2017-08-16 / Editorial

Lapeer Days key to local clubs, causes

The Lapeer Days Festival Opening Ceremonies at noon Friday is the official kick-off, but the Skerbeck Family Carnival opens this evening (Aug. 16), and begins several days of much anticipated fun and excitement in and around downtown Lapeer.

All weekend visitors can enjoy a craft show, inflatables, pony rides, helicopter rides as well as kiddy carnival games. There will be two stages of non-stop entertainment on Nepessing Street. On Friday you’ll find Steve Armstrong & The 25 Cent Beer Band, Brian Lorente & The Usual Suspects and, the night’s featured performer, country music star Brian White. Saturday’s musical lineup will include Westfall, Kixster and rockers Hinder. Sunday’s headliner will be Jack Russell’s Great White.

Saturday’s fun includes the Lapeer Days Parade at 11 a.m. along Nepessing Street, while Sunday’s activities include a car show at East Annrook Park, a soap box derby on Oregon Street and a talent show.

Lapeer Days, like other hometown festivals across the county this summer, is also an opportunity for local service and civic groups as well as churches and non-profit organizations to raise money for their causes to serve the community. Through the sale of parking spaces, bottled water, egg rolls, dinners, pancake breakfasts or strawberry shortcake, many organizations staffed by an army of selfless volunteers this weekend raise funds from generous patrons — funds that are in turn given back to the community in the form of services, grants and enrichment programs.

The Lapeer Optimist Club, for example, raises thousands of dollars during Lapeer Days through its famous barbeque chicken dinner, its beer and Vegas tents and Texas Hold ‘Em tournaments that goes back to serve and enrich the lives of youth in the greater Lapeer area.

This weekend the Lapeer Optimists will serve their 54th chicken barbecue dinner from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday along Park Street. This year also marks the 44th year of the Optimist Beer Tent, a Lapeer Days tradition where generations of friends and families gather for impromptu reunions and create new memories while contributing to the Optimist Club mission.

Without Lapeer Days many local organizations wouldn’t be able to meet their fundraising goals necessary to operate and sustain their mission objectives, and so they, too, eagerly look forward to the festival as much as the thousands of people who visit and enjoy the free entertainment.

The Child Advocacy Center will operate a dunk tank from a location on Court Street where festival goers will have an opportunity to dunk their favorite local public figures and community leaders.

Also looking to capitalize on the large crowds downtown this weekend is aspiring Eagle Scout Nick Bagadiniki. As reported in today’s County Press, the Life Scout with Deerfield Township’s Troop 214, will be camped out Saturday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. at the northwest corner of Nepessing and Pine streets. Bagadiniki will be accepting stuffed animals for the purpose of donating them to first responders like Lapeer County EMS whose crews provide them to comfort young victims of dramatic incidents.

So when you head downtown to Lapeer Days, bring a stuffed animal or two and look for Bagadiniki and help him help young children who may experience great trauma in their young lives. And look for the familiar service club logos of local organizations and spend a little money with them. It will stay in the community and enhance the local quality of life.

Lapeer Days is here. Let’s have a great time, and support your hometown organizations who support the community throughout the year.

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