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Posted on Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 11:05 a.m.

Michigan Fire Truck Muster canceled due to conflict with QVC broadcast featuring Haab's

By Chelsea Hoedl

The Michigan Firehouse Museum's 2013 Michigan Fire Truck Muster, which was scheduled for Saturday, has been canceled because of a scheduling conflict in Ypsilanti's Riverside Park, where the event was going to be held.


A child climbs on a truck during the 2009 Fire Truck Muster.

QVC’s ‘In the Kitchen with David’ will broadcast live from the park Sunday for a show featuring Haab's restaurant, but because of the need to set up equipment and do set construction for the live production, the television crew requires access to the space on Saturday.

Michigan Firehouse Museum Manager Steve Wilson said organizers of the Michigan Fire Truck Muster were told they could hold the event in a different area of the park, but he said that space would not adequately accommodate the Fire Truck Muster.

"Even though the Huron River runs throughout the park, it is too shallow at the south end — where we were told we could go — for the firetrucks to pump water," said Dan Egeler , a member of the Michigan Firehouse Museum Executive Committee. "If we held the event, but none of the trucks could pump water, it's just a collection of antique vehicles. What makes the muster fun is that the trucks are all working."

Haab's recently won the show's “David’s Road Trip Contest,” which secured the restaurant a visit from host and cookbook author David Venable in July.

The non-profit organization, located at 110 W. Cross St. in Ypsilanti, considered rescheduling, but found it to be too difficult logistically, Wilson said. Many of the trucks that were supposed to be out for the event and volunteers who allow the day to run smoothly were not available at a later date.

“We’ve been telling people to come down to this event for a year now,” Wilson said. “Now we’re just trying to get in contact with all of those people to let them know, but I’m not sure it’s even possible at this point.”

Egeler said the event typically draws around 1,000 people each year. He said the museum will be hurt financially by the cancellation of the event.

"You're looking at an impact of between $15,000 to $20,000 on the museum," Egeler said. "The impact will come from the loss of membership sales and donations the event normally brings in. We normally bring in revenue from our gift shop that day as well. Good will for the museum and the event may also be lost, but the city has apologized for the scheduling error and is working with us to make up for the loss."

The museum, which was founded in 1998, plans to hold the Annual Michigan Fire Truck Muster again in August 2014. Egeler said the museum has been holding the event for at least the past 10 years.

Ypsilanti city officials could not be reached for comment.

Chelsea Hoedl is an intern reporter for She can be reached at



Sat, Aug 24, 2013 : 11:13 a.m.

They should have held the muster at the same time as the taping and then whenever a little kid asked "can i play with the siren" they let em go to town and run it as long and as loud as the want. lol


Sat, Aug 24, 2013 : 4:09 p.m.

Well maybe since it's like a cooking show, something will catch on fire on the set while they're cooking and they'll be like "dang, I wish all those fire trucks were here!"


Sat, Aug 24, 2013 : 3:34 p.m.

good one guys!

Nicholas Urfe

Sat, Aug 24, 2013 : 11:27 a.m.

"Can you make it rain?" "Sure we can!"

Nicholas Urfe

Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 9:26 p.m.

Maybe the mayor is personall involved because QVC is going to sell off the water street property.

Ypsi Eastsider

Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 3:30 p.m.

The Mayor meets with the volunteers and organizers two days before the scheduled event, and after it was already cancelled, is a day late and a dollar short. The Muster could have been moved to Water Street or Water Works Park or the fire trucks could have hooked up their supply line upstream and still used the South end of Riverside Park. Equipment could have been borrowed from active departments to make this work. The city could have and should have done more than cancel the event and hide from the press. Yet the Mayor had plenty of time to take a day off from work to hang out with the QVC crew for filming and interviews. Remember this is 2014.


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 3:17 p.m.

This is capitalism at work. If you don't like the fact that this is how capitalism works, then start talking to your local representatives to change it. Complaining on an online blog won't change a thing.


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 11:40 p.m.

It sounds to me like we have 2 new candidates for the next city council election. Excellent. Seeing how the sausage is made will provide a whole new perspective.


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 5:49 p.m.

Kind of hard when even at the council meetings our "representatives" have their faces in their laptops or are more interested in their snacks than what's going on out in the meeting, let alone the actual city.

