Thrill rides, food, fun and fireworks feature at Troy Family Daze
By Terry Oparka
Reese Hannish, from Sterling Heights, makes friends with a goat at the animal oasis during Troy Family Daze last year.
Posted September 5, 2017
TROY — Troy Family Daze will offer food, fun, entertainment, cultural attractions and midway rides on the grounds of the Troy Civic Center Sept. 14-17.
Troy Family Daze is modeled after the city-sponsored Troy Daze Festival, which the city of Troy sponsored in various forms for 42 years. The City Council voted to forgo hosting the popular community event in 2010 due to budget constraints.
For the seventh year, the North Woodward Community Foundation, a nonprofit group, will fund the festival with presenting sponsor United Shore. It’s the third year the foundation has held it on the grounds of the Troy Civic Center. Previously, the foundation held the festival at Zion Church.
United Shore is moving its headquarters from Troy to Pontiac in summer 2018, but stepped up at the beginning of this year to be a presenting sponsor, said Jim Cyrulewski, vice president of the North Woodward Community Foundation and Troy Family Daze festival secretary. “It helped us open the door to other sponsors, including the city of Troy,” he said.
The city of Troy is sponsoring the fireworks show, which will be held at 9:30 p.m. Sept. 16, with a rain date of 8:30 p.m. Sept. 17.
Other sponsors include Allegra, Bahama Breeze, CNS Electric, Henry Ford Health System, Kelly Services, the North Woodward Community Foundation and Renee’s Gourmet Pizzeria.
For the first time this year, the festival will hold International Day Sept. 17. The festival committee partnered with the Global Troy Advisory Committee to plan International Day. There will be entertainment throughout the day and 12 cultural displays under a tent 1-8 p.m. Groups represented include black, Chaldean, Bulgarian, Indian, Italian, Polish, LGBTQ and others.
Lisa Bica Grodsky, a member of the Global Troy Advisory Committee, said they were thrilled when the festival committee reached out to them.
“The city of Troy is incredibly diverse, and this is a wonderful reflection of diversity,” Grodsky said. “Everyone who attends Troy Family Daze should feel connected to something going on that day. We’re really striving for a welcoming atmosphere to all cultures and communities that includes all races, religions, color and sexual orientation.
“The goal is for everyone who attends to feel welcome,” Grodsky said, adding that the entertainment will feature places around the world in music, culture and spoken word.
She said that she and Syeda Nashiha Mahiden, also a member of the 11-member Global Troy Advisory Committee, have organized International Day at Martell Elementary for three years. They are working together to organize International Day at Troy Family Daze.
Grodsky urged people attending International Day to wear ethnic attire.
Festival General Chairman Al Lindsey said they’ve moved the entertainment tent, the children’s area, the animal oasis, and the community and business booths closer to one another and to the food booths. They also have added picnic tables in the picnic grove area.
“We brought things a little tighter, more on the blacktop, so it’s easier to get around,” Lindsey said.
He said he’s been volunteering his help for the festival for 30 years.
“I know people in the community love it,” he said. “We enjoy working together.”
The festival will feature amusement rides, live entertainment, children’s games, a naturalization ceremony, wrestling shows, Troy police K-9 unit demonstrations, a chili cook-off, and a water battle between the Troy and Clawson fire departments.
The Shotguns and Violins Band will entertain Sept. 15 in the entertainment tent, and Funhouse Band will entertain Sept. 16.
Any net profits from the festival go back to the community through grants and community projects. Admission costs $3 per person. Children 6 and younger attend for free.
On Sept. 14, 10 rides will cost $10, with a coupon available at troyfamilydazefestival.com.
For $25 per person, people may ride all the rides all day Sept. 15-17.
Free parking will be available at Zion Church, 3668 Livernois Road, with free shuttles to the festival. For event times, food vendors and other information, visit troyfamilydazefestival.com or call (248) 979-0977.
Troy Family Daze will be held at the intersection of Troy Center and Civic Center drives 4-9 p.m. Sept. 14, 4-11 p.m. Sept. 15, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Sept. 16 and noon-9 p.m. Sept. 17.
About the author
Staff Writer Terry Oparka covers Troy and the Troy School District for the Troy Times. Oparka has worked for C & G Newspapers since 2000 and attended Oakland University and Macomb Community College. Oparka has won an award from the Michigan Press Association and four awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, Detroit Chapter.
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