Festival-Filled Summer Season

Set aside Saturday, August 2, at 11 a.m. for the ninth annual African-American parade, complete with floats, music, marchers, horses, vehicles of all kinds, local leaders and enjoyment for everyone. After the parade, plan to move on to Ferris Park where the celebration will continue with more music (including a Battle of the Bands), some of the best food you’re likely to find anywhere, vendors selling merchandise you can’t get anywhere else and special activities for children. The action in Ferris Park gets going at 12:30 p.m. (after the parade) and lasts until 5:30 p.m. Sponsored by the Capital City African-American Cultural Association, Association Chair the Rev. Dr. Michael C. Murphy said, “Last year, over 20,000 people participated in this event. We have all the elements in place for a fantastic festival this year, and we’re looking forward to it.” For more information, call the Rev. Dr. Murphy at 517-484-2180.

Dig the Caribbean vibe on the campus of Lansing Community College on August 23 when their annual Caribbean Festival takes over the downtown campus. Running from noon to midnight, the festival, which kicks off Welcome Week for returning students, is free and open to the public. Exotic music, spicy and succulent food from around the world and unusual merchandise all add to the festive flair of the day. From noon to 6 p.m., a special children’s area features arts and crafts, a petting zoo, face painting, balloons, a bubble station and a giant slide — sure to keep the kids happy. The festival is sponsored this year by the Office of Student Life and Leadership and the LCC Foundation. According to Student Life and Leadership Director Denise Harris, “This year, we are working with the foundation to solicit sponsorships; half of the money will go to offset the expenses of the festival and the other half will be used to establish the perpetual rhythm scholarship for LCC students.”

“Our festival has grown so much over the years,” said Harris. “We started out with an hour over lunch time attended by students. Now the festival lasts 12 hours, and last year we had over 20,000 attendees from the whole community. One tradition we’ve maintained is featuring Trinidad Tripoli, a steel band group that is a real favorite. Another popular attraction are the stilt dancers. You have to see them to believe it! The festival is just a great time for the whole family, and we hope to have even more than 20,000 people this year!”

As the festival nears, more details will be available at the LCC website, www.lcc.edu. If one is interested in sponsorship opportunities, call the Student Life and Leadership Office at 517-483-1285.

Celebrate and honor Native American culture June 20-22 at Louis Adado Riverfront Park with the Riverbank Traditional Pow Wow. Over 30 Native American vendors, traditional foods (be sure to try the fry bread!), make-and-take crafts for the kids and, the centerpiece of the event, Native American dancing and drumming, make the three-day event a family favorite. Friday’s events include vendors opening at 11:30 a.m., a dance exhibition from noon to 1 p.m., a community potluck at 6 p.m .and social dancing (no regalia) at 7 p.m. On Saturday, vendors will open at 10 a.m. with Grand Entries (Native American ceremonial dancing in full regalia) at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. On Sunday, vendors will also open at 1 p.m. with Grand Entry at noon. The event draws a big crowd every year with something for everyone. Elaborate costumes, intricate dancing, compelling music and the proud traditions of Native American culture make the entire event not only fun but also meaningful. For more information on this year’s event, the ninth annual, visit the website at www.riverbanktraditional.org.

Jane Whittington








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