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Volunteers prepare for Ypsi PRIDE Day
By Mark Tower
May. 13, 2010   ·   7:09 a.m.

Volunteers and W.H. Canon employees plant flowers in Depot Town while Ypsilanti resident Mike Labadie repairs the planter's brick work on Ypsi PRIDE Day last year.

Each year, residents in and around the city of Ypsilanti carry on a tradition started by a group of community members enrolled in a city leadership program, a sort...read more

Bicycles zoom as flowers bloom
By Citizen staff
Apr. 30, 2010   ·   2:11 p.m.

Riders from last year's spring ride come in after a long trip. Bike Ypsi’s 2010 Spring Ride and Festival is from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Sunday at Recreation Park (1015 Congress Street).

The weather has turned, the trees are budding and the flowers are popping out of the ground; time for a cruise through town. But don’t be so quick to hop in the...read more

Sheriff Clayton visits Ypsilanti Township
By Mark Tower
Apr. 29, 2010   ·   12:59 p.m.

Ypsilanti Township resident Kathleen Hanadel takes notes as her and other residents attempt to asses WCSO services Tuesday evening at a community forum held at the township's community center.

About 50 Ypsilanti Township residents gave the Washtenaw County Sheriff Office their input about law enforcement in the community Tuesday evening.

The information...read more

Local photographer raising funds for Ypsi Project exhibit
By Adrienne Ziegler
Apr. 20, 2010   ·   2:20 a.m.

Ypsilanti resident Nicholas Beltsos his grandson Demetrios were photographed by Project Ypsi photographer Erica Hampton during a bike ride she took Monday. A former EMU economics professor, Beltsos and his family moved to Ypsi from Dearborn in 1967.

Ypsilanti has many faces, and Erica Hampton wants to share a few of them with you.

Over the past year, Hampton created the The Ypsi Project, a series of portraits...read more

Savoy taking shape as live music venue
By Dan DuChene
Apr. 17, 2010   ·   2:38 p.m.

Local funk band Third Coast Kings play in Ypsilanti's newest live music venue, Savoy, Friday night.

Ypsilanti's newest concert venue is preparing for its grand opening weekend April 23, more than a month after its soft opening March 13.

Formerly Club Divine,...read more

ElvisFest: creating 'memories, sweet memories'

Photo by Christine Laughren

Despite early morning rain Saturday, that left Riverside Park a little soggy, the weather was clear for the Michigan ElvisFest. Organizers estimate more than $73,000 in ticket sales were made.
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Good weather brings thousands to Riverside Park

By Christine Laughren
Jul. 13, 2009    ·    1:08 p.m.


People held candles, cell phones, lighters and whatever else they cold find that emanated some sort of light while Leo Days came on stage to sing “Memories” during the candlelight vigil.

With the exception of a few acts to follow, the moment wrapped up the Michigan ElvisFest, held in Riverside Park Friday and Saturday. Now in its 10th year, the Michigan ElvisFest has become one of the biggest of its kind in the nation according to organizers and attendees.

Barbara Harbin, sitting with a group of eight under the shade of a large tree, said she comes to ElvisFest for the memories. Harbin, of Northville, said she saw Elvis Presley live in Las Vegas and likes to come to ElvisFest to honor “The King” and remember the good ol' days."

While Harbin reflects on old memories, mother and daughter team Liz and Sarah Podraza of Chicago are creating new ones. Liz said every time she gets a chance to see an Elvis show she goes.

“I just love his looks, his voice, his personality, I just love Elvis,” Liz said while waiting in line with her daughter to see Elvis tribute artist Matt King.

This is the first time the pair has been to the Michigan ElvisFest, but they say they had a great time and are already planning their trip for next year.

"We already marked it on our calendar," Liz said.

While Liz and Sarah wait in line, Robert Washington, a tribute artist from Portland Maine, sits at his autograph table waiting for his next moment on stage.

Washington said he has been a fan of Elvis since he was a kid. “The King” passed away on Washington’s 19th birthday and he now travels the country with his jumpsuit packed neatly in his suitcase singing the songs made famous by Presley.

This is the third time Washington has been to Riverside Park for the Michigan festival and he said he has fun every time he comes.

“The people are great,” he said, keeping cool in the shade under the Riverside Park pavilion.

Organizers say the show seems to get bigger every year. Thanks to good weather Friday and Saturday, initial estimates in ticket sales are at $73,000.

That’s about a 10 percent increase from last year, according to Andy French who does accounting for the event.

Beer sales were at $17,000, a couple thousand more than last year.

“This is certainly the best year we’ve had at least in the past three years,” French said this morning. “It was fantastic.”

It costs approximately $40,000 to put the show together. ElvisFest is run by the Depot Town Community Development Corporation, which until recently had an agreement with the city to run Riverside and Frog Island parks.

French said the overhead raised from the festival would be reinvested into the community.

As the candles were blown out, lighters put away and the cell phones closed Elvis tribute artists serenaded the crowd with the last songs of the festival. People danced and swayed to the music reliving the past and storing up “memories, sweet memories” for the future.



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