by CYNTHIA KMETT
If you find the roads into the Troy Civic Center blocked to through traffic this week, there’s a good reason. This weekend, September 14, 15, 16, and 17 will find the crossroads of Town Center and Civic Center Drives on the Civic Center as the middle of the annual Troy Family Daze Festival, sponsored by United Shore.
The tents will be going up all week and the ride vendor, T.J. Schmidt & Company, will be setting up the midway with carnival rides, several of them new, games, and food booths to provide us all with the first candy apples of fall, as well as pizza, popcorn, and, of course cotton candy.
The committee of committed residents has worked literally all year to bring back all your favorite activities and some new ones, too.
“We have revised the layout and we think people will love it,” says Festival General Chairman Al Lindsey. “We have brought the Entertainment Tent, Children’s Area sponsored by Kelly Services, Animal Oasis, Community and Business Booths closer to one another. They are also closer to the Food Booths. We have added picnic tables in our Picnic Grove area that should provide great seating for families to eat and enjoy the sights and sounds of the Festival. Back by popular demand is the Fireworks Show, sponsored this year by the City of Troy.” And, yes, you can still take a camel ride, or a pony ride if you’re a youngin’, or perhaps feed the goats in the Children’s Area.
If you missed the excitement last year, the wrestling matches will return on both Friday and Saturday evenings at 7 p.m. They were great fun for folks all ages to watch.
Saturday will also feature a Chili Tasting Contest, and it’s not too late to enter. There are still a few spots open. On Saturday, both judges and the public will be able to taste Troy’s best chilis from 2-4 p.m. Each participant must make at least two gallons of their best chili in order to compete. The 2017 Chili Cook-off Champion receives a trophy & $100. All proceeds benefit Troy Youth Assistance. Tastes of chili are $1.00 each…for a very good cause. There is no entry fee for chili contestants. Call Chair Bob Matlick to register: 248.928.4296.
Troy Family Daze opens at 4 p.m. on Thursday with a chance to ride ten rides for just $10. You will need the coupon, but you can download it to your phone at TroyFamilyDazeFestival.com, or pick a coupon up at your local eatery. The annual Naturalization Ceremony follows at 6 p.m. in the Entertainment Tent. New citizens will have the chance to register to vote at a reception following the ceremony.
Perhaps they’ll return to Troy Family Daze on Sunday for a new event. Added to this year’s Festival is International Day to be held on September 17. This day is similar to popular Ethni-City, which was part of the festival when it was located at Boulan Park – remember the muddy parking lots?
What can we all expect?
“It’s going to be amazing,” declares an enthusiastic Troy Mayor Dane Slater. He observes that the Global Advisory Committee has worked extremely hard to make this event a reality. “I know everyone will enjoy becoming acquainted with the diverse members of our community.”
“We were thrilled when the Festival Committee reached out to us to help them plan International Day,” says Lisa Bica Grodsky, a member of the Global Advisory Committee, and now the Troy Family Daze Committee, too. “We have planned to have continuous entertainment from Noon- 9:00 p.m. highlighting several ethnic groups. We will have information tables of educational cultural displays set up from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. We expect representation from African American, Arab-Chaldean, Bulgarian, Indian, Italian, Polish and more. All in all a wonderful start to a new Festival addition.”
Grodsky suggests that those who have costumes from their native country might find this the perfect opportunity to wear them for others to enjoy.
There are other events you definitely won’t want to miss, like the Troy Police K9 officers at noon on Saturday at the Entertainment Tent, and the Troy and Clawson Fire Departments in a water battle at 1 p.m. on Sunday.
And, did we mention fireworks? They will return on Saturday night at 9:30 p.m. Rain, on no, please. But there is rain date for Sunday at 8:30 p.m.
But if they close the roads, where do I park? Glad you ask.
Free parking will be available to all at Zion Christian Church, across Livernois by the brand new Daisy Dog Park – opening on September 30. But you don’t have to walk to the festival. The Troy Trolley will be shuttling back and forth all weekend, and it’s a free ride, which the kids are sure to enjoy. Depending on the time of day, all four of the buses will be taking you to and from Zion Christian Church.
The days and hours of the Festival are Thursday 4 p.m.-9 p.m., Friday 4 p.m.-11 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m.-11 p.m. and Sunday Noon-9 p.m. The admission fee is $3.00 per person; children under 6 are free.