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July 22, 2013

Shoppers flock to Day on the Town, new car show

By Tiffany Esshaki
C & G Staff Writer

» click to enlarge «
Mary Jo and Jennifer Finney, of Rochester Hills, shop the sale racks during last year’s Day on the Town.

BIRMINGHAM — Many agree that shopping in downtown Birmingham is an experience to savor. So why not make a day of it?

The Birmingham Principal Shopping District will host its annual Day on the Town shopping event this Saturday. The city’s largest shopping event of the year will boast 12 hours of sidewalk sales, live entertainment, children’s activities and more along the bustling streets of Birmingham’s downtown retail district.

Returning to this year’s event, in addition to street after street of bargain-shopping bliss, will be the kids bike parade beginning at 8 a.m. Led by the Birmingham Police Department and accompanied by the Birmingham Brass Band, children will roll through downtown to show off their decorated bicycle. Prizes will be given out for most creative, most patriotic, most fashionable and wackiest bike décor. KLM Bike and Fitness will once again sponsor the bike parade.

“Every child that participates in the parade gets a little gift bag. And the top three (bikes) voted by judges will get helmets and a little gift package,” said Timothy Pearl, of KLM Bike and Fitness. “We’re a family-owned business. Really, nothing is more important to us than letting the kids get excited about biking.”

After the parade, the younger set can head over to the Kids Zone on Maple, just east of Old Woodward, for a variety of children’s activities, including a craft tent, face painting, a bounce house, mini-golf, a rock-climbing wall and a shoot-out, courtesy of the Birmingham Hockey Association.

The merchants on Hamilton Row will host a chalk-drawing contest beginning at 10 a.m. that day, and later, families can enjoy skateboard demonstrations, a basketball shoot-out, free mini music lessons and more.

If a mini lesson isn’t enough to satisfy your musical ear, head over to any of the four live entertainment stages set up around town. A full schedule of acts — such as the Village Players Youth Theatre, Bill the Magician, Axis Music Academy, Sinjon Smith, Zander Michigan, Laura Rain and the Ceasars, Pete “Big Dog” Fetters and more — will be performing throughout the day.

“We are excited about Day on the Town this year. We always kick off the event with the kids bike parade. We have some great local bands performing throughout the day, including talented young people from Axis Music Academy here in Birmingham,” said John Heiney, executive director of the PSD.

New to this year’s Day on the Town is the Corvette Generations car show, to be held along Old Woodward from Oakland to Brown Street. The new juried show is set to include more than 100 cars from 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m. All cars that day, vintage or otherwise, will enjoy free parking in all city parking structures for this special event.

“We anticipate large crowds during this action-packed event with activities from sunup to sundown,” said Heiney in a prepared statement.

Birmingham’s Day on the Town will be held 9 a.m.-9 p.m. July 27 in downtown Birmingham. For more information, visit www.enjoybirmingham.com or call (248) 530-1200.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Tiffany Esshaki at tesshaki@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1095.