Festival of the Senses brings artistic integrity to township

By: Nick Mordowanec | C&G Newspapers | Published September 13, 2018

 Local student Natalie Aiuto, of the Pankow Center, created the poster art for this year’s Clinton Township Festival of the Senses. The theme is “Explore the world of art.” The event is Sept. 22-23.

Local student Natalie Aiuto, of the Pankow Center, created the poster art for this year’s Clinton Township Festival of the Senses. The theme is “Explore the world of art.” The event is Sept. 22-23.

Photo provided by Clinton Township Parks and Recreation

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — The 12th annual Festival of the Senses returns from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22, and Sunday, Sept. 23, on the grounds of the Clinton Township Civic Center, 40700 Romeo Plank Road in Clinton Township.

The event, which is free to the public, will commence with the popular dog parade, estimated to begin that Saturday at about 10:15 a.m. Prizes will be awarded for categories like best costume, best trick and owner look-alike at around 10:45 a.m. at the entertainment stage. All proceeds from the parade will go toward Macomb County Animal Control.

This is the second year Clinton Township Parks and Recreation is in control of the event, which synchronizes the arrival of fall with a slew of talented artists, musicians and food vendors situated between the gazebo and the Clinton-Macomb Public Library.

Recreation coordinator Tami Letcavage said the annual aim is 100 participants. As of Sept. 10, she said the scheduled artists were on par to reach that same number again this year, with few spots still available.

After running the festival for the first time in 2017 — when she said her department tried to keep things “status quo” — and meeting everyone involved in putting on a successful event, Letcavage and the department learned to keep it simple.

“It’s a lot about keeping it right, because everyone plays their part,” Letcavage said. “It’s fitting in to see how we can help them succeed and do better. … When they do well, we do well.”

That includes finding artists and understanding the main functions of programs, while also discovering new things to bring the public, such as new artists and new activities, so they come back year after year.

“It was really a lot of finding that balance this year, and making sure we got those key artists coming back, but also finding new artists to bring,” she said.

Also new is an event called Clash of the Cupcakes. At noon Sunday, a free food tent will be open to the public, and it will include cupcakes made by local bakeries. The first-come, first-served tastings will include votes from the public, with prizes doled out to winners at the event’s conclusion.

Natalie Aiuto, a student from the township’s own Pankow Center, continued the festival trend of designing a poster. This year’s theme is “Explore the world of art,” and her work was chosen to be the face of the event.

Last year, a heat wave struck the festival. Letcavage said it was a “weird year” to judge attendance, estimated at about 6,000 per day throughout the two-day event. The annual goal, she said, is for 10,000 people to stroll in and out each day.

“Anywhere in that window is a good success,” she said.

Parking will be available at the Civic Center. Free shuttles will run all day long, each day, from Erie Elementary, 42276 Romeo Plank Road.

For more information visit clintontownship.com/festival-of-the-senses.html.