Mount ClemensJuly 5, 2012
Record numbers flock to the Clem for Stars and Stripes
By Julie Snyder
C & G Staff Writer
MOUNT CLEMENS — Downtown Mount Clemens was nearly unrecognizable for three days as the Stars and Stripes Festival transformed the traditionally quiet area into an amusement park.
Three days of concerts by performers like Eddie Money and Tesla rocked the crowds, while food, games and fun were aplenty during both day and night. This year’s sixth annual Stars and Stripes Festival began June 29 and wrapped up July 1.
Jessica and Michael Ericson of Chesterfield Township said taking their children ages 2, 5 and 10 to the festival has become a family tradition.
“We come every year,” said Jessica. “The little ones really enjoy it. They enjoy the rides and all the food.”
The Ericson family arrived early on Sunday, so their children could take advantage of the kiddie rides before temperatures reached an unbearable level.
In addition to the large carnival and midway — one for adults and one especially for the children — the festival also included attractions like a BMX show, the Banana Derby where trained monkeys ride dogs like jockeys, and the Classic K9 obstacle course dog show. Four stages hosted live concerts by 100 bands throughout the weekend.
The weekend’s heat didn’t keep the crowds away. Organizers estimate around 80,000 people enjoyed the festivities each night.
And a robbery and shooting that took place after Friday night’s fireworks didn’t dampen spirits.
Macomb Sheriff Anthony Wickersham said an 18-year-old Warren man was arrested after he shot another man during a robbery. The shooting took place at approximately 10:35 p.m. June 29 in the area of North Main and Market, as revelers were leaving the riverfront area where the fireworks display had been held.
According to the 19-year-old victim and several witnesses, the suspect, Demitrus Marcellas Ludaway, took a pair of Cartier sunglasses from the victim’s face and walked away. The victim approached Ludaway to get his sunglasses back when Ludaway revealed a gun and shot the victim in the leg. Ludaway fled the area, ditching the gun as he ran.
Sheriff’s deputies, who were assisted by witnesses, apprehended Ludaway after a brief foot chase. The weapon, an unregistered .38-caliber Colt revolver, was located near the scene of the shooting, and the victim’s sunglasses were retrieved from Ludaway’s pants pocket.
The Sheriff’s Office reports that the victim, a resident of Detroit, was taken to McLaren Medical Center, where he was treated and expected to make a full recovery.
Ludaway was jailed on a $75,000 cash/surety bond on charges of assault with intent to murder, armed robbery and felony firearm.
Wickersham said Ludaway has no previous criminal history.
New Baltimore resident Aaron Abbey said he enjoyed the fireworks with friends on Friday, but family obligations kept him from returning for more fun at Stars and Stripes on Saturday. He said the shooting didn’t keep him from wanting to return to the festival with his two young nephews on Sunday.
“I don’t think anyone would stay away just because of that,” he said of the shooting. “It’s a fun event; it’s a family event. I’m not letting the criminals ruin it for me or them.”
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