Ypsilanti Heritage Festival: Parade provides festive kickoff for 2nd day
Everyone loves a parade they say, and there was plenty to love at the Ypsilanti Heritage Festival Parade Saturday.
There were high school bands, including the new Ypsilanti Community Schools Marching Band, featuring flag twirlers and the district's Grizzly mascot. More music was supplied by a fife and drum corps. There were horses, fire trucks, cute kids and even a large rubber duck.
An appreciative crowd took it all in as the parade marched through downtown Ypsilanti on the way to Riverside Park, the site of the festival.
"We try to come every year to hear the high school bands and look for people we know," said Kelly Lawrence.
"The kids love the parade," said parent Jessee Tomford, whose 3-year-old son Gage said he liked the music best.
"We come every year," said Alice Oakes. "I grew up in Ypsilanti, and I bring my kids because it gives them a good sense of community."
The parade was just one highlight of the Ypsilanti Heritage Festival. Hundreds of volunteers, community organizers, and tens of thousands of visitors are celebrating the rich history of Ypsilanti at the three-day event.
One of the additions to this year's Heritage Festival is the DIYpsi (dip-see) Indie Art Show featuring handmade arts and crafts.
There are also more activities for kids of all ages including pony rides, bounce houses, Colors the Clown and BOYer the Magic Guy. A teen zone called Noise Permit! For Teens By Teens! runs until 6:30 p.m. Saturday at the Frog Island Park stage. It includes performances by local teen music acts.
Other highlights of the 35th annual Ypsilanti Heritage Festival include the Living History Encampment with storytelling, dances and powwow demonstrations from local Native American tribes, and Chautauqua at the Riverside- art, history and music about Ypsilanti's history.
The Heritage Festival also features plenty of musical entertainment as well as a beer garden. The festival runs through Sunday at 6 p.m. For more information go to the festival website.