By JAMES MITCHELL
Sunday Times Newspapers
SOUTHGATE – By any name, the Heritage Days celebration is something to cheer about.
The three-day event, July 29 to 31 at the Southgate Municipal Complex, enters its 37th year of outdoor fun, food, live music and more. Among the new traditions will be the second appearance of the Mayor’s Youth Run and Half 8 Heritage Run on Friday.
Two years ago, in response to what was considered fading participation, organizers renamed the event Founders Day Weekend, a name that carried with it both the tradition and the question of declining attendance. Last year, however, the name Heritage Days returned and brought with it new events including Friday night running events, Saturday fireworks and more. Added activities join the long-standing staples of a parade, live music and Saturday morning’s family picnic.
The weekend kicks off July 29 with the sounds of Square Pegz under the Big Top, along with the racing events co-sponsored by Downriver YMCA.
July 30 the festivities begin with the Heritage Day Parade at 10:30 a.m. Arts and craft vendors will set up at 11 a.m., and at noon attendees can enjoy the Southgate Family Picnic, with face painting, a treasure hunt and more.
Live music continues throughout the day, with Little Davy and the Diplomats at 12:30 p.m., Boogie Dynomite at 4:30 p.m. and Mega 80s at 8 p.m.
More active games include the police vs. fire volleyball match at 5:30 p.m., and beginning at 7 p.m. the Summer Ice Show, followed by open skate until 10 p.m. Fireworks courtesy of Dick Genthe Chevrolet will begin at dusk.
Other Saturday activities include weekend gaming at the Southgate Rotary gambling tent, 50/50 raffles and the annual golf ball drop.
The event continues through Sunday, with Taste of the Town from 1 to 4 p.m., the C.A.S.E. Commission 2011 Art Show from noon to 5 p.m., and the Heritage Classic Car Show from noon to 5 p.m.
For more information, visit www.southgate-mi.org.
(James Mitchell can be reached at [email protected].)