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August 28, 2014

Kercheval to fill with fine art, cuisine, music and cars for VillageFest

By K. Michelle Moran
C & G Staff Writer

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Kercheval to fill with fine art, cuisine, music and cars for VillageFest
Matthew Ball, the Boogie Woogie Kid, will perform at 2014’s VillageFest from 3:45-5 p.m. Sept. 7.

GROSSE POINTE CITY — Labor Day might signal the unofficial end of summer, but the Pointes keep the sunny season rolling one more weekend with VillageFest.

Sponsored by Beaumont Health System and produced by the Grosse Pointe Village Downtown Development Authority, VillageFest is a free street festival featuring art, cars, food, music, games and more for the whole family, and it takes place from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sept. 6 and noon-5 p.m. Sept. 7 in the Village shopping district.

Formerly known as Grosse Pointe’s Greatest Block Party, the eighth annual VillageFest typically attracts about 12,000-15,000 into the district over the two days.

Grosse Pointe City Mayor Dale Scrace encouraged local residents to enjoy the festivities.

“Hopefully, we’ll have great weather and a wonderful turnout,” he said.

From folk to jazz to standards to rock, visitors will be greeted by a wide array of sonic experiences. At press time, musical entertainment on Sept. 6 included Grosse Pointe Theatre performers from 12-12:45 p.m., Colorblind from 1-2 p.m., Matt Watroba from 2:15-3:15 p.m., Michael Monford & Detroit Effervescence from 3:30-4:30 p.m., Uprizing Steel Band from 4:45-5:50 p.m., and the Saturday Night Dance Party with the Sun Messengers from 7-10 p.m. On Sept. 7, the entertainment lineup was slated to consist of the Sweet Adelaines at noon, James O’Donnell’s Motown Mariachi Band from 1:15-2:15 p.m., Carl Cafagna & Friends Organ Trio from 2:30-3:30 p.m., and Matthew Ball, the Boogie Woogie Kid, from 3:45-5 p.m. Organizers say these times are subject to change.

In an email interview last year, longtime Village Association leader and Village DDA Board member Mike Kramer — owner of the Village store that bears his name — said the Sun Messengers are always one of the highlights of this event. The lively and much-loved band also played the Music on the Plaza series this summer in the Village.

Work by dozens of artists is expected to be on display during the VillageFest Art Show, a juried show that this year will offer monetary prizes for first- through third- place winners.

Antique, classic, hot rod, exotic and other unique vehicles will be featured during the VillageFest Car Show, which is sponsored by Ray Laethem. A Village spokesperson said by email that the car show “celebrates the Grosse Pointe area’s rich automotive history.”

Besides the many great eateries already present within the Village, diners can sample specialties from a number of other local restaurants as part of A Taste of Grosse Pointe. Sponsored by the Dirty Dog Jazz Café, it will include dishes from Blue Bay Fish & Seafood, Bogartz Food & Spirits, Cleopatra, Dirty Dog Jazz Café, Salvatore Scallopini, Pierogi Gals, Jet’s Pizza, Luxe, The Rivers and more.

Grosse Pointe Mompreneurs will offer a Music Together demonstration at 2 p.m. Sept. 7 and Momcat’s Signing Story Time at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Sept. 7. Other activities for the little ones will take place throughout the weekend as part of Kids on the Block, produced by El’s Boutique. Carnival games, a bounce house and giant slide are among the offerings scheduled at press time. Do your kids need to be convinced that science is cool? Check out demonstrations by the Grosse Pointe North High School Robotics Team, which organizers said will be on hand during the festival.

The Community Corner — a gathering of organizations that provide education, health, outreach and other services — will be located at Kercheval and Notre Dame.

VillageFest draws people of all ages.

“It’s fun and it’s free, and the quality of the components is exceptional,” Kramer said by email last year. “It provides an opportunity for the community to gather and enjoy each others’ company as we enter the fall season.”

For a full schedule and more information, visit www.thevillagegp.com.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer K. Michelle Moran at kmoran@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1047.