Thrill rides, food, fun, fireworks to be featured at Troy Family Daze

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published September 4, 2018

 Troy residents Leeya Smith, left, and Alexis Kosmowski slide into Troy Family Daze Sept. 17 last year.

Troy residents Leeya Smith, left, and Alexis Kosmowski slide into Troy Family Daze Sept. 17 last year.

File photo by Sarah Purlee

TROY — Troy Family Daze will offer food, fun, entertainment, cultural attractions and midway rides on the grounds of the Troy Civic Center Sept. 13-16. 

Over 30,000 people attended the festival last year, said Al Lindsey, chair of the festival.

Troy Family Daze is modeled after the Troy Daze Festival, which the city of Troy sponsored in various forms for 42 years. The City Council voted to forgo hosting the popular community event in 2010 due to budget constraints.

For the eighth year, the North Woodward Community Foundation, a nonprofit group, will fund the festival with presenting sponsor United Shore. It’s the third year the foundation has held the festival on the grounds of the Troy Civic Center. Previously, the foundation held the festival at Zion Church. 

Allegra, CNS Electric, Henry Ford Health System and Oakland Outdoors also sponsor the event. 

According to its website, the North Woodward Community Foundation “is a nonprofit organization whose goal is to enrich the quality of life for our regional community.”

Lindsey said that a core group of volunteers has been with the festival for 20 years. 

What Lindsey likes best about Troy Family Daze is “seeing all my friends from Troy. The rides are great, and the fireworks are fabulous.” 

He explained that after costs are recouped for the festival, which costs over $94,000 to put on, half of the proceeds will be donated to the North Woodward Community Foundation, and the other half will go to shore up the festival fund in case of inclement weather, when attendance drops. 

“Our goal is to have $60,000 in reserve to ensure future festivals,” he said. Lindsey said anything extra will be funneled back into community programs. 

The festival will feature midway rides, live entertainment, children’s games, a naturalization ceremony, wrestling shows, Troy police K-9 unit demonstrations, a chili cook-off, and a water battle between the Troy and Clawson fire departments. 

For a second year, the festival will host International Day. Lisa Grodsky, a member of the Global Troy Advisory Committee, said there was so much interest that the International Day program was expanded to two days, Sept. 15-16, from one day last year. 

The festival committee partnered with the Global Troy Advisory Committee to plan International Day. 

“We contacted those last year who wanted to participate but couldn’t because registration had closed, (and) those who wanted to come back and new people,” Grodsky said. 

International Day entertainment will run 1-4 p.m. Sept. 15 and 12:30-9 p.m. Sept. 16. 

Grodsky said the Bulgarian Cultural Center folk dancers were a hit last year, encouraging crowd participation.

“You were learning as you go,” she said. “It was a lot of fun.” 

The Junior Sarisan Slovak Folk Ensemble, performing dances from Moldavia, is also returning.

“Their tent had an overflow crowd last year. We’re very excited to have them back.”

Among the new performances this year, Ara Topouzian will perform Armenian and Middle Eastern music on the kanun, a lap harp, and Troy Creative Learning, a Chinese group, will perform a visual artistic program of martial arts. 

International Day performances will feature Bollywood and other styles of Indian dance and music; Polish, Albanian, German, Romanian and Scottish folk dancers; and a Scottish bagpiper fresh from competitions in Scotland. 

Grodsky noted that the Buddha’s Light International Association performance of “Buddha Statue” is “very tranquil.” 

Klezundheit will perform a traditional and modern mix of Klezmer — a musical tradition of the Ashkenazi Jews of Eastern Europe —as well as gypsy, Balkan, Israeli, Jewish and jazz music for the first time this year. 

In the entertainment tent, Alan Turner and the Band will perform country music the evening of Sept. 14, and Funhouse Band will take the stage the evening of Sept. 15. 

Free parking will be available at Zion Church, 3668 Livernois Road, with free shuttles to the festival. For event times and other information, visit troyfamilydaze  festival.com or call (248) 909-0977. 

Admission costs $3 for adults and is free for children under 5. Parking is free. 

Fireworks are scheduled to be launched at 9:30 p.m. Sept. 15, with a rain date of 8:30 p.m. Sept. 16. 

Troy Family Daze will be held at the intersection of Troy Center and Civic Center drives 4-9 p.m. Sept. 13, 4-11 p.m. Sept. 14, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Sept. 15 and noon-9 p.m. Sept. 16.