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Large crowds flock to Stars & Stripes Festival

By: Sarah Cormier | Mount Clemens - Clinton - Harrison Journal | Published July 7, 2011

 The firework display on July 1 drew huge crowds to the festival

The firework display on July 1 drew huge crowds to the festival

Photo by Erin Sanchez


MOUNT CLEMENS —Rebecca Stout, a kindergarten teacher at George Washington Academy in Mount Clemens, may be done with school for the summer, but that doesn’t mean the Chesterfield resident doesn’t have good reason to return to the city this summer.

During the middle of the day July 1, Stout found herself at the Stars & Stripes Festival in downtown Mount Clemens, along with her two children, Annabella, 5, and Andrew, 3, and their grandfather, Harrison Township resident Steve Anderson.

The family was taking a quick reprieve from the carnival rides and games before heading back out for more fun.

“The city of Mount Clemens always has a good program,” said Stout. “The fireworks, of course, are a favorite, and of course, just coming here with the kids and having a good time.”

Stout, Anderson and the kids were just four of the thousands that came to the Stars & Stripes Festival in downtown Mount Clemens, which ran July 1-4.

Emily Pattyn, 15, and Jennifer Stafford, 16, both from St. Clair Shores, enjoyed the various vendors at the festival.

“We’re going to hang out for a while and go to the fireworks later,” said Pattyn, who had never been to the event before. “I’ve heard about it and thought it would be cool to check out.”

Victoria Contrucci from Clinton Township said she had been to the fireworks show before, but this year, she wanted to bring her granddaughter, 5-year-old Daphne, for the daytime fun. Contrucci said the festival was “very family friendly.”

“She was pretty much going to take advantage of the rides, and she participated in the magic show. Now she’s finishing up her cotton candy, and we are going home,” said Contrucci of her granddaughter’s activities. “I think it’s very nice.”

Kevin Cassidy, vice president of Funfest Productions Inc., the company that puts on the event, said organizers were pleased with the turnout, which they believe to be around 500,000 — similar to last year’s numbers.

“It was absolutely on par with what it has been in years past,” he said. “Overall, the event was very well-attended, and it was a good time.”

Cassidy added that a lot of the new attractions at the festival this year brought people in, such as the laser shows.

“I think some of the new things we were able to incorporate in were really kind of neat,” he said. “People seemed to really enjoy themselves and the carnival did tremendously well, and overall it was a success.”