Center Line celebrates Independence Festival with no issues

By: Brian Louwers | Warren Weekly | Published June 22, 2021

 Fireworks were the grand finale on a packed June 5 at the Center Line Independence Festival.

Fireworks were the grand finale on a packed June 5 at the Center Line Independence Festival.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

CENTER LINE — The 2021 Center Line Independence Festival was one for the books.

“The festival was the best we’ve had yet. The numbers were three times more than we’ve ever had,” Center Line City Manager Dennis Champine said. “Friday night, the park was full. Saturday night, the park was full. And Sunday, the park was full.

“Saturday, the city was, literally, there was no place to park. The roadways were clear, but they were packed,” Champine said.

Founded in 2016 to celebrate the city’s 80th anniversary, the three-day festival was scuttled last year due to precautions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Officials said they — and clearly, the residents, as well — were glad to see it back with live music, food and drinks, a carnival, fireworks and activities for the whole family at Memorial Park, on Lawrence Avenue, north of 10 Mile Road.

The level of activity really ramped up on Saturday, they said, when the middle day of the festival was held alongside the Cruisin’ 53 car parade, cruise and show along Van Dyke Avenue. Cruise Headquarters at 10 Mile and Van Dyke also put Center Line at center stage.

“I thought it was a huge success,” Center Line Mayor Bob Binson said. “Hats off to everybody that helped plan it and participated. I think the cooperation with Warren worked out really well, with the cruise. It was very obvious that people wanted to get out, because it was so well attended, way beyond our wildest dreams.”

Binson and Champine sit on the Center Line Festival Foundation Board as the president and vice president, respectively. The foundation was created in 2016 as a nonprofit fundraiser for the festival.

Organizers made the decision early to move forward with plans for this year’s event, despite difficulties related to the coronavirus. It didn’t look like they were going to be able to bring in a carnival for a while, but even that was eventually worked out.

“Let’s face it, you didn’t know how many people wanted to come out, everyone being apprehensive about COVID,” Binson said. “It was obvious with this festival that a lot of people wanted to come out, really wanted to enjoy themselves.

“We’re looking forward to having it again next year,” Binson said.

Champine was thankful for the crowds, but also thanked the “team” that came together to pull it off.

“Everyone involved did a great job, from the volunteers all the way up to the committee members themselves,” Champine said. “Everybody pitched in and did an exceptional job and really gave Center Line some visibility.

“We definitely have what I would call a premier event now there in Center Line.”

RELATED: For more local fireworks shows, check out our Fireworks Festivities page, sponsored by Joe Pizik Electric, Inc.