Grosse Pointe Chamber of Commerce hopes to introduce new festival this summer

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published May 6, 2021

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GROSSE POINTE FARMS — After more than a year of uncertainty, fear and loss, the Grosse Pointe Chamber of Commerce hopes to host an event this summer that will bring back smiles and fun, as well as a needed boost to local businesses and artists.

On Aug. 7 and 8, the GPCC plans to host Grosse Pointe’s Arts, Beats and Eats in the Richard Elementary School parking lot, on the Hill in Grosse Pointe Farms. The festivities would include artist booths, food trucks and entertainment.

“It’s kind of analogous to the Dabble events,” Farms City Manager Shane Reeside told the Farms City Council during a Zoom meeting April 12, referring to a series of popular community events with food trucks and entertainment that were held on the Hill in previous years.

In an email interview, GPCC President Jennifer Palms Boettcher said Posterity Gallery and Custom Framing in the Village, which has long supported the local art community, was instrumental in putting this event together.

“This event derived from the need to offer our local artists an opportunity to sell their art,” Palms Boettcher said. “They, too, have been deeply impacted by COVID-19. Their livelihood was based on large-group gatherings such as fairs, sidewalk sales, etc.”

Artists who want to participate will need to pay a $50 fee for a booth, Palms Boettcher said. To register or for more information, artists can visit the GPCC website, grossepointechamber.com.

The GPCC would like to draw attendees from throughout the metro Detroit area, possibly introducing some of them to the many charming stores and restaurants in the Pointes.

“Our hope is to attract event visitors to our community and further induce their spending within our local economy, which will bolster our small businesses,” Palms Boettcher said.

Palms Boettcher said there will be a $5 entrance fee per person. She said proceeds from the entrance fee will be distributed to animal rescue and humane organizations, which will be present for the event.

“This event is open to the public,” Palms Boettcher said. “(There’s) no need to register or buy tickets in advance.”

City Councilman Neil Sroka said he was hopeful COVID-19 numbers in Michigan would be down enough by August that this outdoor event would be safe, but he wanted to make sure the city could cancel it if there were too many cases to have a large public gathering.

“All of the CDC protocols will be followed,” Reeside said. “All of the Wayne County Health Department protocols will be followed. … This will have to be reevaluated as we near the date of the event.”

Sroka said he was glad to hear that.

“I look forward to attending this event personally,” Sroka said.

The council voted unanimously in favor of permitting the event to take place, with the caveat being that it could be canceled in the event of a new COVID-19 crisis.

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