The Ypsilanti Heritage Festival is one of the last remaining free-admission festivals in the state of Michigan. Held annually each summer, it encompasses all of Depot Town, Riverside Park and Frog Island for three days – starting this year on Aug. 17.
The Riverside Beer Garden will be serving local craft beers from the Ann Arbor Brewing and Wolverine State Brewing Cos., and there will be live entertainment as well as casino gambling until midnight Friday and Satiurday.
Throughout Riverside Park, art and craft venders will be set up along with other venders serving up festival food and beverages for the masses.
Some of the highlights include the Heritage Festival Parade on Saturday, Chautauqua at the Riverside on Saturday and Sunday, and a Living History Native Encampment presented by the Native Youth Alliance of Ypsilanti on all three days.
At the gazebo stage on the riverfront Washtenaw Community College’s Performing Arts program will have a significant presence.
Patchwerk Dance Troupe performing in southern hip-hop style, and Factory Dance Company in a modern dance genre comprised of performing arts students and alumni will perform, as well as other dancers and instructors.
“I haven’t totally set up the program yet… but we will be there. I’ve got some students who will be doing solos. There may even be belly dancing,” said Laurice “Noonie” Anderson, instructor and program director for dance and yoga at the college.
Anderson will also be choreographing something of her own, but says she doesn’t know yet if it will be solo or with her students.
Another group to be showcased from WCC is the Top 40 Combo band from John E. Lawrence’s music class at 7:30-8:30 p.m. on Saturday.
“We are really excited,” said Heather Cartwright of Milan, singer and group manager.
Heritage Fest will be the group’s official launch into the realm of entertaining where it will announce the new name of the band and play popular hits from old to new.
“We’re going to throw a few curveballs and have some fun,” said Zac Johnson, the group’s trumpet player from Ypsilanti.
The Ypsilanti Historical Society will also be hosting free Historical Museum tours and exhibits on all three days. In addition, the Ypsilanti Heritage Foundation will be holding their 35th Annual Heritage Home Tour Sunday from noon-5 p.m. Tickets for that event are $10-12.
Event and schedule information for the Ypsilanti Heritage Festival are TBD. For more