By TOM TIGANI
Sunday Times Newspapers
SOUTHGATE —A parade, a picnic and fireworks are just some of the attractions planned for the city’s 36th annual Heritage Days celebration, set for Friday through next Sunday at the municipal complex, 14400 Dix-Toledo.
The Heritage Days moniker returns after being mothballed last year, when a scaled-down celebration dubbed Founders Day Week-end was held.
The festivities will be off to the races on Friday with two new events, the 1 Mile Mayor’s Youth run at 5:45 p.m., followed at 6:30 p.m. by the first Half 8 Heritage Run. Local cover band Fifty Amp Fuse will rock the Library Stage under the Big Top from 7 to 11 p.m.
The 36th annual Heritage Day Parade steps off at 10:30 a.m. Saturday from St. Pius X Catholic Church, 14101 Superior, and winds west across Dix-Toledo Road and continues along Superior around the baseball diamonds and concludes in the Southgate Municipal Complex.
Mothers of Southgate Leadership will be the grand marshals for the parade. Group members include Anna Bergeron, mother of Southgate Community School District Board of Education member Joel Bergeron; Carol Farrah (former state Rep. Barbara Farrah); Jo Gardner (City Treasurer Sheryl Denman); Maria Graziani (Patricia Graziani, Southgate school board); Barbara Joaquin (Darlene Pomponio, Southgate school board); Patricia Kandrevas (state Rep. Andrew Kandrevas); Beverly Rauch (City Council President Phillip Rauch); and Patricia Tansley (City Councilwoman Carol Batko).
Activities during the three days will include tours of the museum, where actors will play former President John Quincy Adams and his wife, Louisa; as well as entertainment, food, free face painting, a car show and arts and crafts.
On Saturday, a vignette from “Les Miserables” will be performed by the Southgate Community Players’ Youth Theatre on the Park Stage.
The Kid-O-Lympics will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. at the activity field. Heavy funk act the Third Coast Kings, comprising Southgate Anderson High School students and alumni, will perform on the Library Stage from 12:30 to 2 p.m. The Downriver Community Band will play from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. on the Park Stage.
At 5:30 p.m., police and firefighters will square off in a volleyball matchup, followed by a golf ball drop with a $1,000 prize at 6:30 p.m. at the activity field.
Top Shelf Tuna takes the Library Stage from 7 to 11 p.m., with the day’s events capped off colorfully by fireworks at dusk presented by Dick Genthe Chevrolet.
Other Saturday activities include visits with K-9 Officer Apollo, Chalk Walk 2010 and inflatable playscapes.
The 20th annual Heritage Cup golf scramble tees off at 8 a.m. Sunday at the city’s golf course. Hungry golfers then can refuel from 1 to 5 p.m. at Taste of the Town, with some 14 restaurants participating, including Applewood Nursing Center, Beirut Gardens, Buffalo Wild Wings, G. Philip’s Cafe-Catering-Cooking, Mallie’s Sports Grill, Old Chicago Pizza & Pasta, Pico de Gallo, Southgate Bakery and Subway of Southgate.
“Taste” tickets will cost 50 cents, with each food vendor offering tastings for one to two tickets. Awards for best presentation and peoples’ choice will be given out at the conclusion of the event.
Solitaire, a one-man accordion act, takes the stage from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, concurrent with the food tasting and a new feature for this year, the Heritage Classic Car Show.
Proceeds from the car show will benefit the Southgate Honor Guard; a $100 prize will be awarded to the Best of Show.
Family fun, food and museum tours will run throughout the weekend.
Organizers advise checking with the information booth for a complete listing of activities.
The event is presented by the city and its volunteer commissions. For more information call (734) 258-3022.