Sterling HeightsJune 29, 2012
Zip line joins attractions at annual Teen Fest
By Cortney Casey
C & G Staff Writer
For the 12th year, Dodge Park will become a place teens can call their own for an entire evening.
Teen Fest returns to the city venue 7-9 p.m. July 10, bringing rides, games, food, music and more for kids ages 12 to 15. Admission is $2 for residents and $3 for nonresidents; pre-registration is required.
Recreation Supervisor Mark DiSanto said favorite attractions from years past will be returning, such as a rock climbing wall and inflatable obstacle courses, along with some new additions.
“We have a lot of activities for the kids, but new this year is a zip line,” he said. “That should be pretty good. That’s going to be a main attraction.”
A DJ will keep the mood festive, playing music from the band shell all night, and temporary airbrush tattoos, face painting and various carnival-type refreshments will be available. Representatives from the Sterling Heights Public Library and Utica Community Action Team will be on hand with giveaways and information.
Parks and Recreation Manager Kyle Langlois attributes Teen Fest’s popularity — it typically attracts 600-800 attendees — to its laissez-faire nature.
“A lot of times, we try to do a lot of ‘heavy programming’ for certain age groups, and teenagers are one of those age groups that doesn’t respond to heavy programming,” he said.
The kids “can really do whatever they want,” said Langlois. “If they want to dance, they can dance. If they want to wait in line for the attractions and the inflatables, they can do that. If they want to hang out with their friends and drink smoothies and eat hot dogs, they can do that.”
“It is structured as far as supervision and as far as planning the rides,” agreed DiSanto, “but they can do as many things as they want, or as few things as they want.”
Langlois said it’s a great way for kids to experience virtual freedom while their parents can rest easy, knowing they’re in a safe, supervised environment, engaging in “positive, constructive activities.”
Teen Fest is co-sponsored by Christian Financial Credit Union, Sterling-Van Dyke Credit Union and Sterling Heights McDonald’s Restaurants.
To register for Teen Fest, visit www.myshpr.net or stop by the Recreation Office at 40620 Utica Road at Dodge Park Road. Online registrations will only be accepted until 5 p.m. July 10. Registration is not accepted by phone.
For more information, call the Parks and Recreation Department at (586) 446-2700.
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