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Ypsilanti Heritage Festival Underway

Aug 15, 2014

After some last-minute setting up of tents and displays, the Ypsilanti Heritage Festival is underway. 

The path to this year's festival was a bit bumpy, with some long-time participants striking out on their own and the city failing to consider a financial contribution in the form of a sponsorship to help offset the higher fees that all events held on city property are dealing with this year. 

Still, festival director Andrew Clock says they're ready to go.

"We have an absolutely amazing group of volunteers, a really incredible group of people that have put in countless hours," Clock says.  "Our festival staff has been working since March of this year, everybody working on their own time, and it's really amazing what they're able to do."

Clock says the element of the festival he's most excited about this year is a new living history area.

"It's going to cover the life and times of Rosie the Riveter in Willow Run Village on Saturday, on Sunday we've got vintage baseball and the Ypsilanti Town Band performing." Clock says.  "I'm really excited to have a big history presence back in the park, and it's all really family friendly, too.  We love it when we can make things family-friendly and educational."

Also exciting - the thought that the festival may actually break even this year for the first time in a long while.

Washtenaw County Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 310 was among the community organizations putting the finishing touches on their tents and displays in Riverside Park late this morning. 

Merchandise Committee Co-Chair Tim Clarke says there are several reasons why it's important for them to be at the Heritage Festival.

"One of the first reasons is exposure, to let people know about our organization, what it stands for and what it's all about," Clarke says.  "We do a lot of different programs to help the veterans, and to help the veterans at the VA hospital and the programs that they have up there."

The Ypsilanti Heritage Festival runs through the weekend at Riverside Park, in Depot Town and in the downtown area.