FraserJuly 23, 2012
Fraser festival, picnic return for 33rd year
By Nico Rubello
C & G Staff Writer
FRASER — Fraser’s 33rd annual city picnic — consisting of food, fireworks and family fun — drew people from around the area to Steffens Park over the weekend.
The festivities, which kicked off with the Fraser Lions’ carnival July 19-22, capped off with the annual parade, craft show and fireworks the last day.
“Fun, fun, fun for the whole family,” said Lions carnival chairman Dale Moase. “(This is) the biggest event for the year for the Fraser Lions and for the city.”
The Lions carnival featured the usual mix of carnival concessions, midway games and rides, including a Ferris wheel, swings and bumper cars. Turnout at the carnival was up an estimated 20 to 25 percent, Moase said.
The beer tent, which was lengthened by 60 feet this year, featured daily entertainment by DJ Mark Evans, as well as live music nightly by Michigan bands Rock Steady and FunHouse.
The carnival is put on thanks in large part to the hundreds of volunteer hours committed by the Lions members and some city residents, Moase said.
On Sunday, July 22, the city’s annual parade featured 46 units traveling more than a half mile down Garfield from Fraser High School to Steffens Park. There were a number of law enforcement entities, the Fraser High School band, and floats by various Fraser groups and businesses.
Judges awarded the Fraser Goodfellows with the “best float” award. The Fetco Soccer Club and the Fraser First Booster Club tied for second place, and Cub Scout Troop No. 1904 placed third.
City Parks and Recreation Director Craig Steiger noted that this year’s events were benefited by favorable weather.
“It’s been a good turnout,” he said. “(Steffens Park) is packed, but it’s cool. It gives people a place to walk around and enjoy their time until the fireworks start.”
On July 22, the festivities culminated with a fireworks display, which packs thousands of people into Steffens Park every year.
After the parade, Lynnae Peltier, 36, of Fraser, along with her mother, brother and their respective families, all headed over to Steffens to lay out their blankets and reserve their spot for the fireworks while the children headed off to the midway. It’s something they do every year, Peltier said.
“We used to come to the Fraser fair when I was in high school,” said Kathy Elletson, 54. She and husband Randy have watched the fireworks with friends from their house on Utica since moving to Fraser three years ago, she said. “We have the perfect view from our driveway.”
A 22-year Fraser resident, John Palmer, 60, enjoyed the parade with friends from the front lawn of his Garfield home.
In an act of good neighborliness, he also distributed bottled water to any parched parade-goers who wanted it.
“I just thought about it this year because of the bad heat we’ve had,” he said. Last year, “there were some folks that looked like they really needed some, but I didn’t have any. So this year I planned ahead, got a little extra and got the cooler out.”
Palmer said he’s never missed the parade, picnic and fireworks.
“I usually make a day of it,” he added. “They (the fireworks) just keep getting better all the time.”
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