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Posted on Sat, Aug 24, 2013 : 6:39 p.m.

Residents head to Parkridge Festival for fun and information

By Lisa Carolin


A group performs during Parkridge Summer Festival in Ypsilanti Saturday Aug, 24.

Courtney Sacco |

Saturday's Parkridge Festival was an opportunity for residents to get all kinds of helpful information about local programs and services while enjoying a festival atmosphere.


A group of kids plays football during the festival.

Courtney Sacco |

This is the third year that the all-day event was offered, and it included booths about job training programs, youth mentoring programs, senior services, public health services, veterans' services and more. Nonprofit agencies offered information between 1-4 p.m.

Glaam Girls, Inc. is a new program aimed at girls ages 8-13.

"This is an awesome opportunity to introduce ourselves," said cofounder Crystal Barrett. "We want to foster relationships in the community between women in leadership to act as role models to help teach and empower girls."

Mentor2Youth Founder Emmanuel Jones was also at the festival telling visitors about his free, year round mentoring program.

"We serve 8-18-year-old kids and offer tutoring in all core subjects, and help kids develop leadership and social skills," said Jones, adding that he is looking for volunteers.

The Parkridge Festival was offering plenty of entertainment throughout the day. There was live music, a car show, vendors, and the Balling Series All-Star basketball game.

"The Balling Series is a 3-on-3 basketball tournament for two age groups-13 and under, and 14 and over," said Natalia Harris, Community Outreach Coordinator for the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Department.


Residents watch as area musicians perform during Parkridge Summer Festival.

Courtney Sacco |

"It brings different communities together to have friendly competition and to get to know each other," said Harold Wimberly, pastor at Christian Love Fellowship Ministries in Ypsilanti, who was overseeing Saturday's championship series.

James Andrews is a volunteer at the festival.

"I'm watching over little kids here," he said. "I've always been taught to give back to the community."

Anthony and Nicole Davis came to the festival with their children. He is the vice president of the Washington Raiders, a little league football team.

"We're trying to recruit low income kids because we charge lower fees," said Anthony Davis. "We'd rather they be out here (They practice at Parkridge Park.) than involved in some other activities."

The Davis are recruiting both football players and cheerleaders and say boys and girls are welcome to join both teams.

The Parkridge Summer Festival stems from the Black Arts Festival which took place from the late 1960s through the early 1980s.

The Parkridge Center was built in 1943 and offers activities for people of all ages. It works to get young people in a structured, safe and positive environment during time off from school and has exercise equipment, computers and a food prep area.

The Parkridge Summer Festival is at Parkridge Park behind Ypsilanti's Parkridge Community Center, 591 Armstrong Drive, and is put on by the center and the Washtenaw County Office of Community and Economic Development. It runs through 8:30 p.m. Saturday.



Sun, Aug 25, 2013 : 12:49 a.m.

Was there an update about when the art museum being proposed by Mr. Barfield is going to commence construction?