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New festival comes to Mount Clemens this week

Summer Magic coincides with downtown fireworks

By: Julie Snyder | Mount Clemens - Clinton - Harrison Journal | Published June 20, 2015

MOUNT CLEMENS — There will be music, fireworks and magic in the air this weekend as two events — one new and one a long-standing tradition — join together to offer what is expected to be a memorable Independence Day celebration in Mount Clemens.

The Summer Magic Festival will be held June 25-28 along three square blocks of downtown Mount Clemens, while the Riversight and Sound Concert and the Fireworks at Dusk on the Riverfront are set for June 26.

Promoter Paul Shalhoub, of Shelbyvision Presents LLC, the firm presenting the festival, has booked 38 bands, including three national acts, who will be performing on two stages during the four-day event.

“This is set to be the best new festival in Michigan,” Shalhoub said. “It’s going to put feet on the street and will shine a positive light on Mount Clemens.”

Some of the live acts scheduled to perform include former Ratt lead vocalist Stephen Pearcy, The Babys, Jack Russell’s Great White and Terry Lee Goffee, known nationally as “The Ultimate Johnny Cash Tribute.”

“There will be rock and roll, country ... music; the music is what moves people,” Shalhoub said. “And there will be something for everyone.”

Former Guns N’ Roses guitarist Gilby Clarke will also perform, as will Hollywood rockers Stonebreed, blues-rocker Todd Wolfe and more.

The festival will also include street vendors, a carnival with rides and games — wristbands are $15 the first day, and $20 the rest of the weekend — retailers selling arts, crafts, and food and beverage stations with a large variety of cuisine to choose from.

Shalhoub, who has worked as a music promoter in Las Vegas and Detroit, came to the area two years ago and became familiar with Mount Clemens through a friend who owns a business in the downtown area. He said he was aware that since the loss of the Stars and Stripes Festival to Freedom Hill in 2012, Mount Clemens has been struggling to find a suitable replacement. He said the Summer Magic Festival will do just that, and he hopes to make it an annual event.

“We’re expecting 60,000 that first day,” said Shalhoub.

The Mount Clemens Downtown Development Authority is one of the sponsors of the June 26 Riversight and Sound Concert. Eastside Westside takes the stage at 6 p.m., and Magic Bus will perform at 8 p.m. The fireworks, presented by the Wayne and Joan Webber Foundation, will take off from the municipal parking lot behind the stage at dark.

DDA Director Michelle Weiss said people are invited to secure a spot with a tarp or blanket after 8 a.m. the day of the fireworks, though no stakes are allowed because they could potentially damage the irrigation system. Coolers are welcome, but glass bottles are not allowed, she said.

“The fireworks are being done this year by Zambelli’s. They are based in Philadelphia and do the Detroit fireworks,” said Weiss. “They put on a 30-minute show with about eight grand finales. It’s amazing!”

Weiss said the entire city is optimistic that the Summer Magic Festival will be a huge success and will become a staple summer attraction.

“We think this is going to be really popular,” she said. “We’re so happy about it.”

The Summer Magic Festival hours are 5-11 p.m. June 25, 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. June 26, 11 a.m.-midnight June 27, and 11 a.m.-9 p.m. June 28.

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