The Fraser Fire Department leads the Fraser City Parade in 2018. This year's parade will be Sunday, July 21.

The Fraser Fire Department leads the Fraser City Parade in 2018. This year's parade will be Sunday, July 21.

Photo by Deb Jacques

Fraser Lions Carnival kicks off July 18

Fireworks display slated for July 21

By: Nick Mordowanec | Fraser - Clinton Township Chronicle | Published July 15, 2019


FRASER — The biggest yearly event in Fraser is coming back with a full slate of activities for children, adults and families alike.

The 2019 Fraser Lions Carnival officially kicks off at 4 p.m. Thursday, July 18, at Steffens Park, located on the corner of 14 Mile and Garfield roads.

The four-day festival, which culminates in a fireworks display on the night of July 21, includes daily food and beer tent offerings. The beer tent will be open until midnight the first three nights and close around the time the fireworks begin on the final night.

Different activities will take place within the beer tent on a daily basis, including trivia on Thursday, dueling pianos on Friday, live music from the band Crewsade on Saturday, and Rock-N-Roll Prep School on Sunday.

All-day carnival wristbands cost $23 for Thursday and Friday, and $25 for Saturday and Sunday.

Derek Damico, president of the Fraser Lions Club, said the club has about 40 members. He said planning this huge event often takes a full year, beginning almost as soon as the previous year’s event concludes.

A change for this year’s event involves an approximate 20% increase in fireworks purchases. Zambelli Fireworks is responsible for this year’s show, which Damico said could either be a longer show or just more bombastic.

“It’s just to have a better show,” he said. “We’ve been doing the same amount of fireworks for years.”

Fraser Parks and Recreation Director Christina Woods said her department’s biggest function during the carnival weekend is the parade, which starts at noon at Fraser High School and heads down Garfield Road to the park.

This year’s parade theme is, “The future is so bright you’ve got to wear shades.” Woods said the department is going for an 80’s vibe. About 30 local businesses plan to be part of the parade route.

“It’s fun. A lot of people like the 80’s and I think parents want to share that with their kids. … (Businesses have) been in the community a long time and have always been supportive of recreation and the city, so we wanted to honor them and the city,” she said.

A dog meetup, taking place between 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. in the beer tent on the opening evening, is an opportunity for locals to bring their pooches, socialize and meet other dogs. Other department-sponsored activities include Yoga & Brews, Saturday at 2 p.m., and a glow bike parade stepping off at 6 p.m. Saturday.

Woods said the weekend is big for the city — not just the current residents, but also those of past history. She said many people plan their summer vacations around the event, which “shows how important it is to the Fraser community.”

“We kind of saw that need to come up with different programs for people to come and celebrate during that week. … We’re just filling in and seeing what people want, and get people together and have a good time,” Woods said.

Damico said the event is fun for all, and the statistics show it. In 2018, there were only nine listed police complaints and three total arrests.

Fraser Interim Director of Public Safety Mike Pettyes said the city’s high-police presence over the course of the weekend helps stop issues, such as fights among youth, before they escalate. People who cause issues will be asked to leave.

“We have been pretty fortunate the last few years,” Pettyes said. “We haven’t had many incidents, many arrests, but we really flood the park. All our officers work on that Sunday.”

He said the biggest offenses tend to be fights, assault and battery, and “drunk and disorderly” from a few too many adult beverages.

“You always get a couple here and there,” he said. “People will overindulge and those are the ones who usually cause the problems.”

For more information, call the Fraser Lions at (586) 293-8560.