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Fraser to hold 34th annual picnic

By: Nico Rubello | Fraser - Clinton Township Chronicle | Published July 1, 2013

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FRASER — Every July, thousands flock to downtown Fraser for a four-day carnival that ends with a parade, time-honored City Picnic and fireworks show.

The event has traditionally marked the city’s largest event for the year. And this year, nothing has changed.

The Fraser Lions Club’s carnival will run from Thursday, July 11, to Sunday, July 14, with the city-sponsored parade, picnic, craft show and fireworks taking place throughout the final day.

Fraser Lion Dale Moase, the carnival chair, encouraged locals to “meet their neighbors” at the event.

“It’s a fun time for everybody — kids, adults,” he said. “This is going to be a party for four days.”

The midway at Steffens Park, located next to Fraser City Hall at Garfield Road and 14 Mile, will be open from 4 to 11 p.m. on July 11, 4 to 11:30 p.m. on July 12, noon to midnight on July 13 and noon to 11:30 p.m. on July 14. 

All profits generated by beer and food sales, and from a portion of wristband sales, will go to various Fraser Lions charities, including Leader dogs for the Blind, the Penrickton Center for Blind Children, building wheelchair ramps, and various Fraser Public Schools scholarships and programs, among others.

Admission into Steffens Park will be free, but people are encouraged to bring some money for the midway games, rides and concessions that will be going on. Wristbands for all-day ride access will be sold for $18 on July 11 and $20 on July 12-14. Games will cost extra.

Fraser Lion Ron Holler said there will be rides for kids and older children, alike. And good rides are important, he added, because when the youngsters are having fun, they want to stay — and so do their parents.

Fraser Lions and local restaurants will be serving food at the park, as well.

Though attendees can’t bring their own alcohol into the park, the Lions will be serving beer, wine and wine coolers under the beer tent. The beer tent will be open from 7 to 11:30 p.m. on July 11, 4 p.m. to midnight on July 12, 2 p.m. to midnight on July 13 and from 2 p.m. until the start of the fireworks on July 14.

Beer will be half-priced during a special happy hour from 2 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, July 13.

“We’ve got great entertainment,” Moase said, noting the musical lineup includes Detroit-area bands playing throughout  the four days, including Rock Steady, Brothers Righteous, the Full Circle Band, Fun House and East Side Blues Crew.

This year, the Lions will be raffling off a top prize of a $16,000-value gift certificate toward any BRP-brand recreational vehicle at Dee’s Marine in Clinton Township. The second prize is a 60-inch 3-D TV, and the third, fourth and fifth prizes are, respectively, $500, $250 and $100 cash.

Raffle tickets will be sold for $10 each throughout the carnival, and the winner will be drawn around 9 p.m. on July 14.

On the last day, July 14, the city parade will start from Fraser High School and proceed more than a half-mile down Garfield to the Fraser City Hall at 14 Mile, next to Steffens Park. Garfield will be blocked off during the parade, which is set to feature dozens of local businesses and community organizations.

City Parks and Recreation Director Christina Woods said the theme of this year’s parade is “Fraser, A Creative City,” which keeps in line with the art-oriented city attractions that drew people to the parks this spring.

Woods said the Fraser First Booster Club will be this year’s parade grand marshals, in recognition of their ongoing efforts to equip Fraser’s McKinley Park with a barrier-free playground that can be used by anyone, regardless of physical or sensory challenges.

Vania Apps, president of the Fraser First Booster Club, a nonprofit, said the group was proud to be the grand marshals.

After the parade, the 34th annual City Picnic and craft show will get under way at 1 p.m. at Steffens Park. During the picnic, people get together to eat and hang out.

A few dozen vendors have already signed up to sell handmade crafts from booths on the premises, Woods said.

In addition, Apps said, Fraser First members will be on site with activities that simulate what it’s like to have a sensory challenge, as well as some of the types of plants that are used in sensory gardens. The McKinley barrier-free initiative hopes to add a sensory garden at the park, once it is complete.

Lastly, at dusk, the festivities will end when thousands of people look skyward to gaze at the city fireworks, which has traditionally been one of the last official displays of the Fourth of July season.

The Fraser Lions also cover 80 percent of the cost of the fireworks. The city covers the remainder.

Woods added that seeing families come out and get their spot for the fireworks makes all the hard work behind the annual festival worthwhile.

“I’m just looking forward to seeing the community come out for a day of celebration and just having fun,” she added.

For more information, call the Fraser Activity Center at (586) 296-8483.

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