By BOB OLIVER
HEIGHTS — The Parks and Recreation Department officials hope residents catch “Mustang Fever” for this year’s Spirit Fest.
The 28th annual festival, which also is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Ford Mustang, begins at the Canfield Center, 1801 N. Beech Daly, Wednesday and runs through Sunday night.
“Last year we were able to highlight the city’s 50th anniversary in the festival and this year we get to honor the longevity of the Ford Mustang,” Parks and Recreation Director Ken Grybel said. “There are a lot of people that are passionate not only about that car but also about the Ford Motor Co., which has had such a tremendous impact on the livelihoods of so many people in this area.”
Grybel said the fourth annual Senior Spirit Jubilee officially will start the festival and kick off five days of amusement rides, concerts and other events, including a vintage car show.
He also said Wednesday is “Sneak Preview Night,” where attendees can enjoy the rides and foods at the festival with discounted ticket prices.
“We have discounted tickets available at City Hall and other city buildings and we hope this will allow residents and visitors to take advantage of the festival even if they are on a tighter budget,” Grybel said. “Admission goes up by the weekend because the hours of operation increase, so this is a chance for people to come out and save some money on rides and enjoy themselves.”
Thursday will be the 12th annual Community Night and will feature the Taste of the Heights food fest and performances from both the Divine Child Pom Pon Squad and Crestwood High School jazz band.
“We will have 13 vendors as part of the taste fest and they offer a wide variety of foods,” Grybel said. “This is always a popular attraction and we are hoping for another good crowd this year.”
The 28th annual Mayor’s Walk also will step off Thursday, with participants receiving a free commemorative festival T-shirt as well as the opportunity to walk with Mayor Dan Paletko.
Friday is Community Service Clubs’ Night, with the Heights Lions, Kiwanis and Rotary clubs offering information about their clubs as well as sponsoring the nights major attraction, Arizona Son Country Band, featuring Devin Scillian from WDIV Channel 4.
“We are really thrilled that Devin chose us as a venue this year because he only does so many shows during the summer,” Grybel said. “We’re very excited to have him.”
Also on Friday will be the annual Pasta and Pizza Feast sponsored by the CHS cheerleaders. The cheerleaders will also give a performance later that night.
Saturday is Military Appreciation Day, with a salute to military members past and present. Music, dancing and workshops also are scheduled throughout the afternoon with the major entertainment for the evening coming from Steve King and the Dittilies, who perform hits from the ’60s and ’70s.
“We hope to see the community come out and say ‘thank you’ to those who have worked so hard for our freedom,” Grybel said. “We want to give our service members past and present a big visual display of our gratitude.”
The final day of the festival is Family Day, which will begin with a pancake breakfast before residents are invited to attend a vintage car display presented by the Redford Mustang Club.
“The car display is something new and it will be another attraction for guests to check out while at the festival,” Grybel said.
The Bob Seger tribute band Katmandu will perform Sunday night to close out the festival.
More information about events, times, and ticket prices is available on the city’s website or by contacting the Parks and Recreation Department at 313-791-3600.
(Bob Oliver can be reached at [email protected].)