HARRISON TOWNSHIP — Despite the scattered rain showers and a few rumbles of thunder throughout the weekend of July 27-28, Aquapalooza did exactly what it intended — it showed off Lake St. Clair and the many amenities offered within the Macomb County communities surrounding it.
Hosted by Belle Maer Harbor and sponsored by Colony Marine and UAW Chrysler, Aquapalooza is dubbed a “concert on the lake.” “This event is to bring attention to Lake St. Clair and let people who normally wouldn’t be out here see what we have right here,” said Eric Foster, manager of Belle Maer Harbor in Harrison Township.
Organizers of the two-day concert — accessible only by water — had anticipated more than 5,000 boats would flock to the “floating stage” off Belle Maer during the weekend, attracting somewhere around 10,000 spectators. Unfortunately, the weather didn’t cooperate and it’s estimated that around 1,000 people enjoyed this year’s eighth annual event.
No worries, though, because there’s always next year and the year after that.
“We want Aquapalooza to become an annual event,” said Foster. “But it takes a lot of money to put it on. Thankfully, (UAW) Chrysler came on board last year and returned again this year.”
Regardless of the colder temperatures and the rain, the eight local bands, including Kaleido and The Meldrum Brothers, continued to perform through the weekend from the barge just off the Belle Maer shoreline on Belvidere Bay, or as some call it, “Poor man’s beach,” because of its accessibility and shallow waters. Spectators were able to climb from their boats and wade in 4 feet of water and stroll to the roped off “dance floor” area just in front of the stage.
Belle Maer and neighboring MacRay Harbor in Harrison Township were the site sponsors of Aquapalooza.
Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel said Aquapalooza coincides with the efforts of the Pure Michigan campaign, the Make Macomb Your Home campaign and the Lake St Clair Tourism Initiative nonprofit organization.
“Lake St. Clair is the busiest lake in the summer,” said Hackel. “I see this event only growing and growing.
“I see this growing to where national acts will want to be a part of this at some point,” he said.
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