By Charles Sercombe
Hard to believe that summer has flown by.
How do we know it’s getting to be around the end of summer? This weekend is the annual Hamtramck Labor Day Festival – that’s how.
Although this year’s festival has been dogged by rumors that it would not happen, co-organizer Konrad Maziarz said things are coming together and it’s been “hectic.”
Hectic in the sense that more vendors are jumping on board. Last year there were a total of 38 food and non-food vendors. This year, and the count continues to grow, there are 37 non-food vendors and 20 food vendors.
That’s a total of 57 vendors – so far.
Maziarz said he suspects that some vendors are jumping ship from other festivals.
“We’re getting a lot more people contracting us this year,” he said.
New to the festival this year is a Michigan craft beer tent, featuring statewide brews.
Hamtramck’s art collective, Hatch, also has been recruiting art vendors to set up.
Music-wise, expect another stellar line-up of mostly local bands. Of course, perennial favorites The Polish Muslims will fill their usual Sunday evening slot at 7 p.m.
And there is the return of a favorite event, a “canoe” race on Monday, starting at noon on Jos. Campau near Edwin St. Expect a lot of waterworks and raucous fun.
Stick around after the races on Monday because the annual Polish Day Parade kicks off at 1:30 p.m.
Afterward, it’s back to the festival grounds for one final day of fun. At press time, it looks like Mother Nature has Hamtramck’s back. The weather is expected to be 90-degree-ish and sunny with some clouds thrown in and maybe – maybe — a little rain.
Throughout the weekend there is also a midway featuring carnival games and rides.
Have some extra time? Festival organizers could use a few helping hands – especially in cleaning up after the festival closes at night. To volunteer, contact Shannon Lowel, Hamtramck Labor Day Festival Chair, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (313) 820-8466.
Oh yeah, if you do help out, there’s a free beer waiting for you and a festival T-shirt.
The Hamtramck Labor Day Festival runs Saturday, Aug. 31, through Monday, Sept. 2, from noon to 10 p.m. Festival grounds are Jos. Campau from Caniff to Carpenter. Parking is scattered throughout town but there is paid parking at Caniff and McDougall.