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City teams up with Soulstice run for new Southfield Spirit Fest

By: Kayla Dimick | Southfield Sun | Published March 22, 2017

 Racers take off into the sunset June 18 at the Summer Soulstice event.

Racers take off into the sunset June 18 at the Summer Soulstice event.

File photo by Sean Work

SOUTHFIELD — Although spring has just begun, local event organizers are encouraging residents to lace up their running shoes and strap on their party hats ahead of the new summertime Southfield Spirit Fest.

According to Southfield Community Relations Director Michael Manion, the city of Southfield is putting together a brand-new event in conjunction with the annual Summer Soulstice run.

City officials are planning a parade ahead of the run, called Southfield Spirit Fest, June 17.

The parade will take off from Lawrence Technological University’s Don Riddler Field, 21000 W. 10 Mile Road; head down Civic Center Drive; and end up on the front lawn of the Southfield Municipal Complex, 26000 Evergreen Road.

To round out the event, the Summer Soustice 5K will kick off at 7:30 p.m. The race will start and finish in front of City Hall, looping around the municipal complex, traveling down Civic Center Drive and around the LTU campus, and back again.

Manion said the event is headed by the Southfield Ambassadors, an all-volunteer group of Southfield residents and business owners. The goal of the group is to promote the city of Southfield, Manion said.

The parade will be led by a celebrity grand marshal, Manion said, and will feature community organizations, new and classic cars, and floats. Who that special celebrity grand marshal will be is still being determined, according to Manion.

Residents and visitors alike will enjoy inflatables, games, face painting, crafts for children, a beer tent, a music stage and live entertainment. All activities are free, and food trucks will be on-site for purchases, Manion said.

Southfield Ambassadors member LaTina Denson said in a prepared statement that the goal of the event is to create “excitement and energy” in the community while promoting the city’s assets.

“We encourage everyone to come out and attend. We’d love to have a lot of spectators viewing, but we’re also looking for entries,” Manion said. “We’ve got all kinds of fun things for the whole family.”

Race director Gregg Leshman said previously that the 5K event is designed to kick off summer through family activities. The event, which is now in its fourth year, includes food trucks, craft beer, yoga, kids activities and music. June 20 is the summer solstice this year, which marks the first day of summer.

Prior to the 5K, organizers said, there will be a kids fun run around the new 1-mile loop on the complex’s lawn.

Leshman said he is expecting a big turnout this year.

“We’ve expanded the event into more of a celebration of Southfield,” Leshman said. “It’s really a community get-together, come-together event to celebrate Southfield.”

Proceeds from the event will this year benefit the Southfield Public Arts Commission and the South Oakland Shelter.

Organizers are working on putting together a talent show for the event, Leshman said. 

Through April 30, registration for the race costs $35. From May 1 to June 17, registration for the race costs $40. Registration for the kids fun run costs $10 through April 30 and $15 May 1-June 17.

For more information or to register, go to southfieldsummersoulstice.com.

For more information on Southfield Spirit Fest or to enter the parade, call the Southfield Community Relations Department at (248) 796-5130 or visit cityofsouthfield.com.