D-Ray 3000 slams down on a competitor during one of the wrestling matches put on by the North West Championship Wrestling league. The 52nd annual Troy Daze celebration featured four days of wrestling matches followed by a Battle Royale.

D-Ray 3000 slams down on a competitor during one of the wrestling matches put on by the North West Championship Wrestling league. The 52nd annual Troy Daze celebration featured four days of wrestling matches followed by a Battle Royale.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

Troy Family Daze celebrates 52nd year

By: Brendan Losinski | Troy Times | Published September 20, 2022

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TROY — The Troy community came out in droves the weekend of Sept. 15-18 for the 52nd Troy Family Daze celebration.

A community carnival and festival, Troy Family Daze is a local tradition for many. Olivia McLaughlin, the executive director of the Troy Community Foundation, which hosts the event, said it is the result of having a city full of people who work together to try to make their community better.

“The Community Foundation in different iterations has hosted Troy Family Daze for 52 years. We’ve changed our name in that time, but we have always hosted it in the community,” she said. “The city partners with us. They are the sponsor of the fireworks on Saturday night, and they provide the land. City staff, such as public works personnel, also help us put this on.”

Carnival games were played, rides were enjoyed, and shows were taken in. A variety of activities were offered, some new and some returning.

“We have the fireworks. We have a signature musical act, and this year it is Air Margaritaville. There is International Day on the final day,” said McLaughlin. “On the opening night, we had our naturalization ceremony where about 25 new U.S. citizens were sworn in. We have children’s activities. We brought back the cutest baby contest this year. We’re adding a 5K (run) on Sunday morning, and that is incorporated into the festival’s traditions.”

McLaughlin estimated that more than 25,000 people attended this year. They were still determining how much money was raised as of press time.

“Any proceeds after expenses are recovered go back into the community through the variety of ways the Troy Community Foundation supports our residents,” she said.

Money was raised through admissions and through the partnerships with vendors taking part in the event.

McLaughlin said organizers were curious about how their attendance numbers would look this year. In 2021, attendance was enormous after having canceled Troy Daze in 2020, so it was unknown how 2022 would compare.

“We had an outstanding year last year. Because of COVID, there was a high, pent-up demand for outdoor festivals. We’re trying to match our numbers from 2019.”

McLaughlin said that with the pandemic over, they were able to reach out to a lot more sponsors for the event and partner with a lot more organizations and businesses than last year.

“We expanded our sponsor lineup and we sold out with our vendors and booths,” she said. “We have everything from businesses to the Friends of the Troy Library to the Police and Fire departments and political candidates.”

Andrew Smith, a local State Farm agent, was among the sponsors who were present during Troy Daze. As a new business in Troy, he said it’s a great way to meet local residents.

“My company is new in the community, but my family and I have lived nearby in Rochester Hills for six years,” he said. “We’ve been to the event a lot, so as a new company in the community, I thought taking part would be a great way to build some bridges, raise awareness and give back to the community.”

He went on to say that he was impressed with how the event has such a strong emotional tether to residents.

“I think Troy Daze is great. It’s well run, it’s well organized and people are happy to be here,” said Smith. “As I’ve talked to people coming through here, a lot of them have been coming here since they were little kids. Now they’re bringing their kids or grandkids back, so it’s an event with a lot of tradition. It jells well with who we try to be as a company and being good neighbors.”

Many in attendance were also first-time attendees to Troy Daze. Plymouth resident Tara Carr was attending for the first time with her son, Armand.

“This is our first time here,” Carr remarked. “(My son) just got out of school and we were looking for something fun to do. There was nothing going on where I live, so I Googled events and this came up. … I love it. It’s just before fall, so we’ve got to get weekends like this in before the cold weather gets here.”

She said she was very impressed with the number of rides and games and that both she and Armand were having a great time.

“We just got off of the Ferris wheel. I think that was Armand’s favorite,” said Carr. “We’ve been on about five rides so far and we’re having a lot of fun, and I think everyone here is having a lot of fun.”

McLaughlin said this is one of the highlights of the Troy Community Foundation each year and it is something people regularly come back for again and again.

“This is our biggest event as a community,” she said. “We draw from nearby communities, obviously, but for Troy, we hear time and time again from our volunteers and board members that there are people who come back to the community for Troy Daze, almost like it’s homecoming weekend. There’s a lot of nostalgia having grown up with this and taking your kids. It’s something people want to return to.”