Hamtramck Labor Day Festival comes back with a roar


By Charles Sercombe
This is by no means official, but we heard this from several folks who know this town, and here’s the verdict on this year’s Hamtramck Labor Day Festival: It was awesome.
That was despite Mother Nature throwing a curve ball on Sunday with unseasonably cold and cloudy weather that reminded everyone that the Michigan gray period of the year is coming up way too soon.
But, on Saturday late afternoon, when Danny D hit the stage at five, followed by The Polish Muslims, the street was packed. And apparently everyone remembered that this was Hamtramck’s weekend to live it up.

Monday’s warmer and more agreeable weather made up for Sunday’s gloomy overcast skies. And Monday was The Day to be here in town – just to rub it in for those who hit the road up north, or wherever they go.
You can bet many Jell-O shots were consumed this weekend – need we even say that?
And speaking of the Jell-O shot wagons/carts, or whatever you call those pedal-powered things, that were prowling the music area, we have this to say: kudos to the those operating those pedal things for their amazing ability to sell, sell, sell.
A few highlights of the weekend:
The music line-up was both varied and simply incredible. Hats off to the organizers of that portion of the fest: Jeff Fournier and John Szymanski. If there were other volunteers involved, we apologize for not having everyone’s names.
The food offerings were also top-notch, and folks seemed not to be able to get enough. Many folks were seen leaving the festival grounds with plates of food in hand.

Big Time wrestling was once again a crowd favorite, and provided plenty of laughs. Word to photographers out there: some of the “villain” characters really don’t like getting their photo taken as they come out of the building where they wait.
Yeah, that was tense, in a cartoony way, but then again, what other way should it be? Fight me.
The canoe race. What more can we say that we haven’t already said before? It was rowdy and wet — very, very wet. It’s the one time the public is encouraged to have a giant water balloon fight without being accused of assault – even as the Hamtramck police force is watching and waiting.
At one point the street was so wet, the water started moving like a tsunami. We exaggerate, but you get the drift.
One other thing: Was Monday “Bring Your Pet Dog to the Festival Day?” We love dogs, and have one of our own, but why didn’t anyone tell us? Could have saved a few bucks on the dog sitter.
The highlight of the weekend?
Without a doubt, it was Monday’s Hamtramck Labor Day Parade.

Now, that was something the city has desperately needed for many years.
When it was announced that the Polish Day Parade was relocating to Warren a couple of years ago, local volunteers stepped up and organized a parade that was truly reflective of Hamtramck’s cultural diversity — and its sense of humor.
As Frank Woodman told us, “It made me emotional.” Yes, emotional with joy and pride – something this town could use more of.
And if you ever want to have an instant party, just invite the fans –the Northern Guard — of the Detroit City Football Club. Now that was a show all by itself.
They brought the drums, the chants, the smoke things and … and … well, a bunch of laughs.
And DJ Mike Wimbush! And the dancers! They ramped up what was already a street party. More of this, please. Oh, and DJ Blayd: keep it spinning.
Monday evening, the last day of the festival, brought it all back home. The weekend’s marquee bands, ESG and Adult, were knockouts.
Golly Gee Whiz, Hamtramck.
See you next year — if we don’t see you before.
Sept. 9, 2022










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