DAVISON, MI — The Davison Chamber of Commerce is set to welcome back the Festival of Flags this week after a one-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The event kicks off Wednesday, June 9, with the Festival of Flags parade that will run from Fourth Street, proceed to Main Street, and end at the intersection of Clark and Davison streets.
Participants will line-up at 5 p.m. Wednesday, with the parade officially beginning at 6 p.m. An emcee will announce parade entrants at the corner of Second and Main streets.
“I think everyone is absolutely thrilled,” LaDawn Hastings, executive director for the Davison Chamber of Commerce, told MLive-The Flint Journal. “We’re trying to get back to some type of normalcy and people are ready and it will definitely help our Davison businesses and our Davison community.”
Jessica Abraham, events coordinator for the Davison Downtown Development Authority (DDA) said that although they are low for participation for the parade this year, they are still accepting applications until the day of the parade.
Kids will also have the chance to ride their bicycles alongside Mayor Tim Bishop at the parade and are encouraged to decorate their bikes and helmets, per the Downtown Davison Happenings Facebook page.
The parade will officially kick-off the festival that will continue throughout the rest of the week, concluding on Sunday, June 13. The festival will take place at Lake Callis Recreation Complex, located at 1152 N. Gale Rd.
“(Lake Callis) is a very lovely facility so it’s a great place to have a carnival and a gathering because the lake and splash pad is all there,” Hastings said. “It (festival) generates a lot of interest and a lot of people come this way and that’s what it’s all about – bringing people into our community to find out what we have to offer.”
There will be entertainment tents with live music, and free food. Carnival rides are set to open the evening of the parade from 5 to 10 p.m., and will remain open for the remainder of the festival. Rides will run from 5 to 10 p.m. Thursday, 5 to 11 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.
“There will be cold drinks, cold beer and the rides are there. We pretty much have everything right in one location,” said Hastings of having the festival at the Lake Callis Grand Pavilion, adding it also offers a lot of shelter, “… even if we have bad weather or need to get out of the sun.”
Friday night will cap off with a fireworks display off the hill by the Davison Dog Park, with a rain-date set for Saturday.
Market in the Park will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday by the grand pavilion and will offer the chance for local businesses to come out and promote their products and services.
“We’ll have some different items there for people to browse around and look at, whether it’s jewelry, or honey, or homemade soap and candles,” Hastings said. “It’s all fun.”
The Chamber of Commerce is also celebrating its 70th anniversary this year and will be honoring it through the Chamber Alive After Five beginning at 5 p.m. Thursday. The chamber turned 70 back in May, but they weren’t able to celebrate it then, so instead, they decided to hold a celebration during the Festival of Flags.
“We’re going to promote it at the festival and really encourage a lot of the businesses, chamber members – past, present, and future to come and do some open networking and just have a meet-and-greet under the grand pavilion to highlight that,” Hastings explained. “I think it’s a wonderful milestone to see an organization be in business for 70 years. I think that’s very exciting.”
Hastings said the chamber is pleased that they have been in business for 70 years and are still going strong.
She added that this past year, due to the pandemic, a lot of people have struggled and she wants the Davison community to know that the chamber is there, moving forward to help represent and promote Davison businesses and community at large.
“Davison is a lovely community. We want things to come back and in a very big way and I think this is just the beginning,” Hastings said. “We’re planning it, we’re excited that we’re able to have it because we didn’t think it was going to be able to take place again this year. It’s nice that it’s opened up and be able to have this. People are excited that we’re able to bring it and make it happen.”
Hastings added that she continues to let the community know that they really appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding of the challenges that everyone has had to go through this past year.
She encourages people to come out and enjoy the festival, saying, “we are embracing it and welcoming everyone with open arms.”
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