Eastpointe to host first Shamrock Day celebration

By: Brendan Losinski | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published September 17, 2019

 The public can take part in several artistic or craft projects, including painting cement shamrocks like those pictured, at  the Shamrock Day  program Saturday,  Sept. 21, hosted by the Eastpointe Arts and  Cultural  Diversity  Commission.

The public can take part in several artistic or craft projects, including painting cement shamrocks like those pictured, at the Shamrock Day program Saturday, Sept. 21, hosted by the Eastpointe Arts and Cultural Diversity Commission.

Photo provided by Alysa DIebolt

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EASTPOINTE — Eastpointe area residents are invited to a new event that organizers are hoping will become a local tradition.

Shamrock Day is organized by the Eastpointe Arts and Cultural Diversity Commission and was designed to foster art, creativity and fun.

“It’s a new initiative that the Arts and Cultural Diversity Commission is doing,” explained Alysa Diebolt, the commission’s chair. “When the group was first formed in July of 2018, we did some surveys on Facebook and so forth about what people wanted, and a common theme was a free festival of some kind for fun stuff for people of all ages to do. We decided to lean into the community’s Irish heritage and the strong art tradition in the city and make an art day for the city.”

It was named Shamrock Day in honor of the city’s significant Irish heritage and the Eastpointe High School Shamrocks. It is free to attend and will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, at the Eastpointe Children’s Garden at Nine Mile Road and Gratiot Avenue, which is owned by the city. Parking will be available at the Eastpointe Memorial Library next door.

“It will be in the children’s garden, and there will be stations,” said Diebolt. “The (Detroit Institute of Arts) will be there and will have an illumination station where they can decorate the first letter of their name. The library will have tile painting and a huge sheet that people can paint that will be put on display at the library. The Arts Commission will have a booth for painting cement shamrocks and other projects where people can make a craft out of yarn and old CDs. It’s all activities kids can do but adults can enjoy too. … The Eastpointe High School marching band will be performing throughout the day as well.”

A variety of other activities will be offered, including chalk art, yarn weaving, crafts, games and more. Diebolt said she was particularly excited about the plywood mural the public will help create throughout the day.

“There is a post in the children’s garden where there used to be a plywood mural,” she said. “It disintegrated over time, so we are going to have a small piece of construction fence and people can color and paint on pieces of fabric, which will then be put together on the fence. It will be up for about a month afterward.”

The Eastpointe Memorial Library will be contributing significantly to Shamrock Day, providing several activities and other resources for the event.

“The library opens at noon, so even though the Shamrock Day opens a little earlier, we will have some events. We will be making a mural with everyone contributing,” said Youth Services Librarian Abby Bond. “Kids can make their own coasters. We are still looking into some other programs, depending on attendance. We’ll display some art books and do some storytimes probably.”

Bond said the library jumped at the chance to take part when the commission asked for its help. She said fostering and promoting creative projects like this is crucial for a successful community.

“We were asked to participate by the commission. They asked us if we could take part, and we are always willing to join in on stuff like this,” Bond said. “It’s always important to share culture, art, education and literature, and so much of the library is doing that already. Bringing more people in to do that is always a bonus. … If people are looking for something free and fun to do, this is something they should check out.”

Organizers feel that opportunities such as Shamrock Day are important for residents.

“Shamrock Day is going to be a celebration of our creative community. It’s a free event, so everyone can come out and have fun together,” Diebolt said. “I think the creative industry in general is what makes a community a community. The basis of a city is houses and businesses and streets and stuff, but any time we can infuse a creative aspect into city programs or city betterment, it brings people together and makes people closer and more neighborly.”

Call Staff Writer Brendan Losinski at (586) 498-1068.

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