Stars & Stripes comes to Sterling
By Eric Czarnik
Posted June 21, 2013
STERLING HEIGHTS — After years of being in Mount Clemens, the 2013 Stars & Stripes Festival is taking the red, white and blue to Freedom Hill County Park in Sterling Heights June 28-30.
Festival organizers say the annual festival, which features a carnival and ends with a fireworks show, has entertained more than a half million people each year.
Joe Nieporte, one of the owners of event operator Funfest Productions, said this year’s location change won’t deter the crowds from coming. He said Freedom Hill will give the fair more room for certain activities, such as monster truck rides.
“I think everybody that came from Mount Clemens that had a good time will come to Sterling Heights and have a good time,” he said.
Throughout the festival, music will fill the air at Freedom Hill. Various acts will perform on four stages, and star attractions include Collective Soul, Randy Travis, Cake, Puddle of Mudd, Halestorm and Kool & the Gang.
“We have more bands, bigger national bands, because we have two national stages,” Nieporte said. “We have 11 national acts playing, whereas in years past, we had half of that.”
Animals will make appearances at a petting zoo, a white tiger exhibit, a classic K-9 demonstration, camel rides and “Banana Derby” races — with monkeys riding on dogs. Extreme vehicles will roll by with a BMX bike stunt show and monster truck rides. Human circus acts and an art show will add to the visual spectacles.
To honor the members of the U.S. Armed Forces, the site will also display a Vietnam Memorial Traveling Wall.
The multiday celebration ends with a bang at around 10:45 p.m. June 30 as the park hosts a professional fireworks show. The Sterling Heights Police Department plans to take action that day to prevent traffic overflows on side streets.
Starting at 5 p.m. June 30, officials will erect signs and barriers restricting access to only residents — and their family and friends — of the following streets: Alta Vista, Bathgate, Bella Sera, Brougham, Brunswick, Canterbury, Camelot, Carlisle, Cathedral, Dorsal, Edshire, Fieldcrest, Havana, Haylander, Leech, Lodge, Marina, McCormick, Puritan, Shadywood, Watkins and Woodvilla.
Sterling Heights city spokesman Steve Guitar said the city is putting a fireworks enforcement plan into place so the city can keep streets relatively clear in case of an emergency.
“The neighborhoods during the fireworks get overcrowded with guests and people traveling the neighborhoods to find a good venue to watch the fireworks,” Guitar said. “It became a hazard because we couldn’t get the emergency vehicles down the streets.”
The 2013 Stars & Stripes Festival will be held June 28-30 at Freedom Hill County Park, 14900 Metropolitan Parkway, in Sterling Heights. Admission to the park is free, and parking prices range from free to $15. All-day carnival wristbands cost $20 each.
For more information, visit www.starsandstripesfest.com or call (586) 493-4344. Anyone with questions about the street restrictions situation may reach the Sterling Heights Police Department at (586) 446-2800.
About the author
Staff Writer Eric Czarnik reports on Sterling Heights and Utica Community Schools, and he writes a weekly auto column. He is a Wayne State University graduate who has been employed at C & G Newspapers since 2007.
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