For the first time since 2019, the West Bloomfield Parks and Recreation Commission is scheduled to bring back its Summer-on-the-Bank program.

For the first time since 2019, the West Bloomfield Parks and Recreation Commission is scheduled to bring back its Summer-on-the-Bank program.

Photo provided by West Bloomfield Parks


Summer fun in store at West Bloomfield Parks

By: Mark Vest | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published May 11, 2022

 Multiple forms of entertainment have been planned for the Summer-on-the-Bank program.

Multiple forms of entertainment have been planned for the Summer-on-the-Bank program.

Photo provided by West Bloomfield Parks

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WEST BLOOMFIELD — Aside from a break from school, local children have something else to look forward to this summer, as the West Bloomfield Parks and Recreation Commission brings back a favorite program.

For the first time since 2019, Summer-on-the-Bank is set to return to West Bloomfield.

The event is scheduled for 11 a.m.-3 p.m. July 16 at Marshbank Park.

The program had been on hiatus due to COVID-19.

Entry is free for the event, with activities designed to appeal to both children and adults.

Options for family fun include fishing, crafts, wet and dry inflatables, paddle sports, entertainment by Super Dave DJ,  a game zone, and face painting.

There is a $10 charge for the game zone.

Face painting starts at $5 and can go up, depending on the design.

Food trucks from D&W’s Street Eatery, BBQ Daddy, The Great Green Food Truck and Motown Dawg Slingers are also set to be on hand at the event.

Like so many others, after all that has been missed out on due to COVID-19, West Bloomfield Parks and Recreation Commission Recreation Superintendent Kelly Hyer is ready for things to get back to normal again, and Summer-on-the-Bank is one way of helping to accomplish that.

“That’s our big summer festival,” she said. “We’ve had to cancel so many large-scale events due to COVID. That’s one of our signature events we’re bringing back. Everyone’s so excited about that.”

After all the isolation community members have experienced since the onset of the pandemic, West Bloomfield Parks and Recreation Commission Marketing Manager Meagan Kurnat is looking forward to the opportunity to gather again.

“We haven’t offered the festival since before COVID, so we are beyond thrilled to be bringing it back,” she stated via email. “There is such a sense of community that occurs at an event like this, and that camaraderie is something I think we’ve all missed during the pandemic.”

Kurnat believes that Summer-on-the-Bank offers something for everyone.

“You can try fishing, kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding,” she stated. “You can dance along with our interactive DJ; you can bring a swimming suit and try all the water inflatables; you could even just come and enjoy the food trucks. It’s an event where the whole family can participate and find something to enjoy. There aren’t a ton of fun, free family activities available these days, so we really try to remove any financial barriers when we can.”

Aside from Summer-on-the-Bank, the West Bloomfield Parks and Recreation Commission is offering Camp WB for children.

Hyer discussed some of the highlights.

“It’s a mixture of arts and crafts, sports and games, (and) special experiences we’ll bring in for the kids,” she said. “Some days, we do field trips; some days, we’re canoeing; some days, we’re at Lilypad Springs. It’s traditional summer fun; they get partnered up with a day camp counselor, and the majority of the time it’s outdoors. … It’s a blend of active and passive play.”

The camp is for children 6 to 11 years old and is scheduled to run 9 a.m.-3p.m. June 20-Aug. 12 at Drake Sports Park.

The cost is $210 for West Bloomfield residents and $230 for non-residents.

Although camps were also offered last year, Hyer shared some of the changes in store this year.

“Last year, we ran (the) majority of our camps, but we had to follow state mandates,” she said. “There was a lot of masking last year (and) social distancing. Kids had to be … in different groups (and) cohorts, and this year, all of that, for the most part, is lifted. I mean, kids are going to experience what they were used to pre-COVID.”

Although Hyer said that West Bloomfield Parks’ staff is still being “cautious and mindful,” she welcomes a return to normal.

“Kids have missed out on being kids (these) last couple years,” she said. “That’s something that we feel we can bring to the community, is some outlets for parents to connect their kids to.”

For more information about events scheduled, visit wbparks.org or call (248) 451-1900.

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