TroySeptember 12, 2012
Family Daze features food, fun, festivity and fireworks
By Terry Oparka
C & G Staff Writer
To herald the end of summer, Troy Family Daze, modeled after the city-sponsored Troy Daze Festival of the past, will offer four days of food, games, entertainment and midway rides Sept. 13-16. This is the second year it will be held on the grounds of Zion Christian Church on Livernois.
The North Woodward Community Foundation, a nonprofit group, funds the festival. Tom Kaszubski, foundation executive director, said any net profits go back to the community through grants and community projects. The city of Troy sponsored Troy Daze in various forms for 41 years, but the City Council voted to cancel the festival in April 2010 due to budget constraints.
“This is a good community event,” Kaszubski said. “We didn’t want to see it go away.”
More than 200 volunteers and 40 members of the planning committee work to put on the festival, which takes about a year to plan, said Cheryl Whitton, who serves on the advisory board for the festival. More than 35,000 wristbands were issued to those who attended last year. Attendees came from across Oakland, Macomb and Wayne counties.
“To see people’s faces and enjoyment, that’s what makes it worthwhile,” she said.
This year’s recipients of the grant funding will be the Arc of Oakland County, which serves people with intellectual and developmental disabilities; Troy People Concerned, which assists families in crisis; the Boys & Girls Club of Troy; and a falls prevention workshop for the Troy Senior Program.
Kaszubski said the planning committee took note of the volunteers’ suggestions last year and changed things up a bit this year.
He explained that the stage will be under a tent this year — rather than out in the open — and located right next to the food court. The community marketplace will be more accessible to the various vendors, and the dance floor will be bigger.
Also new this year, the petting zoo has been expanded to include exotic animals, an interactive birdhouse and camel rides. The festival will feature such food as gourmet pretzels, barbecue offerings, Polish fare, Jets pizza, ice cream, chicken on a stick, and Al’s Polish and Italian sausage, along with the usual festival fare. Activities include a speed-timed soccer kick contest, a lacrosse pitching contest with prizes, a bungee jump, a basketball shoot at the Detroit Pistons Academy, Roscoe the clown, puppet and magic shows, children’s games, talent shows, cutest infant and toddler contests, a scarecrow decorating contest, a new car show, carnival rides and a fireworks display on Saturday evening, Sept. 15.
“The entertainment this year is very exciting,” Whitton said. This year’s lineup includes Beatles tribute band the Lakeside Classic Rock Band, the new country and Southern rock Joey Vee Band, and the eight-piece Coachmen orchestra performing big band favorites.
Roop Raj, Fox 2 TV news anchor, will host an opening ceremony Sept. 14. Prior to opening to the public, the festival will sponsor lunch and free rides for about 250 special needs children Sept. 13.
Kessie Kaltsounsis, chair of the committee for the special needs event, volunteered to help with the special needs students’ event for 16 years when the city sponsored it.
She didn’t hesitate to step up when the North Woodward Community Foundation needed volunteers. “I realized we were doing a great reach-out to the community,” she said.
Zion Christian Church is located at 3668 Livernois, south of Wattles. The cost for admission to Troy Family Daze will be $2 per person, or free for children younger than 3. There will be a 10-midway-rides-for-$10 deal, available with a coupon available online at www.troyfamilydaze.com.
Festival hours will be 4-9 p.m. Sept. 13, 4-11 p.m. Sept. 14, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Sept. 15 and 1-9 p.m. Sept. 16. There is free parking on pavement. For information about the festival, visit www.troyfamilydaze.com or call (248) 740-7600.
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