmer.
The Japanese visitors will be taken through a steady line-up of events throughout the week, said Nieves McRoberts-Lukasik, president of the Clinton Township Yasu Cultural Exchange Board. Their week will include a Detroit Tigers game and a trip to Greenfield Village.
And, of course, they will also tour the township’s sites, including stops at C.J. Barrymore’s, the Clinton Township government offices and senior center, the Clinton-Macomb Public Library, the police and fire stations, and the township’s historic village.
While all that will give them a heaping helping of America culture, the Japanese festival on July 11, however, will allow the visitors to reverse the cultural exchange by giving locals a taste of Japanese culture. The Japanese festival, which will be free and open to the public, will be held inside the library’s auditorium.
“What we are doing is (encouraging) understanding between the residents of Clinton Township and our sister city, Yasu,” McRoberts-Lukasik said.
The sister city program does not use any public dollars.
From 4 to 8 p.m., the “mini Yasu festival” will feature booths promoting Japanese culture through food samples, games, a tea ceremony and calligraphy. American attendees also will have the chance to try on kimonos.
Additionally, the Clinton-Macomb Library — located at 40900 Romeo Plank Road — will have memoirs, gifts and souvenirs from the exchange program on display until July 23.
When Clinton Township residents venture overseas in alternating years, the residents of Yasu-cho offer a warm welcome, McRoberts-Lukasik said. She hopes locals will return the favor.
For more information about the Clinton Township fireworks and pre-show festival, call the Parks and Recreation Department at (586) 286-9336.
For more information about the sister city program, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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