The band Reckless Abandon will be among those performing at the Summer Stroll at Veterans Memorial Park in Roseville July 29.

The band Reckless Abandon will be among those performing at the Summer Stroll at Veterans Memorial Park in Roseville July 29.

Photo provided by Heather Eckstein


Summer Stroll will bring entertainment, businesses and residents together in Roseville

By: Brendan Losinski | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published July 15, 2021

 The Summer Stroll in Roseville will feature numerous vendors and entertainers including comedy performer Rufus the Doofus, pictured.

The Summer Stroll in Roseville will feature numerous vendors and entertainers including comedy performer Rufus the Doofus, pictured.

Photo provided by Heather Eckstein

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ROSEVILLE — The Recreation Authority of Roseville and Eastpointe and the Eastpointe-Roseville Chamber of Commerce are presenting the Summer Stroll, an outdoor public event featuring music, entertainers, local businesses and more.

The event will be managed through Jenesis Entertainment. Its owner, Heather Eckstein, said the idea for the event came out of trying to find ways to engage the public while still being responsible in the time of COVID-19.

“The idea was presented to me and the Chamber of Commerce by RARE, and they said they would like to do some sort of festival for families and kids,” she explained. “The idea started brewing during the pandemic, and we were trying to think of a safe and fun event for children that could be done with the COVID restrictions. RARE had a successful trick-or-treat last Halloween at Veterans Memorial Park. We wanted this to work in a similar way, with a certain amount of people to be let in at a certain time and go from booth to booth. This took a little change with the pandemic restrictions lifting, so now it’s going to be a regular festival with some moderate social distancing measures in place.”

The Summer Stroll will take place from 5 to 9:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 29, at Veterans Memorial Park in Roseville, 27325 Barkman St. It was originally set up as a ticketed event, but organizers made the decision July 12 to make the event free of charge.

“The first portion is called Family Fun,” said Eckstein. “You then go inside and walk along the trail along the perimeter of the park with booths and musicians spaced along it. We also have decided to spread in some novelty family acts. A hula hoop artist will be there, a fortune teller, a balloon artist and so forth.

“We’ll have a basketball shooting contest and a few other more proactive activities. There also will be food offered and a couple main acts in the center of the park on stage. This will include Animal Magic, which has rescued exotic animals that accompany information about the animals, and a magic show. Rufus the Doofus is a variety performer who has an act on stilts and on a unicycle as he does comedy.”

The event will be divided into two parts, with the second part being open to everyone but designed more for adults.

“The second half is geared more toward adults with shopping experiences; another performance by Rufus the Doofus; local musician Justin Alexander performing with his band, Reckless Abandon,” Eckstein said. “It’s going to be one continuous festival from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., but most of the child-oriented acts will finish at 7 p.m.”

The event also will serve as a way for local businesses to get back into the community and reestablish relationships with customers. Justin Awdish, the owner of both 3D Pizza and More and Dinner at Your Doorstep, is among the business owners who will be taking part in the Summer Stroll. He said it’s a great chance for people to get outside after long months of having to stay socially distanced.

“There will be great food, lots of fun and it’s family friendly,” he remarked. “Everyone has been cooped up for so long, I think it’s time to let loose and have some fun. COVID ruined a lot of things. We don’t want to see more go by the wayside because of COVID. … We have recently purchased 3D Pizza and More. The store has been there since the 1950s and is known for their 3D sandwich, and the previous owners had let things kind of go by the wayside. We are out doing a lot of events to try and get our name out there and let people know we’re under new ownership. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to do that.”

Jennile Oram, the owner of 5 Star Outdoor LLC and Jennile Jacob Collections, said she and her staff were happy to be involved in an event that brings the community together.

“We wanted to get involved because we are a family-owned local business who serves the local community with digital and static billboards,” Oram said. “This event is wonderful for our community because it brings family and friends together for a great evening stroll. It’s a wonderful midsummer festival.”

Awdish said public events like the Summer Stroll are important since so many businesses have suffered due to the pandemic.

“We’ll be handing out some coupons and other materials. I know a lot of other businesses will be, too,” he said. “It should be a good way to support local businesses who have been struggling during COVID. A lot of them got very hurt because of the pandemic. They want to let people know they’re still out there. These local businesses want to show the community they’re here and what they can do.”

“Business has been doing much better now the pandemic is slowly behind us,” Oram added. “We continue to do what we can so we can serve our wonderful community by bringing attention to other local businesses.”

The Summer Stroll also will be geared toward helping students with a school supply collection.

“We’re working with the Roseville Optimist Club to collect school supplies for area children,” said Eckstein. “People will be able to drop off school supplies in baskets at the entrance. The Roseville Optimist Club will be distributing them through their organization.”

The hope, said Oram, is that this will engage the whole community and get people interacting again after months of being separated.

“I believe this event is wonderful for the community because it’s a time for people to gather and have fun,” she said. “Business was very slow this past year because most events were canceled. It is slowly but surely picking up, and I look forward to more fun, exciting events.”

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