PPNA Happenings

Happenings, history and news of the Prospect Park Neighborhood and Ypsilanti

A Fantastic Sunday In Ypsilanti

Posted by ppna on May 5, 2008

On Sunday morning my parents and I rode from the Prospect Park Neighborhood to Rec Park to join the bike-ypsi folks for the community ride and BBQ. There were 3 rides taking place; a long 30 mile ride, a medium 15 mile ride and the short 3 mile community ride. I would guess there were 70 or more people taking part in the community ride. The ride circled through downtown, depot-town, and then back up Forest and Pearl to the park. The ride ended with a BBQ and community gathering. Many of our community groups were represented with tables and volunteers. The bike-Ypsi folks were also making sure every child in attendance had a bike helmet which were fitted and given to the kids to take home. The Organizers did a fantastic job with this event and it would be great if they were able to organize a summer and fall event as well.

After parking my bike at home I walked through Riverside Park and the Ypsi-Street Rod car show on my way to the Crossroads Festival. The car show was pretty packed but sadly it doesn’t expand into Depot-Town or downtown like I’d hope an event like this would.

I arrived at the Crossroads Festival in just enough time to catch the Horse Cave Trio beginning their set. As you can see from the picture below there was no trouble finding a seat at the festival. The concept of this festival is great but I don’t think anyone knew it was going on.  As far as I know the only advertising came from me when I asked AM1600 WAAM to write and read a news release about the event.  (FYI WAAM AM1600 still cares about local events and seem to be willing to help support them so contact them if you have an event).   At the time I was there most of the people had come at the invite of the Horse Cave Trio. I stayed through the Horse Cave Trio set and then wandered to the Tap Room which seemed to be where most of the festival goers were gathering. It’s really too bad that there isn’t more support for this festival because it could be a great thing but it needs more atmosphere.

Crossorads Festival

I’m not certain how I would have tied all three of these events together but I’m sure it could have been done. It is a shame that with a few hundred people in Riverside Park, a hundred or so people at rec park and free music on Washington Street Down-Town and Depot-Town didn’t appear any busier than on a normal day. I hope next year the three groups coordinate and make this an Ypsi happening rather than three events in Ypsi.


3 Responses to “A Fantastic Sunday In Ypsilanti”

  1. Brian said

    You should get involved with Crossroads if you have ways to improve it. The next Downtown Association of Ypsilanti meeting will be Wednesday the 21st in room 211 of the College of Business.

  2. Sarah said

    We were at both the festival and the car show and said exactly the same things. In terms of publicizing, I would suggest you not neglect the moms groups on meetup.com who maintain calendars for the groups with every conceivable child-entertaining activity they can possibly find. I’m always on the lookout for free events that will get us out of the house and burn some daylight and poop her out enough to score us a good afternoon nap, I’m sure most other parents are in our situation.

    I saw the Crossroads flyer while shopping Ypsilanti Cycle the day before, otherwise I’d never have known about it. It was a beautiful day and great music (and my child loved it–she was the dancing baby who got a shout out from the first band).

  3. ppna said

    I think THE CROSSROADS FOLKS DID A FINE JOB with the festival and I thank them for their hard work. The main complaint I had was that nobody knew about it. I’ve spent many days at Music Festivals and Events which seem to be going great including the Great Lakes Folk Festival in East Lansing, MI and the Black Swamp Festival in Bowling Green, Ohio. I know The Crossroads doesn’t want to go to that scale but check them out and see what they are doing and get some ideas.

    Here are a few simple suggestions:

    All Stores in Downtown need to be open during the Music. Dreamland has a bunch of creative and talented folks (it was a great move to get them to do a puppet show), try to get them on the street maybe along Michigan Ave so people will slow down and take a look. I know they had a Jug Band that was a lot of fun. Get Biggies and other restaurants to open with a grill outside. Coordinate the music with the other music venues downtown so people coming to and leaving the festival will be enticed into another establishment after the festival ends. Get the stores along Michigan Ave to set up tables outside or some displays which will get people to slow down and realize there is something going on. I know that a lot of this effort might go for nothing but I think the Crossroads Festival is a great thing and I don’t want to see it go away because of lack of support.

    You should offer spaces on the street or inside some of the empty stores for things that will attract people
    My thought is to use the music as a catalyst for people to shop downtown. Perhaps host a record sale, talk to the guy from Cousins Vinyl or some of the other local sellers. Maybe you could invite some of the Shadow Art Fair artists to set up. Maybe get some of the popular stores that have moved from downtown to come back just for the festival like Henrietta Fahrenheit or Rubber Soul Records.
    Talk to people like DJ Del who has been successfully promoting Rockabilly shows at the Berkley Front. DJ Del gets a great turnout and can promote shows. If you have ever been to a Rockabilly show the people that show up are entertaining on their own, they dance and bring with them a lot of energy.

    Talk to the Motorcycle group from Depot Town or the local Scooter Groups and reserve spaces on Michigan Ave. for them during the Festival. With Ypsi’s parking problems it would be wise to reserve those spaces for Motorcycles and Scooters.

    Talk to the Media and let them know. Jeremy Baldwin who hosts the Roots Music Project on WEMU 89.1 is a big supporter or local music and will probably feature acts coming up at the festival or could help with booking. Talk with <a href = “http://www.waamannarbor.com/” WAAM AM1600 who will also promote local events for free. Don’t forget the print media and the internet. Find groups and make sure you contact all of the local neighborhood associations. I know this sounds like a lot of work but most media contact can be obtained with one simple press release that is emailed to the same groups monthly.

    So those are some of my suggestions they are all free to do but will take some effort on the parts of the local businesses. In fact, If you rented tables for merch it might even bring in money to support the festival.

    Once again, I really liked what I saw on Sunday. I thought the dance lessons and the Puppet show were a nice touch. Perhaps folks like Sarah who have kids would have ideas about what types of things they’d like to see. If you go to the Corner Brewery on a Friday night you certainly see a lot of parents who want to do adult things that are also kid-friendly. I think a start would be to get the FireHouse Museum and the Fire Department involved and also the library’s new book-mobile.

    Just some thoughts,

    Oh Yeah, If all else fails bring out the Dancers from the Vu’ that will at least attract a Frat or Two.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: