BY SHEILA R. McAFEE
As thoughts turn to apples and pumpkins, organizers of the monthly Third Fridays in Wyandotte are planning a family friendly event for October.
The Beer Fest last month and the Wine Crawl in August catered to adults; now it’s time to focus on fun for all ages, said Jenna Smith, president of the Wyandotte Business Association.
Fall Festival is Oct. 21 beginning at 5 p.m., and the downtown district will be the backdrop for activities, which includes the popular Chili Trail (buy a ticket to sample an assortment of chili dishes).
Smith said organizers are still finalizing plans, but it will be a seasonal celebration like in years past, with music and activities, and hay bales and scarecrows dotting the district to expand on the theme. There is no fee to visit the area on Third Friday; charges may apply for special activities.
Whatever the theme, organizers create an atmosphere that appeals to everyone attending. The Beer Fest featured Detroit area breweries at outside Tap Trailers. Restaurants and bars featured specials inside their establishments. Back outside were music stages, WRIF radio personalities Screaming Scott and Jade, the Red Wings street team, and a life-size version of Jenga in the festival area for friendly play.
Smith explained that the Third Fridays concept has proven to be successful for several reasons.
“The community wants events like these to attend, the business community cares, city government is invested, organizations are interested,” she said. “It is great when all the puzzle pieces fit together.”
Both the Beer Fest and Wine Crawl have been staples on the events calendar for more than 10 years, and with the continual addition of shops and eateries, the camaraderie among business owners continues to strengthen and so does the desire to be involved.
In conjunction with Fall Festival, the Wyandotte Museums is holding a Hallowe’en Open House from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Docents will be on hand at the historic Ford-MacNichol home, on Biddle Avenue at Vinewood, to explain the mourning customs and traditions of the Victorian era.
Curators are gathering items from the museum collection, including artifacts donated by Thon Funeral Home, the city’s oldest funeral home, to show how residents honored their deceased relatives. It was typical for the deceased to be waked in the home’s parlor, and for friends to stop over and pay their respects.
With funding from the Downtown Development Authority, the WBA presents Third Fridays, in some cases with the added assistance of the city’s Department of Special Events. Additionally, 360 Event Productions assists organizers with planning and marketing. Proceeds from events that require an admittance fee are used for upcoming Third Fridays, said Smith.
For updates on upcoming events, check frequent posts on the WBA Facebook while the group’s website is being updated.