Let the Festivities Begin!
By Bethany Newton
The annual Grosse Ile Islandfest begins this weekend, starting on May 20 until May 22. The festival will feature various attractions from carnival rides to historical tours. Get your dancing shoes on because Howlin’ Mercy and Killer Flamingos will perform on Saturday night and the Persuasion Band and fireworks will close out the first night.
Islandfest will take place at the Grosse Ile Municipal Airport, where the festival has been housed since 2002. On Saturday, the festival will host a parade that will begin on Macomb Street at 10 am. Multiple local crafters and vendors will be on hand at both the parade and the festival. Non-profit organizations will also be present at the festival including the Grosse Ile Historical Society, Disabled American Veterans, and the Open Book Theater Company.
If you’re not into carnival rides, other recreational activities will include a zip line, a rock wall, a bungee jump, a wipe out and a hamster ball. Max Flight Detroit will also be hosting helicopter rides for $35 per person.
The Grosse Ile community will participate in the weekend’s festivities, as the GrosseIle Alumi band will be performing on Saturday morning, while the Grosse Ile Children’s Choir will perform Friday morning. A classic car show will also take place on Sunday at 10 am followed by an A&R Showcase.
Grosse Ile Connects With You!
In order to make the Islandfest better to navigate as well as the Grosse Ile area, an application for smartphones has been created. The app, called Grosse Ile Connect, was created in order to engage the community by sending out alerts that keep users up to date with things like town hall meeting dates, recreational events, and even times when the bridges to the island will swing open for freighters.
The app will also send out alerts for emergency cancellations, water main breaks and local scams. One proactive feature from the app allows people to report and get something done about the potholes in their area. If a user of the app sees a pothole on their street, all they have to do is take a picture of it, then submit it on the app. The app will also show residents how to apply for things like dog licenses and permits.
Grosse Ile Connect is still in its soft launch, meaning not all of the kinks are worked out yet. But at the moment, the app is the first of its kind in the Downriver area. More information on the app can be found here.
A feature that is yet to be added to the app, but will probably become rather popular with Downriver residents, is a train tracker. The tracker will hopefully help with traffic congestion and a resident’s daily commute time.
For Islandfest, the app allows you to post videos and pictures of the experience, as well as check out some of the food vendors supplying refreshments and the recreational activities.
Through mediums like this app and Grosse Ile’s social media accounts, website and TV, people will be able to see how great of a place Grosse Ile is to live, work and play, according to Dale Reaume, the manager of the township.
The app is currently free in the app store and is compatible with Android and Apple devices. Islandfest is also free to the general public, excluding other fees such as ride passes and food. For the schedule of events, all activities are posted here.