St. Clair ShoresAugust 20, 2012
Fun for kids, families and cruisers hits Harper
By Kristyne E. Demske
C & G Staff Writer
This year’s Kiwanis Harper Charity Cruise will zoom into town from 5-9 p.m. Aug. 29, spreading along Harper Avenue from Old Eight Mile Road north to Bayside Street, just one block past Martin Road.
In its 18th year, Shorewood Kiwanis Secretary Tom Ulrich said, this year’s cruise will be the same great time as always, but this year a map is available to guide visitors along the route.
“It’s a guide to the cruise itself,” said Ulrich. “All the businesses and approximately where they’re located — they’ll take it with them.”
The map can be found in this week’s edition of the Sentinel and will include the location of various cruise parties and more to help visitors and cruisers know where to go.
The day of the cruise, Ulrich said, many businesses host parties for their friends, families and customers, from standbys like Forton’s Mower Service, 21707 Harper Ave., and Bagnasco & Calcaterra Funeral Home, 25800 Harper Ave., to those held by new businesses along Harper.
There are “a lot of new people,” Ulrich said. “A lot of empty buildings, and now they’re starting to fill up with new businesses.”
And even more this year, Ulrich said, they’re trying to make sure the whole family has a good time at the cruise, moving “Clown Central” to Joe’s Trailer Sales, 24953 Harper Ave., where there are other attractions for children.
“We’re putting the clowns there; they do balloons,” Ulrich said. “They also will be the only spot where we have the children’s-size shirts. We’ll have cruise coloring books. Keep them occupied so it takes some of the pressure off the parents.”
“We have an obstacle course that comes out with a couple slides,” said Mary Orosz, store manager at Joe’s Trailer Sales.
There will also be a bounce house and “one other blow-up fun-filled surprise,” that are open to anyone. The cars cruising on by are great, she said, but “we do something completely different, a little reprieve,” as a way to give children something to do at an otherwise adult-centered event. She said they are usually packed the night of the cruise.
“There’s never a shortage of children,” she said, adding that owner Timothy McDowell has been offering the children’s activities for several years. “There’s only a couple of things for kids along the way.”
Ulrich said this is a better attraction than they’ve ever had for children in the past 17 years of the cruise.
“We’re trying to build traffic, trying to get the parents with the kids out of the house, down by the cruise, buy a T-shirt,” he said.
Down in the parking lot of Kmart, at Nine Mile Road, Ulrich said, the auto shop class from Roseville High School will be showing off a restored “clunker,” donated by Roy O’Brien Ford, that won an award at Autorama.
“It’ll be a chance to take a look at and see how productive kids can be,” Ulrich said.
Youths also put their mark on the cruise with the first-ever cruise logo designed by a student in Macomb Community College’s graphic design program, David Holm.
“Our biggest problems has been getting logos,” said Ulrich.
When he investigated the program at the college’s South Campus in Warren, “we were blown away with the equipment that they have.” That’s why they held a contest, in conjunction with Roy O’Brien Ford and MCC, to spur the creation of a new design for the cruise.
“We think it’s a great logo,” he said.
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