By Charles Sercombe
Hamtramck’s celebration of the year once again takes over the north part of Jos. Campau this weekend.
After taking last year off due to the Covid pandemic, the Hamtramck Labor Day Festival is coming back, Sept. 4-6.
It’s a bit scaled down though: the Polish Day Parade is now a thing of the past, at least here in Hamtramck, and there will be just one music stage instead of two.
But hey, for many of us, being able to meet up outside and see old friends is something we’ll take whenever we can.
Mickey Lyons, a festival organizer, had this to say about the festival returning:
“Missing the festival last year was just a complete bummer, and we’re glad to be roaring back at it in 2021.
“We’re dedicated to providing an experience that’s family-friendly, health- and safety-conscious; and the carnival rides and midway will be a great time for the kids who really missed it last year.
“But we’re also definitely all about bringing that raw Hamtramck feel. The beer and booze selection, the bands, and of course the canoe races have been a part of our little local festival for a long time — and they’re not going away.”
As usual, the festival features a variety of food, live music, a midway, carnival, and a whole bunch more.
The ever-popular “canoe race” is back as well, on Monday at noon.
If you’ve never experienced this, consider yourself warned: whether you like it or not, you will be directly involved.
Onlookers are encouraged to bring water balloons to throw at the race participants, and it’s likely you’ll be on the receiving end as well.
It’s wet and wild.
As for the canoes, they are homemade carts in the shape of pizza slices, and run by two people.
It’s rowdy — even slightly nutty and dangerous — and uniquely Hamtramck.
Another highlight is the return of International Big Time Wrestling on Sunday at 2 p.m. This is a proven crowd-pleaser, and for the photographers out there, it offers some fun people watching.
Sunday evening is also known as a Hamtramck reunion night, where old friends meet up. As usual, Danny D hits the stage at 5 p.m., and he is then followed by longtime favorites The Polish Muslims at 7 p.m.
The festival runs from noon to 10 p.m. each day. For more information, visit hamtownfest.com.
See you near the beer tent!
Posted Sept. 3, 2021