Usual Suspect

Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 5:07 p.m.

Capitalism is a government body screwing things up? That's news to me.


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 2:21 p.m.

I think I solved the mystery! Go here if you want to know more: Everything explained, the Michigan Fire Truck Muster organizers had it all wrong to begin with!


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 1:42 p.m.

"Ypsilanti city officials could not be reached for comment." I heard this was pretty much the same thing at the last council meeting too...


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 1:28 p.m.

Seems like the Haabs thing is the one that should have rescheduled not the fire truck Muster!

Nicholas Urfe

Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 12:54 p.m.

So when did QVC schedule this with the city? It seems very last minute. And the fact that they are booting out a long time park user, with an annual event, stinks of favoritism. What city official gets to make such capricious decisions?

Jonathan Blutarsky

Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 5:40 a.m.

It is not reasonable to blame any of this mess on Haabs. If you know Mike Kabat you know he and his business is one of the biggest assets to downtown Ypsilanti. This is City Hall's malfunction plain and simple and City Hall needs to get their act together and start conducting business with a mediocre level of professionalism and integrity. I'm hoping QVC will do a nice extended PSA type of moment for the Firehouse that will make things right again. Again City Hall - professionalism and integrity - get some. The Firehouse Museum deserves better, the hard working people at Haabs deserve better, the whole community deserves better than this.


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 3:15 p.m.

Usual Suspect- really? The owner of an establishment now has such sway that he or she can usurp anything that the city is doing? Wow. I had no idea. I'm going to stop the construction on Packard because it is having a negative impact on the businesses there. Why? Because I'm a stand up guy. And Usual Suspect knows I have the power.

Usual Suspect

Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 3:04 p.m.

If that's the case, I expect we will soon read that he has convinced QVC to move their event. If not, then you're wrong.

Usual Suspect

Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 4:54 a.m.

Come on, Haabs, you know better than this. Do you really want this stain on your reputation? You're on the losing end of this in my mind.


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 4:27 a.m.

I Love both Haab's and the Common Grill in Chelsea: Washtenaw's two top restaurants! But I gotta say: This is a Typical Ypsilanti Screw-Up!!! No Wonder that Ypsilanti is the Laughing Stock of the rest of our county!!! Does the City of Ypsilanti have Any Co-Ordination? I'll answer my question: None!!!


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 1:46 a.m.

Why does QVC need an ENTIRE day to set up. Surely they can set up after hours or in the early morning hours of Sunday. WHat time is this show on anyway?


Sat, Aug 24, 2013 : 11:26 a.m.

Better question is why do they need 3 days to set up and why do they need police officers on overtime (yea yea I know that they are paying for them) to be down there.


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 12:06 a.m.

I must ask this: where did the communication within the city break down and what steps have been put in place to prevent a recurrence of such an event going forward? Chelsea, as a reporter this is what you should be asking and when the question gets answered, challenge it, then challenge it again, and again. We'd all like to believe it was just an oops but right now I have in my hand the pamphlet from the Ypsilanti Area Convention and Visitors Bureau with all of the scheduled events in both Ypsilanti and Washtenaw County dating back to events starting on 4/7/13, with the Fire Truck Muster clearly scheduled for August 24. These are everywhere within the city. As well, paperwork is filed by most of these event coordinators well in advance of the actual event taking place and I'm sure cross checked against a master schedule. So where did the disconnect occur? How could so many people miss this? I find it hard to believe that this happened at all, I really do and that's what you should be finding out, the why, the why, the why. Honorable Mayor, who will be disciplined over this matter?

John of Saline

Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 9:05 p.m.

Douse the QVC broadcast booth with a fire hose.


Sat, Aug 24, 2013 : 3:30 p.m.

There you go!!!!

Nicholas Urfe

Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 11:31 p.m.

I never imagined there was a reason to watch QVC. I was wrong.


Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 7:58 p.m.

QVC is watched by more than 3.2 million people monthly. Seems to me live QVC broadcast from Ypsilanti is a goldmine of free publicity and marketing. The Fire Museum is a very worthy cause, but the city's main job is to market the city and bring in some revenue. The Fire Museum benefits from a strong and prospering Ypsi economy, too. Let's try not to be so shortsighted, and so quick to condemn city staff. Are any of you capable of generating this kind of free exposure for the city?


