The 63rd Troy Family Daze will take place from Thursday, Sept. 14, until Sunday, Sept. 17, on the Troy Civic Center Campus.

The 63rd Troy Family Daze will take place from Thursday, Sept. 14, until Sunday, Sept. 17, on the Troy Civic Center Campus.

File photo by Patricia O’Blenes

Community prepares for 63rd annual Troy Family Daze

By: Brendan Losinski | Troy Times | Published September 11, 2023


TROY — Step right up! The city of Troy is preparing for its 63rd annual Troy Family Daze celebration.

Organized by the Troy Community Foundation, the annual carnival will once again take place on the Troy Civic Center Campus, running from Thursday, Sept. 14, until Sunday, Sept. 17.

“We have something for everyone. That’s what is great about Troy Family Daze,” remarked Olivia McLaughlin, the executive director of the Troy Community Foundation. “If you have young children, we have snacks and rides. We have a petting zoo area. We have music that can appeal to a broad variety of people. It’s a nice, local festival that so many Troy residents have such fond memories of.”

Hours will be 4-9 p.m. Thursday, 4-11 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday and noon-7 p.m. Sunday. The entrance cost is $5 per person, or free for those ages 10 and under. There is no cost for parking, but rides and some attractions will require tickets, which can be purchased for an additional cost.

“There are no major differences from last year. We are continuing to try and bring together more community elements,” said McLaughlin. “We have new food trucks. … Last year, on Sunday, we had our first 5K and Kids Fun Run. We will have that again, and we will have a pancake breakfast after, hosted by the Troy Rotary Club.”

In addition to rides and games, Troy Family Daze regularly has some unconventional activities and entertainment.

“We had the cutest baby competition last year, and this year we will have a competition for the cutest pet,” said McLaughlin. “We are working with the Oakland County Recreation Department to bring a climbing wall. We will have our normal lineup of activities, like wrestling, which was popular last year. We have an activity for special needs students, which is by invitation only where they can ride the carnival rides and get food as they are chaperoned, which is how we kick it off.”

Among the activities will be the International Day celebration on Sunday. Lisa Bica Grodsky is the entertainment chair for the event and grew up performing in the Troy Family Daze International Day shows.

“I have been doing it for the last five years along with the advisory committee,” she said. “International Day has been a part of Troy Daze since the 1980s. I was a performer as part of the Italian dancer group. We’ve spoken with so many people who have taken part in previous years.”

She said that performing in the show was such a special memory while growing up.

“We performed Troy Daze a number of times,” said Grodsky. “I would have never dreamed I would be the one organizing it when I was younger. We used to perform downtown and in Windsor or on the east side. What I love about it is that they would have fresh food and you celebrate your heritage. It all really makes people feel at home. We would finish at Troy Daze and then sit back and eat or go on the ride. It was so much fun.”

Numerous groups representing nationalities, faiths and ethnicities from all over the world will be represented.

“I’m looking forward to the Echoes of Ukraine group returning,” Grodsky said. “They have a dance group and a live accordion player. There is a large Indian population, so there are two different schools of dance performing at Troy Daze for the first time. There’s a Greek group called the Omega Dancers that I’ve been trying to include for a couple years now. … I would love to attract even more Middle Eastern, African and Indigenous groups in future years. We love being able to include everyone in the community.”

Among the other entertainment will be a variety of musicians.

“We have entertainment every day,” said McLaughlin. “Our schedule for performers is posted on our website, On Thursday night we will have a Filipino band called Tubig. Friday evening we have Mojo Filter Band. Saturday there will be a performance by The Fives. There are about 20 performances on Sunday for International Day, including a hula dance team and some bagpipers.”

There even will be some helpful resources aimed at making the Troy community safer.

“On Saturday at noon there will be Narcan training by Families Against Narcotics,” said McLaughlin. “We have free vision screenings by the Troy Lions Club. We like to host a lot of programs like this from some local organizations as well as providing fun.”

Like last year, there will also be a naturalization ceremony welcoming in new Americans as they are sworn in as citizens of the United States.

“I love the naturalization ceremony,” said Grodsky. “Such things are usually in these sterile courtroom type settings, but this lets them celebrate this moment in public with their neighbors, and it really reminds those of us born in the United States how important living here is when you see what others do to get what we have.”

The organizers hope the Troy community will once again come together for the festivities and enjoy the traditional fall celebration.

“It’s a great experience for a kid,” Grodsky remarked. “Kids are going back to school and they can meet up just as summer is starting to end. It’s the premier local event. It’s a minimal fee to get in. The good thing about the money you do pay is that it goes right back into the community. No one is lining their pockets. The Troy Community Foundation turns around and uses this money to give to local groups that help local residents.”