Sat, Aug 24, 2013 : 11:22 a.m.

yeaaahhhh I see about as many people coming to town to visit because of QVC as I see sticking around town after working out at the still non-existent county rec center in Water St. LOL


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 6:28 p.m.

Yep, it's all about the money isn't it?! Figures.


Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 11:54 p.m.

People these days have the attention spans of gnats. I challenge anyone to remember where a show like this was shot a month ago, let alone a year ago. I mean, seriously???


Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 9:48 p.m.

I concur with Solitude. For those 3.2 million who have Facebook (3.199 million perhaps?) and are fans of QVC/In The Kitchen With David Facebook pages, they are seeing the stops that the producer is making around town and it is bound to draw people to visit who normally would not visit, despite what you think of the items it sells. For the record though, I have purchased the world's best pair of jeans through QVC and more great items (I think NY Times just had an article in the last few weeks about the popularity of QVC and the makeup that they sell)..people are missing out...but hopefully they will not catch on until after Sunday because I hope to get a front row seat at the show!

Nicholas Urfe

Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 8:43 p.m.

I am sure opinions differ, but everyone I know consider QVC to be a junk channel, selling junk. It is the butt of jokes. Saying to friends "I saw this thing on QVC" would immediately generate an interruption of laughter before you even describe the object. The very idea you were watching some guy promo something on QVC is comical. So *I* would never want my town associated with QVC.


Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 7:43 p.m.

Uh oh, time for City Council to pass another resolution...


Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 7:26 p.m.

This is ridiculous. If the paperwork was already in order before the plans were made with QVC then THEY should have to make other plans...that's just the way it works. From what I've heard, not too many people are that interested in QVC coming by anyway.


Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 6:50 p.m.

Yet another blunder by our city Officials. The left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing. Why can't QVC go elsewhere? I've got a great idea, perhaps Beal can host them in the historic building. As it was already asked. how much is QVC paying? Why is this not answered?


Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 6:47 p.m.

Maybe, QVC could broadcast from inside the Thompson Block shell. Beal could sell his shares on QVC.

Nicholas Urfe

Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 6:09 p.m.

How much is QVC paying to hold this commercial event? Who manages the park? Is it a full time position? Why no quote from them?


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 1:42 a.m.

While their determining the amount after the event, make sure they throw in whatever the Firehouse Museum is losing for QVC commandeering the park. The donation is tax deductible after all.....


Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 11:52 p.m.

Huh? After the event? Sounds kind of like the honor system. Can I pay my taxes like that too, after a year of city service which I may or may not deem worthy of my taxes? This stinks and is insulting to the businesses and people of Ypsilanti.

Chelsea Hoedl

Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 8:13 p.m.

According to Assistant to the City Manager Ericka Savage, QVC will be paying for the use of Riverside Park and any other services the city may provide. She said that the amount QVC will pay will be determined after the event.


Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 5:54 p.m.

Forget QVC. Make them move. They're not attempting to hold a fund raiser!


Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 5:34 p.m.

Instead of canceling, why don't they just re-schedule the event? Plenty of time left before the cold weather comes.

Usual Suspect

Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 4:57 a.m.

"Instead of canceling, why don't they just re-schedule the event?" I agree. QVC should reschedule heir event.


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 12:34 a.m.

All of the "what's happening in ypsilanti 2013" pamphlets show August 24 as the date for the Fire Truck Muster at Riverside Park. Anyone who grabbed one of these months ago, be it someone who lives here or doesn't, and is planning on coming is probably relying on this type of information, not This is just going to alienate a lot of people when they show up to a cancelled event and that sticks with people a lot longer than the ten or so minutes they'd see Ypsilanti on a channel that no one really admits to watching.

Chelsea Hoedl

Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 5:48 p.m.

The museum considered rescheduling in September, but found that it would not be possible because many volunteers and participants bringing the trucks would no longer be able to attend.

Rob Pollard

Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 5:10 p.m.

This is disappointing. Did the Fire Truck Muster folks not have a contract stating they would have access to the park on that particular date? And if so, did that contract have penalties for cancellation by the city (which seems to be what happened)? Finally, how did this happen - did the city book the QVC event and then say, "Oops - forgot about the Fire Trucks" or did they just assume it could move and didn't realize it couldn't? If my business/charity was impacted "between $15,000 and $20,000", I would be more than a little upset.


Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 11:45 p.m.

Naw... not when it's an out of town behemoth for profit entity vs a small city non-profit which has a vested interest in the community. It's virtually legal for them to just show up and take over, kind of like a weekend eminent domain...


Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 6:55 p.m.

Shouldn't the older paperwork take precedence over the newer?

Chelsea Hoedl

Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 5:34 p.m.

According to Steve Wilson, the Museum had all of their paperwork in line for the event. Dan Egeler said that after meeting with the mayor and city officials the scheduling conflict appeared to be the result of miscommunication. City officials who scheduled QVC's event were not aware of the Fire Truck Muster's reservation of the space.


Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 4:58 p.m.

"Michigan Firehouse Museum Manager Steve Wilson said organizers of the Michigan Fire Truck Muster were told they could hold the event in a different area of the park, but he said that space would adequately accommodate the Fire Truck Muster." Shouldn't that last phrase read "**not** adequately accommodate"

Chelsea Hoedl

Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 5:12 p.m.

You're right, Epengar. Thank you for bringing that to my attention. It has been changed in the story.

Paul Schreiber

Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 3:57 p.m.

I met with the Michigan Firehouse Museum executive board this morning. The city strongly supports the Firehouse Museum and the Michigan Firetruck Muster. The city is responsible for the unfortunate conflict with the QVC event. I hope that this article alerts people who may be planning on attending the muster this year that it is cancelled. I also hope that many people attend the 2014 and future Fire Truck Musters that will occur annually in Ypsilanti's Riverside Park on the fourth Saturday of August.


Sun, Aug 25, 2013 : 2:15 p.m.

Shame on the you and the city for shunting the Firehouse Museum aside. You say the city strongly supports the museum, but the city's actions say otherwise. Other accommodations should have been made for the QVC event.

Usual Suspect

Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 3:02 p.m.

"The city strongly supports the Firehouse Museum and the Michigan Firetruck Muster." I've never seen it piled that high without it falling over.

Hugh Giariola

Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 11:50 a.m.

Paul, that was a real jerk-move to do to the MI Firehouse.

Jonathan Blutarsky

Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 2:03 a.m.

And ample parking day or night...


Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 11:39 p.m.

Well c'mon now, this is QVC, America's favorite 24/7 commercial. Imagine the influx of people flocking to our locale because they saw it on this channel? This is our .15 minutes of fame you're talking about here so we can expect this thing will just snowball, probably to the size of a pea! I just can't wait to reap the benefits from this publicity, those dozen or so folk that stumble upon our humble burg (who more than likely just took the wrong exit thinking they were going to Michigan Stadium.) At least we do have cheaper gas than Ann Arbor most of the time.


Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 8:03 p.m.

@mady - Oh please. The event was cancelled. Is all the drama really necessary? Are their young lives over now? The way they react to a change in plans will be dictated by how you present the info. No one said you can't still visit the museum that day.


Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 6:53 p.m.

"The city strongly supports the Firehouse Museum and the Michigan Firetruck Muster.".........Unless it interferes with the Mayor getting on television


Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 5:49 p.m.

Mr. Schreiber, I have two grandkids who were looking forward to this event, and now i have to call them and tell them that my hometown let them down. NICE GOING!!!


Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 3:52 p.m.

Couldn't QVC broadcast from Frog Island Park? What a slap to a nice event.

Dog Guy

Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 3:38 p.m.

Oh, THAT Ypsilanti.


Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 3:34 p.m.

Why not hold it at Frog Island or the vacant water street property? It seems like the two things would really complement each other, and the museum could get some free publicity out of it. Alternatively, they could bring in a portable water truck to supple the water necessary. It kind of seems like they are crying over spilled milk.


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 2:52 p.m.

"Alternatively, they could bring in a portable water truck to supple the water necessary." Seriously? Did you seriously suggest that at the last minute they hire a portable water truck? Do you know how much that would cost? I mean they are holding an annual fundraiser here which I'm sure makes up a good chuck of their operating budget so it doesn't really seem like a non-profit like this is flush with cash. Wow, get a grip.


Thu, Aug 22, 2013 : 5:02 p.m.

"Don't cry over spilled milk" means don't get upset about something you can't fix or change.